If you are on Facebook then you may have noticed their new-ish feature "On This Day". You may have noticed friends sharing those life altering moments from years before - engagements, marriages, births, races, whatever. And this December I found myself reviewing my own "On This Day" posts for fun (*and because I had some time off*).
With each day I started to recognize a consistent theme in my life during this time of year.
December marks the end of year; both on the calendar and for me personally, with my birthday. So I find I spend even more time than usual reflecting on the year that was and the year ahead.
As a self-proclaimed type-A-er, I love the feeling of a clean slate and fresh start. I often spend this time day-dreaming of the year ahead and making plans to ensure that this next year is my best year.
For a variety of reasons - well documented on this little blog - the past few years have tested me and my resolve.
So perhaps as a direct result of those challenges, I typically find myself scheming to create a "perfect" year. The sentiment that this next year is "going to be my year" is reoccurring. I said it in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
So the irony that I have not escaped a single one of the past four years unscathed is not lost on me.
And staring at this reoccurring but completely inaccurate theme, I have found myself wondering if the problem is not the hand I have been dealt, but rather my own perspective and expectations.
Perhaps it is all the yoga and meditation I have been doing lately, but I have found myself looking ahead with different expectations for 2016.
In the past, because of the challenges I have faced, I felt like a peaceful year was owed to me.
I felt like the struggles from the year before meant that the new year should be free of tears, sadness, and battles.
I expected life to go according to plan and for me to be able to tick off my life goals much the same way I tick off my to-do list.
If I worked for it, then I should achieve it.
But life is more nuanced than that.
And while it may sound cynical to some, I am not expecting perfection this year.
In fact, I am not even expecting the year ahead to be easy. There will likely be bumps and challenges this year as there are in every year.
Instead, this year I have gotten to a place where I understand the idea of perfection is not synonymous with life.
Life ebbs and flows.
More and more I have grown comfortable riding those waves.
There are moments of complete bliss and happiness, mixed with moments of devastating sadness, and there are a million simple ordinary moments in between,
That is what life looks like.
And that is the life that I am embracing for 2016.
As always I hope for a year where the moments of bliss outweigh the moments of sadness. But this year I recognize the peace I am searching for does not come from a life that is free of struggles and challenges. It comes from within.
So in 2016 I am simply seeking a grateful heart and peaceful mind.
The rest will unfold as it may.
Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,