I’m all in for any excuse to see awesome fireworks, hang with my closest loved ones, and reflect on all that’s happened, the sad, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the funny and the unbelievably awesome! But, life in a year is a little more than black and white, there’s a lot of grey that goes on and a lot of fun splashes of colour, if you’re lucky maybe even some neon bright. New Years Eve seems to be the one night we really think about what we have, or haven’t achieved in the last twelve months, the only problem with that is it’s like trying to put a giant panda under a microscope! OK strange analogy I admit! My point is that a whole year can not be condensed down into one small evening, and we tend to look at the year gone by with a black or white mentality, as in good year versus bad year! People say “oh yeah 2010 that was a bad year for me because such and such happened,” or “I remember 2008 that was the best year ever!” It’s understandable that we do this on New Years, as we tend do also do it on a daily basis too. How many times have you said you’ve had a bad day and you just can’t wait for that day to be over? Or on the flip side, said you had wished a great day would never end? We all tend to do it, daily, weekly, monthly, so why should a year be different? Some people have had a bad decade, let’s hope no one says it’s been a bad century!
There is no doubt some days kind of, well to be blunt, SUCK! You might be sick, the kids are sick, you got a parking ticket, lost your wallet, missed the train, maybe they even all happened on the same day, yep I’ll give you that, it’s been a rough day! But most days also have good in them too. Maybe nothing as good as winning the lotto, or getting a super generous pay rise, but there is good and bad in our lives constantly, and yet we often tend to focus on one or the other, forgetting that they can coexist. I remember 2009 well, in January we had devastating bush fires here in Australia that cost a lot of people their lives and homes, my sisters house was burgled and my nephew was having an awful time, and then my Grandmother died, this all happened in January. A lot of very tragic things happened that month, but something amazing happened for me too, my son was conceived unexpectedly, I found out on Valentines day that year that we were having our third little miracle, so wanted! He was born 4 weeks early in September and he was healthy! It wasn’t an easy pregnancy, I had some complications with my heart and there were times the Doctor feared either I, or the baby may not survive. Thank God we both did and here we are five years on both healthy. Whilst I was pregnant one of my best friends died, it still saddens me that she never met my son, and that he will never know her and play with her. It was a hard year at times, but was it a “bad” year? I had a healthy baby, so was it a “good” year? It was both, I had some of my lowest moments, I lost two people I loved and yet the love of my life, my son was born, and we survived, my daughters still had their mother, my husband still had his wife.
In Chinese philosophy they talk of yin and yang, opposite forces which are complementary to one another. Natural forces in our world like fire and water, or light and dark, and the belief that these forces are not opposing, but more complimentary, like how shadows could not exist if there were no light, perhaps we could not appreciate the good in our lives if we hadn’t felt the bad. Of course there are people who suffer extreme illness, pain, poverty, starvation, abuse and loss which I can not understand, I can’t see any purpose or good in the suffering of children, or the constant pain some people live with. There are things I will never understand, that is not what I am talking about here though, I am talking of the times through the year that were just tough, nothing we can’t overcome or grow better because of. As Katy Perry sings,
“if you only knew what the future holds. After a hurricane comes a rainbow!”
My daughter Aspen had a few (minor) disasters the other morning, she dropped something, and then followed it up by spilling milk all over the TiVo remote, quite a lot of milk, it was dripping milk from behind the buttons and even the battery compartment. No point crying over spilt milk! We were sitting at the table all together shortly after when she announced “I can’t do anything right today!” This is the sort of thing I am talking about, she was looking at her day with a black or white attitude, and concluding it was a bad morning, and she couldn’t do anything right. So I asked her, “what have you done today that was good?” She thought for a moment and started naming some positive things, her sister even jumped in saying some nice things Aspen had done to help her that morning. It helped, she started to see her morning hadn’t been all bad after all, that good and bad can in fact co-exist. Needless to say we have to order a new remote.
So this year when you are reflecting on the year that’s been just remember to look for the good and bad, the things you’ve learnt, the hardships that helped you grow. And more importantly don’t right off the new year if it starts off badly, we can make change, and turn a bad day, month, or year around!
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx
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image by Mackenzie Glanville, reflections photography