I hate drawing the line and counting my blessings as one is supposed to be as the calendar year approaches its end. For me, the whole deal with New Year Eve’s party craze and resolutions is a bit forced and fake. Just because the calendar changes does not mean anything in your life would necessarily be different. And in order to stick to a resolution, you should make it when the time feels right and not because you are almost expected to.
Apart from feeling towards NY’s Eve the same way as the Grinch towards Christmas, I can as well partially look back and assess what took place in the past 365 days. From one hand, it was a good year because I was lucky that nothing too bad happened to me. No one that I loved died, no one broke my heart, and I did not miserably fail in a number of things.
Yet, due to some personal problems and difficulties in my job, I found myself severely depressed at the very beginning of this passing year. So much so that I decided I needed to take some serious measures and change the way I perceive things before they completely overrule me. Somehow I stumbled across the 100 happy days challenge (you can read about my experience with it here ). The idea was simple. You take a photo of something that makes you happy every single day for 100 days and post it on social medium of your preference. And believe me, after spending 4 hrs commuting, running in the rain, and teaching some students who could not care less about the subject, you might have to dig really deep to come up with something positive. I literally had to photograph my food a number of times. Yes, I became one of those people. But I stuck to the challenge and I finished it. And maybe I did not become happier per se, but at least it created a nice habit. Till this day, I am on the lookout for a bright moment in my day and take a mental photo of it.
Then, I improved my running. First, I did a personal best in the 10 miles (16km) distance. Then, I spent the summer and fall preparing for a marathon. And I did successfully run my first marathon (see here). It was excruciating but I was very very happy and proud of myself for finishing without being devastated afterwards.
I also managed to successfully finish my reading challenge — to complete 50 books by the end of the year. Currently I am at book 55. But this one was not so much of a challenge as reading is one of my hobbies. But I have to admit that sometimes I consciously traded reading for going for a walk or a movie, for instance. And though that one was not much of a challenge, I am still happy I managed to keep up with some made-up number,
I also improved in a foreign language and plan to do so in the coming year. I did not travel as much as I wish I could but I visited a new country and saw fascinating things that moved me and impressed me, which, in a way, made me appreciate also the place I live. And I’ve loved and been loved. So maybe it has been the year of conquering challenges after all?