Saturday, 31 December 2011

A new day, a new year.



Don’t you just love the start of a new year? My party-until-dawn days are long gone so my new year’s eve is mostly full of family and food. And more food. Last year my boys and I set out to have a picnic by the river to see in the new year, this year we will decide what we feel like doing a few hours prior, just like every other year. The new year isn’t so much about the eve now rather the first day of the year. A fresh start. A new beginning. The thought of it holds so much in store, so many possibilities and dreams, new goals, motivation to try something new or set some serious goals. I am not big on setting resolutions as I make goals all year round, I do however love to reflect and look back at how far I’ve come in the past year.

2011 brought about some minor challenges for me. I say minor as previous years have brought about much more difficult challenges for me. Keeping it in perspective, challenges I have faced in 2011 were somewhat less difficult than in the past. Although I have been working hard on being positive for many years now I still have my days. I take comfort in the knowledge I now know how to handle such days, and simply acknowledging them has proven helpful. The challenges have mainly been inward challenges; learning to let go of ill feelings I have held on to for way too long, learning to let bad memories fade, learning to deal with grief and loss and reminding myself these are a (sad) part of life. I’ve focused on my mild obsessive compulsive behaviour (I now check the door twice rather than 5 or 6 or 10 times), fear and anger. I have had my days, but I have learnt that by acknowledging them I can face them with a positive attitude rather than a 'victim' attitude.

In the second part of 2011 I have been presented with some amazing writing opportunities. I started my blog to explore my love of writing and the response I have had and subsequent opportunities to write elsewhere have been wonderful. I still pinch myself and am excited about what lies ahead. And mostly I love the here and now. I have started to appreciate the benefits of writing, I've discovered my love of food photography, I have met some amazing bloggers and I have found my true passion. I have essentially come to life through my art, and it radiates through all other aspects of my life. My soul feels rejuvenated and kickstarted, I am excited about what soul food the future holds.

My focus on my self-development over the past seven years has been nicely wrapped up in 2011. I get it now, I understand the need to focus on myself and my own behaviour rather than worry about others’ behaviour. If something affects me I work out why, and act on it. If someone else’s behaviour upsets me I approach them and let them know how I feel. If something bothers me enough I change it, if I cannot change it I work on accepting it. I get it now. I get that I cannot control how others think or behave, however I can control how I react. I would say this has been my greatest acceptance this past year. I have discovered the strength of my own tolerance and have applied it to my own benefit. I have become less judgemental, I have become more accepting. I have started to accept that not everyone thinks or feels like I do, and sometimes my opinion may not count. And that’s ok. Another personal accomplishment for me has been taking responsibility for my own actions and how I respond to life's challenges. I have learnt that I do have control over a lot of situations and by taking responsibility I can in fact determine my own choices and options.

The biggest focus for me for the entire year has been gratitude. Gratitude that my boys chose me and I have a happy family. I am loved, and I don’t ever feel the need to doubt that - that is the best gift I could ever ask for. Gratitude for my circumstances – I don’t have the 'perfect' life but it is perfect for me. I love my home and everything in it. Gratitude for good health. Gratitude for appreciation of the simple things in life, I feel rich beyond any amount of money and more money wouldn’t change that for the better. Gratitude for inner peace and a calm, still mind. Gratitude for the knowledge of how to attain this inner peace and the ways in which I have come across this knowledge.


“Developing inner values is much like physical exercise. The more we train our abilities, the stronger they become. The difference is that, unlike the body, when it comes to training the mind there is no limit to how far we can go.” ~ Dalai Lama


Career and personal goals aside, I am most excited about my focus on continuous self-development. I am excited about continuing to improve my attitude and thoughts. I aim to be a better person, to be the best I can personally be. I strive to remain grounded and appreciative of that which I am handed in life and even when times aren’t so rosy I hope to remember that life is indeed good.

Don’t you just love the start of a new year?

5 comments:

  1. Wow Peggy such a positive post, thank you and all the best for 2012 I will be following your path xx

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  2. Positive and wonderful. I wish you well for 2012. Mx

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  3. Yep, all good things Peggy, all good things. You have an inspiring attitude and I have no doubt 2012 has many great experiences in store for you... you thoroughly deserve them too :o)
    Happy New Year! xo
    P.S. Love all your mini pics here, just lovely!

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  4. Hi, I found your blog through 'Life Love and Hiccups'. Congratulations on achieving so much through 2011 and how exciting to have been presented with so many writing opportunities. I hope 2012 is even better for you.

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  5. Do you know, you make me want to be a better person?
    Sincerely.
    Thank you.
    :-) x

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