2016 has been horrendous for all of us. I’ve seen my fair share of memes sending good riddance to the year, and you probably have too. Most of us were optimistic as we rung in the new year, including happy-clappy me who hoped for something better than 2015, but landed in hospital multiple times. Worst. Episode. Ever.
For me personally, I started 2016 with optimism and faith, but two weeks into January found myself on a highly addictive prescription drug, and then admitted to the mental ward of Westmead Hospital during Easter (I will divulge more about this in my Modern Motherhood and Mental Illness series, in the meantime you can read this). Later this year, my son had a febral convulsion in a packed-out shopping centre while I was howling down the line to 000, just I was finally getting used to managing his bleeding disorder and multiple Haemophilia clinic visits, plus had just learned he was at risk of anaphylactic shock due to a peanut allergy. A few days later, my beautiful Grandmother, 90 years of age passed away, leaving behind a saddened family including my Grandfather who’s 97 and may soon die of a broken heart.
And then there was the rest of the world. Trump winning President really took everyone by surprise, except of course the creators of The Simpsons who predicted his win in 2000. Even Trump himself looked shocked, like he just got offered a job as an Astrophysicist by lying on his resume, and his first mission is to send all of Mexico into space and resettle them on Mars. Preceding that, Brexit suddenly came out of nowhere, and suddenly Queenie now has to stand in the visa queue if she wants to visit Europe and share cups of splendid tea with friends in high places. Both of these events suggest that people are fed up with bad leadership, and will vote whichever way they bloody-well want, to demonstrate civil resistance and power to the people.
Let’s not forget Syria. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon (including me) following the picture of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh being released to the media. The war in Syria isn’t new, in fact, it’s been going on for about a decade. Perhaps I should’ve followed these events more closely and not just rely on mainstream media to spoon feed me news. But, a gripping picture that goes viral tells a thousand words, some of which echo “injustice”, “wretched” “bring them here” and “WTF is happening” to millions of us who got a tiny peak into their world.
And only in the last week we heard of Carrie Fisher’s death, after we were still trying to get over Alan Rickman, Prince, David Bowie and George Michael passing this year, leaving the rest of us behind in a world that has descended into madness, worshipping narcissists that take countless selfies a day.
So…. 2017 is only a day away. What now?
I’ve written some goal statements, nothing fancy and world-changing, just the usual eat better, sleep more, rant less, take my problems to God and not the internet and so on. But there are two things in mind that I am particularly conscious of and it is:
Stop giving a shit about what everybody else THINKS
Instead, start focusing on how I make people FEEL
I didn’t wake up thinking I was going to start a social movement, a NFP enterprise or build a brand around this because really, it’s nothing new and talk is cheap. I share thousands of inspirational quotes (including the fake ones) on Facebook because it makes me feel like I’m somehow contributing to society, in a very small way.
Nevertheless, I have tasked myself to stop constructing and curating my life around everybody’s opinion – whether good or bad – but instead focus that energy on being conscious of how I make my friends, family and acquaintances feel whenever I interact with them. Words, body language, listening-without-interrupting, being truly present, showing appreciation, being assertive but also showing humility when I just want to get my point across. It’s risky, there’s probably going to be some backlash, and I might give up after a week of having to consider someone else’s feelings before my own but that’s OK. I got this. If I can just do these small things and make it a daily habit, who knows what could happen – I could turn into a selfless human being who loves thy neighbour!
I will leave you with an inspiration quote by Maya Angelou, a poet I found on Google who I am yet to widely research on Wikipedia:
And this too because it’s hilarious:
Happy New Year and may 2017 be at least 5% better than this year. Now let’s never speak of 2016 again.