Last day of 2011. Just another day in my book. As a society, we mark it as a milestone and reflect back on the past year. What really annoys me is how the media started putting its lists of best and worst, highlights, etc. together back around Thanksgiving. Apparently, the last five or six weeks of the year don’t count. I find it highly amusing that only a few rogue news outlets will dare to talk about 2011 after January 1st, like it’s suddenly a taboo topic. Doesn’t it make more sense to review a year after it’s over? I guess everyone wants to be the first. If you’re not first, then you still have to put it out there quickly and not be the last.
At the movies last week, I noticed a couple of yet-to-be-released movies are already advertising themselves as the best drama or comedy of the year. Does anyone seriously buy that? If it is being released in January and it is the first or only comedy to be released so far, I hardly think that earns you the title: BEST of anything.
I’ve heard a number of friends say, “2011 was the worst year, next year has to be better”. That annoys me. I always want to ask, “but did you learn or accomplish anything this year?” Whatever happened over the course of the past 12 months is not the calendar’s fault and there is no guarantee next year will be better or worse. You can’t control everything that happens around you.
Reflection. What occurred and how did you respond to it. That’s what is important to me. Everything we do, every experience that comes our way, colors our lives differently. We are a culmination of every event, every person, every thing that touches our lives. We can only become the people we want to be by reflecting on our experiences and our actions.
I think I learned a lot about patience and diligence this past year. I’m finally at the age that “I want it now” has given way to “I want it right” and “I want it better“. Quality really only comes through patience and diligence. I found the anxiety of the beginnings of tasks, give way to the excitement of the process and finally, the bittersweet completion. I both love and hate deadlines because I am both driven by, and a slave to them.
Two big milestones of my year were completing my Masters degree and my play, September’s Heroes. Two great accomplishments and I’m extremely proud of both. I realized how much I love to learn, read and research; and how what I can do to have an impact on others.
The most important milestone is that I think I finally understand and like myself. That may sound odd, but the journey to self-acceptance is probably the hardest road many of us will ever climb. In accepting myself I feel I’m much better equipped to understand, help and encourage all the wonderful people in my life. It’s a pretty terrific feeling.