Well, here we are. Only a few hours until we can bid good riddance to a year which a lot of us might consider the worst in a few years. So many deaths, political upheaval, just one thing after another. Although when you step back and have a look, and really take everything into consideration, was it really that bad? Well, it depends who you are and what you’re doing I guess. As a white woman living in the UK with a roof over my head, a good job and thankfully a fabulous family and an amazing bunch of friends, I consider myself very, very, very lucky. We live in an age now where all the baby boomers are getting into middle/early old age and the lifestyles a lot of them led are possibly leading to an untimely death. The last recession was eight (8!) years ago, and yet austerity is still big on the political agenda; the poor get poorer, services are getting slashed, people are royally fucked off and many fear that either they don’t have a voice, or maybe more crucially that no-one is listening. So upon reflection, is the Brexit vote really a surprise? Or Trump? When historians look back in 20, 30 years time they’ll easily be able to chart the path that we’ve all been walking down for some time; I think we’re just too close to it to really see what’s been happening, or to be able to fully appreciate the consequences of our actions.
So while 2016 does feel a bit critical, we have a choice now. We can let everything run on and accelerate in a direction we don’t like, or we can make choices to change things for the better. Individually it might seem as though we can’t make a difference but that’s rubbish. If we all do something good it can add up to a lot of wonderful. Listening more, being more accepting and less judgemental, thinking about the choices we make and the impact it could have on our lives, our finances, our environment. Standing up for others, standing up against oppression and hatred; I think we’ll need to do that more than ever over the next decade. There is a lot of positivity out there in the world, and as humans we have such a capacity for goodness. For those of us lucky enough not to suffer from mental illness or distress, I really believe that happiness is absolutely a choice. We can choose the direction our life takes, and we can learn to be confident and resilient, so when an unexpected storm comes in that we have no control over, we can weather it better. And we can all do a little bit more to help those that can’t weather that storm so easily, for whatever reason. At some point in our lives we will all need a little help, so pay it forward in the hope it’ll come back to you when you need it one day.
Who knows what 2017 will bring politically, but I for one am looking forward to it. This year I started to simplify my life to a degree, and started the task of getting rid of a lot of ‘stuff’. I’ll keep doing that as I’ve realised that what makes me happy is not stuff but the people in my life, the memories I make with them and a realisation that the world is my oyster. Well, i’ve always thought the world was my oyster, but it’s easy to forget in a way. We really can do anything we put our minds too, obstacles can be tackled and overcome or hopefully just moved around. So to all my wonderful friends and family, thanks so much for your love and support this year, and here is to a fabulous 2017.
Happy New Year 🙂