It's tempting during holiday seasons, or at other opportunities we have that mark time, to reflect back on the year before. This time last year, we say, I was doing this or that. I was with this person or that person. I was feeling whatever. I was looking forward to ...
It's tempting to look back with regret or sadness at good times now lost or circumstances changed. It could also be a recognition that with each passing year we become a year older, a year further into our life trajectory. Perhaps we notice the missed opportunities, the dashed hopes, the unexpected changes that caught us off guard, shook our confidence.
Perhaps, though, we can learn to look back with acceptance. With a willingness to embrace what was. To appreciate the good times, to feel glad that we had the opportunities we had. To find ways to hold them close, and perhaps become part of who we are. Perhaps we can learn to use those experiences to drive us in the future. To notice what's most important, to bring out the positives in our lives. To do more of what works. To locate and embrace new opportunities as they appear. To trust that what didn't happen wasn't meant to happen. It could be through such acceptance that we can keep going, get out of bed each morning with renewed energy and courage but also continue to grow and develop.
It always strikes me as how strange it is that a year can go by and seems like it's just disappeared, yet within that year so much happened. Sometimes we may have just let the time pass without being sufficiently mindful to notice it. Sometimes we might have needed to do that - just to get through each day, each hour even. When I think about this, I would just hate to think that we get to the end of our lives and say that the time just disappeared, that we didn't fully embrace it, didn't engage as much as we could have, didn't achieve the things we set out to achieve. That would be disappointing.
So my hope for the coming year is that we can accept the things that happen and can learn not to fight or waste time on the things we cannot change. That acceptance might just then enable an embracing of what is and importantly of what could be.