Each year, as the clock ticks down to the final minutes of the 365th day (or 366th in a leap year, if you’re pedantic), I sit here to ponder for a moment on the year that’s past.
As you grow older, the same thoughts cross your mind each year, as each festival looms – “Goodness! The year is just FLYING by!” you exclaim. Each year, you convince yourself that it’s going by faster than before.
I’m afraid that’s what I’m going to say about my 2018 – It’s just flown by.
If I could sum up my 2018 in one word, it would be this – Renewal.
When I started out my 2018, it was with purpose. The years before this had been hard on me, both mentally and emotionally. When 2017 ended and 2018 dawned, I felt like I’d been through a washing machine. I felt battered and exhausted.
So I opened up my missive in 2018 with one piece of advice – slow down. It stayed at the back of my mind. Unconsciously, I did find myself slowing down.
I tried not to react too quickly to situations or news. I closed an eye (and an ear) when necessary, and tried not to pour fuel on the fire. If I found myself getting upset, I forced myself to take a deep breath. It stopped me from saying things I’d regret later, and it stopped my blood pressure from getting out of hand.
More importantly for myself, I slowed down enough for old wounds to scab over.
I forced myself to look forward, instead of looking back. I looked ahead to “What now?” instead of dwelling on “What if?” I forged new friendships while maintaining the old. I forced myself out of my comfort zone and I went on an amazing holiday with a friend.
I said yes to opportunities, sometimes quite recklessly, and often when what I really meant was “Erm… maybe, possibly no…. ” LOL :D An example was when I recklessly agreed to go on holiday with my parents to China (I will honestly say that China is never high on my priority list of travel destinations) but I went anyway, and it turned out to be interesting.
But in the process, I found some inner peace. I was sleeping better and I felt a little happier. There were a few incidences during the year that raised my blood pressure, but I soon realized that silence was often the better part of valor. It made other people caper about making fools of themselves, while I kept my own counsel, and that provided me with hours of endless amusement.
Locally, on 9 May 2018, we saw a renewal of our Government. I barely slept in that initial week, when everything seemed to be on tenterhooks as we, as a nation, showed our 60 year old ruling party the door, and welcomed in the unknown. Even on the national front, there was a wind of change, of renewal.
I would have liked to tell you that with this positive mindset I’d put myself in, I’d end my 2018 on a high; but the last 2 weeks of 2018 were hardest on me. It was as if something had to give, and give it did in the most spectacular way.
I spent the last 2 weeks battling a mysterious viral fever that would spike every few hours in a day. I capitulated and saw the doctor only to be told that they didn’t know what it was. So, I rode it out LOL! I’m better now, but my brains have melted thanks to binge-watching Netflix :P
I also had the scab I’d been growing over my emotional wound ripped off in a most painful way. Just when you think an old wound has healed, you realize that it hasn’t. When you think that people have disappointed you enough, they plumb new depths, and you are left wondering why you put yourself through this washing machine of regret again.
So I sit here today, on the last day of 2018, once again, having picked myself up off the floor, and brushed myself down and telling myself the way forward is this way, and to leave the past where it belongs – behind me.
Through all of this, I’ve kept my blog at my core. The regular readers may have noticed that blog activity has picked up this year, as compared to previous years. I’ve blogged more frequently, and on a wider variety of subject matter than I have in the past.
I’ve maintained a relatively punishing 3 posts a week schedule for most of the year, with few breaks in between. I actually ran a poll on Facebook to ask if I should post less often, or if I could up the ante and post a little more often. The result was a clean 50:50 LOL! :D So quite clearly, 3 posts a week sit well with most of you, and that will be something I’ll maintain going forward.
The reason I’ve kept my blog close is simple. It’s my home. It’s where I turn to for comfort and stability, when it feels like the winds of change are turning into a hurricane outside.
It’s given me purpose and helped me find a direction, on days when the needle of the compass is spinning wildly out of control. I know I have 3 blog posts a week to turn out, and I know I have to find the time, effort and subject matter to write about. It drives me and yet, cocoons me by remaining the one constant in my life.
By extension, you may not realize this, but YOU have been my constant too. You who read my blog. You who comment. You who chat with me on Instagram, and you who write me emails.
There have been some dark days, that are made brighter simply because I receive an email out of the blue from an appreciative reader, or someone who leaves a comment telling me they found a tip I shared helpful. It gives me pleasure to know that something I find useful or helpful or beneficial helps someone else too.
I may touch your lives in a more visible way, but what you may not realize is that you too touch mine – albeit in a more subtle way, or in ways you don’t even realize or notice.
So on that note, thank you for being there for me the past 365 days. A new set of 365 days loom on the horizon, and I can safely say that you will find me here at MWS, walking this road, wherever it might lead.
I hope you will take my hand and join me :)
Thank you and I will see you in 2019 :)