"You know how the time flies Only yesterday was the time of our lives We were born and raised In a summer haze Bound by the surprise of our glory days" Adele (Someone Like You)
I can't believe it's almost 2016. I love new beginnings! No matter where you are in life, the year will begin again as if saying, 'You have no choice but to start anew'.
For better or worse, a change is coming.
There is a sweet spot in the days between Christmas and New Year's. This time is mine (and yours). As a mom, I feel rushed from one event and holiday to the next all year round, but not on New Year's. It's all about ME! I feel terribly selfish just writing that, but it's the truth. No Halloween costumes to search for, presents to buy, or Easter traditions to tackle. Just out with the old and in with the new.
Spend this time wisely: Reflection.
The end of a year is a perfect excuse to look at our lives through an honest lens. If it was a good year, 'Yay us'! If it was a shit year, that's OK because new possibilities are right around the corner. We don't have to pretend and we can be real and more aware of our lives at this time than possibly any other time of year...and more forgiving of the past as well. We can dump it, grieve it, and move on.
I hear a lot of my friends (in light of recent job losses, divorces, and health issues) say they can't wait for 2015 to be over. But a bad year isn't a complete loss! You can think of it this way- the better the year, sometimes, the less we move forward. When times are good, who wants to move on? We tend to want to stay right where we're at. And staying stuck is no place to be.
Tough times make us move. One way or another, they make us change. Tough year? Look forward to the next year with a renewed sense of purpose!
I happen to think these tough times are glorious journeys of enlightenment. Well, not when they're happening of course, but later I can look back and see how far I've come. It's kind of empowering. My friends with tough 2015's are standing tall despite a rough year and dusting it off, looking forward to 2016 possibly more than the people that have all the good stuff going on.
Don't sweat the bad stuff!
I thought about my own troubles turned triumphs late Christmas night, when everyone in the house was asleep. I watched a TV event I had recorded weeks earlier: Adele Live in Concert in New York. Adele is an emotionally moving singer who's broken music industry records that no other artist can touch-basically she's phenomenal and I'm a big fan! Here she is in concert with thousands of fans paying thousands of dollars to see her knowing they're all going to cry. Why?
In a time where positive quotes on the Internet rule and positivity is the order of the day, who wants to deliberately feel these gut-wrenching moments? The songs are all about break-ups, good-byes, regret, loneliness, and mistakes. How on earth is this something millions of people gravitate to?
Adele's' songs are life and make us feel alive because they touch real emotions. Laying in bed watching her sing, and she cries (she does every concert), and I cry. Not because I'm sad, but because I realize all the pain in my life eventually led me to a better place, and there's comfort in that. I know I have the capacity to handle the upcoming year, for better or worse.
That pain is a significant part of the person I am today. Deny me that, and I must deny who I am.
So often we are required to hide it- not with her. During this concert, she took me through my whole life- the tough years when I emerged a changed and better person. Adele isn't a dose of insta-happy, she represents that part of ourselves that we're usually encouraged to forget.
My mom used to say, 'A diamond shines brighter on a dark background'. In other words, the light appears brightest through the dark. What a beautiful picture of an awakening into a new year no matter what kind of 2015 you've had!
2016 will likely be similar to most years: Full of ups and downs. Even a bad year is worthwhile.
Adele's niche in a typically fake industry, is being a very real person (minus the millions of fans and stellar voice, I can relate). Backstage, and behind-the-scene moments capture her as real as you and I- soul bared and everything. We crave this and she gives us permission to dig deep. I love that kind of transparency so I will continue to share that with you in my blog posts through 2016.
No matter what kind of year 2016 will be, frankly it doesn't matter.
Let's get honest. Let's get transparent, so we can move forward. Use the old year to acknowledge the past, and the new year to learn from it and begin again.
"Regrets and mistakes, they are memories made" Adele