Reflecting On 2021… And Getting Ready For 2022


This is a pretty popular saying: “Live each day as if it’s your last one.” I realize the sentiment behind it but I can’t help thinking: “How exhausting!” Ok, I’m not supposed to see it as a doom and gloom scenario where I’m always thinking that I won’t be waking up the next morning so I’d better not sleep with regrets. But can you imagine coming home from work and then thinking: “Oh my Gosh, I haven’t scaled Mt Everest! I’d better get on that!” Ok, ok, I’m exaggerating but do you get my drift? It’s easy to get caught up with our yet unachieved big dreams when you reflect on a statement like that and thinking in those kinds of terms will leave you exhausted. I was. I haven’t met Mr. Right. I haven’t been to Europe. I haven’t seen the Great Pyramids of Giza or walked along the Great Wall of China or taken photos of Uluru’s changing colours. Those are my big dreams and they’re still out of my reach. So does that mean I should regret every day because I haven’t achieved them? Or should we regret every day that we haven’t achieved something ‘big’ or ‘significant’ or ‘important’? Is this the reason why people become depressed or despondent when they look upon their lives? “I haven’t achieved anything!” is a popular lament. Well, maybe you haven’t, that is until you change your perspective.

2021 has ended and one can’t help but look back on the year’s events. What will you see? Or put it in another way, what won’t you see? “I didn’t get promoted”. “I didn’t go overseas.” “I didn’t get that diamond ring.” Is this how you’ll view your year? How about we try this again but this time, change your definition of ‘big’, ‘significant’, ‘important’. You weren’t promoted but you still have your job. You didn’t go overseas but you just enjoyed a road trip with your family. So the diamond ring’s not on your finger yet, but you still have the man of your dreams. Change the definition.

I’ve started writing in a journal every night. I’ll begin by reading the daily bible passage in ‘Our Daily Bread’ and then I’ll just think about my day and just write down, without thinking too deeply about it, all the things that stood out about my day. It doesn’t matter if it made me laugh, cry, scream or it touched me or just made me stop, I wrote it down. Over time, I found myself being more ‘aware’ of my day. I noticed things around me and I remembered my day – not just letting it go by in a meaningless blur. Without realizing it, my ‘big’, ‘significant’, ‘important’ became simple things like a shared laugh with my mom, a problem worked out together with my boss, a little boy smiling up at me from his pram, beating my previous time on a 5km run….

2021 has ended and when I look back, I’ll remember the ‘big’ things like going to Montana and Denver, meeting my new nephew in Chicago, watching a beloved cousin get married, but I’ll also remember the janitor at Las Vegas airport giving me a blanket as I waited alone for my plane at 3 o’clock in the morning, drooling over shoes at Lord and Taylor with my sister, my grandma’s bone-crushing hugs….They’re not newsworthy nor are they of any global significance but they’re important to me, and they’re the last things I’ll remember before I go to bed….I won’t mind not waking up.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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