It’s funny how the best things seem to come up near the end of the year.
Suddenly we start seeing the best photos of 2012 and most of them are amazing. We see lists of the most-read stories of the year, the best movies of the year or who is the No. 1 newsmaker of the year and anything else you can think of, including things from your personal life. A lot of time is spent reflecting on the past year for a good chunk of December.
I’m not against seeing all of those things. I actually find quite a few of them rather interesting. However, two things come to mind. Firstly, there is a tendency for people to forget about the Christmas season. Secondly, we shouldn’t spend too much time pondering over the past or worrying about the future.
Christmas only comes once a year. It’s already come and gone this year. But with only a few days remaining in 2012, it’s easy to forget why we celebrated it.
The Christmas season is about love and about having hope when there seems to be none. It’s about spending time with the people who matter to you in your life and celebrating all the joys you have, even if that list is very small. It’s about showing kindness to perfect strangers and about forgiving people you don’t get along with.
I think the best New Year’s resolution is to try and do all of those things 365 days a year. Instead of brushing off the season once you feel it’s done, take those values and apply it to your everyday life.
Yes, year-end is a great time for reflection of the past year. I believe in order to have balance in life, some reflection is always going to be necessary. But don’t spend all of your energy at the end of the year reflecting on the past. Similarly, don’t spend all of your energy worrying about what awaits you in 2013 and beyond.
One of my favourite quotations comes from an episode in Season 10 of the TV series Smallville — “A hero is made in the moment, not from questioning the past or fearing what's to come.”
I love that statement. I think it’s something we should all take into account every day. If we’re not careful, our regrets from the past year might swallow us up. If we spend too much time thinking about the future, our worries might eat us from the inside and we might stop living out of fear.
I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution. It’s not because I don’t think it’s a good idea, but because I don’t spend lots of time thinking about the new year until it arrives. I have spent the first moment of each new year I can remember with people I care about.
Jan. 1 is really just another day that could mark a new beginning if we desire. It’s another day to strive to be better, to make the most out of each day and to embrace every part of who we are now and who we want to become.
In closing, I leave you with the wise words of the character Gandalf the Grey from the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. For a little context, Gandalf speaks these words to another character named Frodo after his world was thrown upside-down and a series of unfortunate events occurred. Frodo had just finished saying he wished none of it had happened.
To that, Gandalf replied, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."