As the year comes to an end today, and we reflect on the year past, there are surely lots of things to be remembered. Good and bad. It’s what we make of the year to come that matters most now. Looking at things with rose-colored glasses is difficult for some, and I am that “some”.
While the traditional New Year’s Eve song “Auld Lang Syne” isn’t necessarily relevant to my life right now, it is a symbol of new beginnings. It brings us into a new year. A new state of mind. Resolutions, promises, and expectations. 2016 seems to be a year some would like to forget. If you find yourself on any sort of social media, you will inevitably see things like “worst year ever!” or a growing list of hashtags with similar sentiments. Celebrity deaths aside, it would appear that more people than usual have experienced hardships, tragedies or loss this last 365 days.
I find myself coming up short on the positives often. Every year on my birthday, I get a call from a friend of mine. Her name is Katie, we’ve known each other since elementary school and she is a rose-colored glasses kind of girl. She does this thing on birthdays. She’ll ask “What was the three best things about this past year? And what three things are you looking forward to in the next year?” I turned 33 on November 22nd, and I knew the call was coming. I had tried to prepare for it. I dug deep for answers to both questions. So deep, in fact, I don’t remember what I said. I think maybe I’ve forgotten because the responses I gave her maybe weren’t the truth, or particularly important. Except one answer. In response to the best thing about last year was “I moved home.” That’s all I had, but it was a big one. When she called, my brother was still in the hospital. Our lives were in a mild form of chaos. I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I had tunnel vision, and I mean like longest tunnel in the world vision, with only my running lights on. What I could see, was very dim.
I know that I am more negative than I intend to be. I envy the optimists, the positive Polly’s of the world. Negativity creeps up on me. I’ll start a sentence or story with the intentions of it being neutral, and before I know it, it’s taken a turn south. Or when I’m preparing for something. An event, not in a social way, but more of an outcome of something. It’s hard to see when you’ve crossed over from being prepared to pessimist. “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best” is a saying that sums up my outlook most days. I don’t see that perspective changing for me. While I believe in this saying wholeheartedly, it does, more often than not, tend to slant towards pessimism Negativity spreads like a weed, while the opposite somehow takes more care and nurturing to hit not just mainstream media, but self-acknowledgement.
But in this time of reflection, I’d like to publicly declare my one and only resolution attempt for 2017. I will be that positive Polly. No more negative Nancy. I will make a serious attempt to see the best of situations and speak only to that. Not in the annoying overbearing way some people do, but in a realistic, non-condescending way. A way that doesn’t demean the gravity or seriousness in the situation, but simply emphasizes the best possible outcome.
With all that being said, or typed rather. I’m going to start the new year early. My rosey glasses are on. I’m going to take today and celebrate the end of an unforgettable year. For better or worse, it is done with. I will raise, perhaps a few glasses of champagne tonight. As I have been known to do, often without a special occasion. We will move on to the next year and I’ll do my absolute best to make it one where #bestyearever will be my most often used hashtag. As soon as I figure out how to use hashtags…