In the past few years I’ve attempted to set a tradition in which I take some time to consider my focus for the year ahead. Ushering in a new year is usually welcomed with talk of resolutions, in which, most by mid-year seem to have fallen by the wayside. Instead, I choose to set some higher level goals for which I hope to make concrete progress towards achieving. Last year I vowed to take things as they come and to be present in the here and now without worrying too much about what will happen tomorrow. For the most part, I think I’ve done that quite well and as a result have kept by anxiety pretty well in check in 2016. So as I attempt to celebrate the end of a year and welcome the beginning another here are some of my ‘must-do’s, or more appropriately, ‘attempt to must-do’s’ for 2017.
The most prominent thing for me to invest in next year is to learn sign language. As a part of my work I interact with quite a lot of people, and mainly children, with hearing and speech impairments. I often feel quite vexed at not being able to interact with them and instead rely on second hand information of someone who speaks on their behalf. In 2017, I vow to pursue this and practice my skills within the communities I visit throughout the year.
The next thing on my list is something that I have struggled with for a quite a while since the onset of adulthood; the concept of religion, religious belief and what it means to me. For quite a while now I have stated my frustration with what I perceive to be rigid and unequal systems of belief. I wholeheartedly stand by the statement that I do not subscribe to institutionalised religion as it is my opinion that it discriminates more than it does include. However, in saying all of this, I do still think it is important to set my own standards for belief and spirituality. I am by no means an atheist and do believe in some sort of higher power, although I am yet to define what this is and how my life is affected by its existence. The impending calendar year provides an opportunity for a spiritual pursuit per say, in order to affirm how this plays a role in my existence as a human being and subsequently how I approach this world.
The last thing on this list is probably the most important; to be kinder to myself and not consistently judge myself against other peoples standards. This also entails not comparing my self worth to others and understanding that my mind, my entity, my being and my journey are just that, my own. They are unique and individual to me and will therefore look different to others around me. I realise that I need to work on the aspect of patience and understand that growth and success take time and these will not necessarily appear to me in the form I have envisioned. Instead, they will come into fruition over time and be represented according to a version of what is ultimately meant for me.
So, as 2017 draws nearer by the day, I look forward to reflecting on the investments and lessons learnt of 2016 and building on these in the New Year.