If we had to create a symbolic tableau of the world’s sentiments towards the end of 2016, it would potentially be a group of people around a table looking dejected and exhausted. It’s been a tough one, folks.
But in our metaphorical tableau, there’s a wisened energy; a feeling that after 365 days of emotional roller coasters, charged Facebook debates and paralysing tension with almost every news bulletin that’s caught our gaze, we’ve learnt one or two things that’ll help us get through 2017 and beyond. We’re all a year older, all a little wiser, and everyone’s come out with their own mantra for the New Year. So, here are some of ours:
You have a breaking point – As the famous Scrubs theme goes, “I can’t do this all on my own, I know that I’m no superman.” Indeed, you’re not. None of us are. 2016 taught us the frailty of humanity; that we’re only flesh and bone, that we have our limits, that we’re not invincible. We’ve learnt this year that as people, we can only do so much in so many hours of the day, and that you can never be at your best 24/7, 52 weeks a year. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect, and allow yourself to make mistakes, lest you want to experience a mental breakdown.
Photo by Ajaz Lalani – Breaking Point
People move on – Being surrounded by plenty of acquaintances can lead us to making promises we can’t keep. Again, you’re no superman. You can’t meet up with every single person in your life in the course of a few days, much as you may want to. People have their schedules, as you have yours. Then there are those who feel they may want to invest their time with someone else rather than you. If you feel they’re not making time for you, don’t feel you have to reciprocate every single time. Social domains change, people move on to new groups. Yes, you’ll miss them, but you’ll adapt.
Plans change – It’s impossible to map out each and every move for the next few months, let alone years. Circumstances change, budgets vanish, people have second thoughts and the unexpectedness of life butts in. Have back-up plans, consider all eventualities and learn to be flexible. It’ll save you a lot of heartbreak.
Photo by Nathalie B – My Plan
They’re growing old – Even David Bowie couldn’t achieve immortality. The older we get, the more often we start to watch the elderlies we love age and pass on. Hard as it may be, this is the circle of life. It’s never easy, but perhaps we must learn to come to expect death if we want to emotionally survive.
Yes, these were a few grim lessons wrapping up a pretty grim year. But here’s to hoping they’ll enlighten us towards a happier year when the clock strikes midnight on the last day.