Stephanie Pearce: Year end
December 29, 2013
In the few days between Christmas and the New Year, we will find ourselves making plans for the year ahead and designing new resolutions. I'm all for making plans and goals. I teach my kids to do the same because you can never get anywhere if you don't have a goal with a plan to reach it. This year though, I want to wait until the New Year to start planning it. I want to take the days in between now and the New Year to reminisce about the year that is coming to a close.
I am so thankful for this past year. While it may have been accompanied by sorrow and scares for our family, it has brought to my attention so many simple joys. If you look deep enough, you can give thanks in even the darkest of moments and in giving thanks, our real joy cannot be taken.
Death seemed to be pretty prominent in our family and our circle of friends this year. In these moments of sorrow, it made me so grateful for the life I have lived and being able to have been touched by those who passed on. It made me realize that we never really fully see a person; they mean different things to different people, and we only see what they were to us. When we celebrate their lives, though, you get a glimpse into what they were to other people. You see a whole side of them you weren't exposed to when they were alive. It was a lesson that touched my heart this year and will stay with me forever.
I learned this year that embracing your past can be a real learning experience. Remembering an experience is all about perspective. When you experience something as a child, what you remember and how you feel can be much different than experiencing the same thing as an adult. It doesn't mean that how you remember that event was wrong in any way. It just means that you experienced it differently. What you pulled away from that experience was totally different and that's ok. It's kind of like remembering the people in our lives who have passed on. You saw them how they were to you. If you were the child in their life, you wouldn't have seen them in the same way that their lover did. That doesn't mean they held any less significance to you, it was just a different significance.
I learned that sometimes even when you give your all, it doesn't always mean you will get a raise, an award or even any acknowledgement. It does mean that you still always need to do your best. Making yourself better is more important than any raise, award or acknowledgement. Sometimes the reward is your own satisfaction. That should be the most important thing to you anyway. In the end, you have to live with yourself, so you might as well make sure you make yourself happy and measure your progress against yourself not those around you.
This year has been an amazing year full of wonderful accomplishments, great sorrow and many learning experiences. I am thankful for every day this year has granted me and for those who have experienced it with me. Have a happy New Year everyone.