Like most people I know, I always start feeling optimistic around this time of year about what the next year has in store for me.
While I know that, strictly speaking, the turning of the calendar means about as much in the grand scheme of things as a piece of gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe, because we’re always exactly one year away from this day one year from now, the end of December still becomes a time of reflection, introspection and goal-setting for me, as it does for many others.
While I also think this kind of reflection should be done more frequently, I’ll leave that thought for another time.
For right now, I’ll just say this: Next year will be better than this year.
Yeah, yeah, I know. That’s what everyone says.
But do you know why I’m feeling that way?
Because I’m choosing to.
I’m not dwelling one what went wrong this year – although I’m generally one who looks at things going wrong as an opportunity to learn something, anyway – but more importantly, I’m making a conscious attempt to see the good in the world. I’ll be trying even harder to see opportunities for improvement instead of possibilities of failure.
I won’t be letting fear drive my decisions. I’ll be looking at what “could be” rather than worrying about what “might happen if…”
I’m celebrating those who do good things rather than lament that some people do bad things.
I’m deciding to focus on (or rather, reaffirming my commitment to focussing on) the positives in the world.
For example, while I will not trivialize the reasons we’ve lost people from our streets this year, or fail to lament their passing, or recognize that there are others in danger of having the same thing occur, I will focus my attention on celebrating those who work tirelessly to try and prevent that from happening, and do what I can myself, to help.
I will focus on my appreciation for the people in our community who hold the doors for those approaching the store behind them and those who wait patiently at the intersection for a big enough gap in traffic that won’t force others to slam on their brakes when they pull out rather than lamenting that there are those among us who are all about “me first.”
I will continue to realize that even seemingly-bad things happening are opportunities to grow and learn and improve.
I will continue to consider time with my friends and family integral to my state of mind – instead of an interruption of things I could be “accomplishing.”
Maybe I’ll find time to read some of the backlog of books on my shelves that I haven’t gotten to.
Wait…I’m being optimistic, so I should say, “I will find some time to read some of the books that are waiting patiently on my shelves for me to explore them.”
I will see more people play live music in 2016 than I did in 2015.
I will paint more.
I will sing more.
Because I’m choosing to see the good in the world.
I hope you will, too.