I was falling through space, caught in a whirlwind of memories, as I tried to keep track of thoughts. I imagined this was how Alice felt in the wonderland, spiralling down rabbit holes, being lost and becoming distracted in different scenarios.
This usually happens when I try to do an end of year reflection. While I have the habit of doing self-reflection from time to time, an end of year reflection has always been challenging. Perhaps it’s that magnified sense of a year-end reflection that seems intimidating or tiresome.
Do you have the habit of doing a year-end reflection? In a couple of days, we will be bidding goodbye to yet another year. I am determined to reflect on the past year, and I shall attempt to do so with this post.
Death has many lessons to impart
In the past year, I attended four funerals of respected elders and close relatives. Regardless of how one is prepared to accept an impending passing of a loved one, death always seems to come too swiftly, leaving a void in its wake. You’d think that everyone knows time is precious, but how many of us really treasure every moment that we have and live without regrets? When it’s time to go, it’s really time to go.
Letting go brings solace
They always say it is important to persevere and hang on till the end, but there are merits to letting go when it’s time to do so. It takes wisdom and courage to overlook the immediate loss. When one is willing to let go, s/he is free from struggles and suffering. Uncle Soon was an unassuming and kindly man. His passing was sudden; nobody knew how severely ill he was until we visited him that last time at the hospital ward. While some people could only see losses in letting go, Uncle Soon was very calm and accepting of his condition. He went peacefully.
Time waits for no man; don’t wait
Uncle Sam led a vibrant life. He was no saint but he had a heart of gold. Everyone in the family called him a crazy fellow (affectionately); that’s probably because he never shied away from what he set his heart on. He once told me, “if there’s a place you want to go, just go. If there’s something you want to do, don’t wait.” Nobody knew his time would be cut short, but we took solace in the fact that he was doing his best to enjoy life to the fullest, even towards the very end.
Good inspires good; pass it on
Auntie Hoon was mum’s childhood friend. She devoted her life to helping others. After her passing, many people shared how their lives were improved because of her help, and many shared the good deeds that she did. There’s a common saying that a funeral is like the report card of one’s life. Although I don’t know her well, I was touched at her wake and inspired by her kind deeds to make the world a better place.
It’s always about people
This has been a year of changes; from being fully employed to self-employed, single to married and becoming a part of a new family. Looking back, it reinforced my belief that nothing is more important than family. Thankfully, I’ve been spending quality time with people who truly matter.
When in doubt, go back to basics
It is easy to get disoriented when trying to refocus on new life goals and priorities. When in doubt, go back to basics. Not doing anything can bring clarity. Previously, I was feeling lost. Forcing myself to slow down and enjoy life’s little pleasures such as daydreaming, hiking, reading or learning etc. definitely helped.
Count blessings; forget woes
Many people seem to be having a difficult time in 2021, and likened the year to being the worst ever. I beg to differ, not because my year was smooth-sailing. By keeping gratitude in heart and counting one’s blessings, the woes seem to diminish in comparison.
In spite of pandemic restrictions, I had a beautiful wedding. Married (yay) but separated due to border restrictions (nay), our hearts are connected (yay) and that in itself is already a blessing. Kudos to technology for keeping us together.
Be curious; keep exploring
The pandemic kept most of us at home for the past two years. Nonetheless, it hasn’t stopped us from exploring. As long as one has a curious heart, it is possible to seek new experiences and gain fresh perspectives over and over again in the same place. In fact, Mum and I discovered many new places near our home. Our memory jar is pretty full. 🙂
The year is good enough
I asked myself a few questions to summarise the past year. Am I at a better place as compared to the start of the year? Yes. I feel more comfortable mentally, physically and emotionally. Quitting full-time work gave me more time to refocus on life and make self-improvements.
I don’t usually have a habit of making resolutions. In recent years though, I found myself thinking that I want to be healthier, look and feel better, read more and spend more time with loved ones. I definitely achieved all of these in 2021.
Reflecting on the past year, I am filled with gratitude. I’ve lived well enough. The year is good enough. I hope your year is good enough too, if not even better.
The beginning is always tough, and it’s even tougher when one tries to get back into a routine that one has neglected. Of late, I am on a mission to rediscover buried passions and pursue new dreams. If you have enjoyed the above article, please leave a comment below and stay tuned for more.
The above information is based on the author’s own experience and should only be used as a reference.