Looking back is so easy isn’t it? We definitely have the internal filters to see what is great about a previous year or what is not so great about a previous year. We humans love to organize and categorize events and their implications to suit our own needs. I suppose we do that as a way to survive the world in which we live.
I tend to see things from a brighter perspective than some, but I do have gloomy days as well. I just don’t dwell on the gloomy things as much. I mean, who wants to always remember the yucky parts about life when there is so much good. Life is tough and complex and ever-changing. I prefer to bring forth good memories rather than continue to bash the bad ones. Unfortunately, not all have the same preferences and for some reason the ones who love to pounce on others’ troubles are very vocal.
True, 2017 was filled with many negative events and the naysayers had a ball with each and every event. Doomsday was the lead story on many days throughout the year, while the good and positive news languished in the background. However, there were also many good things to come about during the past year.
Social media continues to be an aggravation in some areas, BUT in the past year I have prayed more or congratulated more because of social media. I got to remember birthdays of folks I had forgotten about. I received notes of encouragement from others through the Messenger system. I kept up with or reconnected with some old friends and I get to see others’ successes on social media.
I don’t read every link that is sent or posted, and I certainly do not believe all that is posted but, for me, the idea that we can now share in a stranger’s grief or joy is absolutely wonderful. When a post comes up about a baby going into surgery or an accident with fatalities, I get to add my two bits to encourage the family if I want to. I received a message from an old acquaintance one day telling how nice my son, a policeman, was to him during a recent accident. That little message made my day. Hopefully my little bits on other’s pages will make their day.
During 2017, I gained the promise of a new daughter-in-law. She is delightful, and I know our oldest son will be blessed with her in his life. We will celebrate their marriage with them in the future. It is good to see young couples committing their lives to each other and making sacrifices to/for each other.
We made some big decisions in 2017 and started up a new business. We have had agonizing days and stressful times, but here we are at the end of the year preparing to go forth into the new year. I am feeling blessed that still in America a couple can decide to start up a new business one day and begin jumping through hoops the next. No one said it would be easy, BUT no one said that it was forbidden either, and for that I am grateful. We can still open a business in America if we have the energy.
Last year, we attended the church of our choice, sent one to college, met with friends at will, and survived knee replacement surgery. We also spent hours on the phone with insurance companies, prayed for family to survive different hurricanes, and watched in horror the reports of various senseless killings. Through tragedies we also saw communities pulling together to rebuild. We saw countless people across the world donating time and money to help strangers. Prayers were sent up for all as we struggled to understand and deal with the realities of being human.
I want to end 2017 in a thankful manner because there was much good that happened in 2017, and I want to say that my hopes for 2018 are for more kindness and grace towards each other. I would also encourage more forgiveness and less selfishness. If we could add in some humility and less offended folks, I would be OK with that as well.
May you remember your last year in a positive manner and may your coming year be filled with opportunities to love others, show forgiveness, and enjoy life.