Old Year Reflections

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

It is time to embrace the new, but first, I need to release the old. I am not one to make New Year resolutions anymore.  Every year at this time, I have vowed to lose weight…exercise more…eat better…and ___________ (fill in your own resolution). However, nothing…absolutely NADA has stuck with me for very long.

Instead, I make daily resolutions…sort of like my goals I want to accomplish for the day. That way I don’t have to live with unfulfilled expectations and I can do little things each day. At any rate, the temptation to “resolve” is strong at this time of the year! So here is a tip: The resolutions most likely to be kept are the ones rooted in reflection.

Nicaraguans have mastered the skill of reflection and of letting go through their unique Muñecos, or stuffed dolls packed with gun powder. They symbolize blasting away their vices of the past year, and ushering in the new year with a clean slate. I like that concept. However, it takes reflection to make it work.

Last year, I made a Muñeca, or a woman doll.  A Muñeca New Year
This New Year, I think I will spend a quiet day reflecting on the past year because life can only be understood backwards.

I made a list of my top five year-end questions to help me through my reflective process.
IMG_1145Then, I will be ready to usher in the New Year with a BANG!

                                           My Top Five Year-End Questions of 2015

1. What did I learn?

* compromise only works if both parties actually want to get something done
* long-sleeved police officers are the only ones who can give traffic tickets
* Chikungunya is a debilitating virus, but it won’t kill you
* to take care of myself first, before trying to help others
* It’s the journey that matters.
* to slow down and savor our travels instead of trying to visit every place in
a new country. Travel continues to be our passion with trips to the Corn Islands,
Solentiname Islands, Rio San Juan, Guatemala, and the U.S. two times this year.
* Compassion is not dead. So many wonderful people contributed to my donation sites for school supplies, books, and sports equipment.

2. What did I accomplish?

* I started a children’s library in our La Paloma Elementary School, hired a fantastic
librarian, and served over 100 children who are learning the joys of reading for pleasure.
* We built an awesome plunge pool for the hottest months of the year
* My blog is growing and growing with visitors this year from 177 countries.
Thanks to YOU!!!
Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 4.51.06 PM  * We researched and purchased great international health insurance. What a relief!

3. What were my most significant events?

* The life and death of my mother. There is no other significant event that can surpass the loss of my mother.

4. How am I different this year than last?

* I am now an orphan. It still sounds so strange to say that.
* I am stronger and more confident in learning to put my needs above others.
* I am more empathetic, especially when it comes to dealing with the chronic
pain of Chikungunya. I can empathize with people who suffer from chronic
fatigue and pain.
* I am learning the process of grieving and being gentle with myself.

5. For what am I particularly grateful?

* My family…It is wonderful to have our son and his fiancé living in San Juan
Del Sur this year. My loving husband of 40 years, who helps me make
rational decisions instead of hasty solutions based on emotion, is a blessing.
* My opportunities…I do realize how fortunate I am to have a good education, a
rewarding career, an abundance of choices, and a life-time income.
* My creativity…I am so grateful for my ability to think out of the box…Nicaragua
forces me to creatively solve problems when I can’t find what I need or want.

Now that my old year reflections are finished, I am ready to move forward. Let’s bring on 2016 with a BANG!

In reflecting on your past year, what end-of the-year questions would you choose to move forward into 2016 with a BANG?


17 thoughts on “Old Year Reflections

  1. Love the idea of making a Muñeca and blasting away my vices and imperfections… However, reflection seems to be much more practical and I also like the idea of listing the things you’ve accomplished in the past year as well as the many things you’re grateful for. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your ability to share your reflections and thoughts in your posts. Here’s to a 2016 filled with all the things that bring you happiness and satisfaction. Anita

    • Thanks so much, Anita. Reflection is more practical, but blasting away my vices is more exciting. lol I have been in a reflective mood lately with lots of plans for the new year. I keep telling myself that change is good, although the older I get the harder it is. Happy New Year!

  2. Thank you for your insights and your diligence in sharing bits of your life with us throughout this last year. We have learned much from you and look forward to another year of living the adventure we call life. May 2116 be kind to you and yours!

  3. Fantastic Debbie! What a reflective post. I am wishing you the best for 2016! Also hoping we can meet in person when I come to San Juan Del Sur! More on that later! Happy New Year! 😌

      • Me too! As it gets closer I will send you an email to touch base. I won’t have a tremendous amount of time but do fly in on Sunday Feb 21 and have until Tuesday the 23rd at noon to be ready for the journey to San Juan del Sur. We will have to figure out a way to meet! I will contact you via email in a week or so. 🙂 How great your son and fiance live there too!



    ps ..I leave for Granada tomorrow. …my flight cancelled last Monday due to severe weather in Houston,oh well…..!!!!!

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