As the old adage goes, times flies when you’re having fun. Well this year has been no exception. In some respects it seemed to accelerate at a rapid pace, especially when my mind was consumed with thoughts of reaching the big 4-0. Now though, looking back, January feels like a distant memory, a time of heady expectation, the thrill of the unknown; what would the year bring?
Sitting here, nudging up against the edge of it, I can truly say this has been one of the best years I can remember in a long time. I’m sitting here still single, still overweight, still in debt etc., but i’m happy. In fact i’m the happiest i’ve ever been. Having had a very brief look at some old posts before settling down to write this, I am amused at how ‘samey’ they all are – all these things I want that I vow to go after every year (this time I know i’m going to do it!), then the year end comes and not much has changed. I could read that and feel despondent, but I don’t. Does it mean that I’ve failed somehow, or that I should face the facts that i’m never going to shed that weight or reach the goals I keep setting myself? Well maybe, but then what I like to pride myself on is my optimism. Okay, so some of my ‘OH GOD I’M NEARLY 40, STOP THE F****** CLOCK, ARGGGGGGG’ posts may not have come across as brimming with optimism (i’d check but I don’t tend to re-read them), but honestly i’ve always considered myself to be a glass half-full kind of woman. Stuff gets to me, and of course I get sad and can despair at life sometimes, but i’ve always managed to find the chink of light, and i’ve always believed that good times are on their way, and that no matter what, life will get better. I’ve yet to be proved wrong, personally at least.
So this year has been particularly fabulous. I’ve travelled a lot, I’ve met up with a lot of old friends to reminisce about the past, and look with excitement towards the future. Some people have come into my life in unexpected ways and made it more fulfilling. I’ve spent a lot of time in reflection about my pre-40s life and anticipation of the post-40 version. What i’ve realised is that a lot of the things/stuff/feelings/emotions that i’ve carried around for years about what my life could or should be has now been replaced with excitement about what it can be. I don’t know quite why this year I feel like i’m really, truly happy with myself, when I never have before. I’ve previously proclaimed to be truly happy with myself, but I was just doing the old ‘fake it until you make it’ thing, and trying to convince myself otherwise. It’s such a freeing feeling to abandon the pressure of others’ opinions of you, to stop worrying about whether you’re being judged. If I knew exactly how to go about actually doing this, i’d bottle it and sell it and become a millionaire. I can only assume that for me the catalyst was turning 40, and in the stress of worrying about what I don’t have at this juncture in my life, it only served to highlight what I do have, that it is enough, and that I am happy.
This doesn’t mean that it is all hearts and roses and rainbows, there have been some difficult times too. Losing a friend a couple of months ago was shocking and devastating, and I still feel the loss keenly. I’m ashamed to also admit that I think of her more now than I had for a while, because it’s so easy to take for granted what you assume will always be there. That you can put off reunions and conversations because you can have them whenever. Sometimes it will be too late. And at times this year there have been moments when I’ve wanted something so much that it physically aches when I know I can’t have it, but that’s just life. It isn’t good/bad/fair/unfair, it just is. It’s all part-and-parcel, and to be honest I wouldn’t change that for the world. What is life, if not the whole gamut of emotions and experiences? You can’t fully appreciate the good if you’ve never felt the bad. I’ve had way more than my fair share of the good, and for that, i’m eternally grateful.
Looking forward, i’ve not set myself a list of impossible resolutions for 2016. I’m just going to carry on doing what i’m doing and i’m going to strive to be a little bit better tomorrow than I was today. I’m going to spend more time with people I love and who love me, and less time with those who don’t. Will 2016 be the best year yet? I think so. Every year we’re here gives us another chance to do a little better, love a little more, and do the best we can for ourselves and those we care about.
So with thanks to all my wonderful friends and family for contributing to what has been, overall, a magnificent year, I wish you all the very happiest of New Years, and here’s to a fabulous 2016 🙂