“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.
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!!!
* 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?