Firstly…HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!
Well the start of a new year and the time when the obligatory resolutions are made and the best intentions to keep them are sworn. Myself, I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions. I think if you really want to make a change, all you need is the dawn of a new day but I do understand how some folk can view the New Year as a fresh start.
As the calendar clicks from 31 December to 1st January, it is a great opportunity to reflect on the year that has been. Has it been a good one; a successful one? 12 months of consolidation or one that you would rather forget. Has it been a combination of all four?
For me, 2015 can be summed up in one word…MANIC! Just when I thought I was over the surprise of 2015 beginning, we are a few days into 2016.
Around 830pm on NYE, I found myself sitting on my couch; TV on, kids in bed and flicking through my phone; reminiscing over the year that was. What kind of a year had it really been..and where did it go!!
I once read that if you want to know what someone fears losing the most, watch what they take photos of. This was an interesting thought as I scrolled through the moments frozen in time on my small screen.
Lots of photos of the kids, house renovations, camp life, trips away and plenty of One Minute Closer screen shots from various testing exercises. Whatever they were; I could recall taking them which seemed to give some tangibility to the last 12 months….so this is where it has gone!!
Then I came across one photo; the picture below. As soon as I saw it I was instantly entranced with a flood of memories, happy times, simple times, missed opportunities, hope lost and even some insight into what my 2016 may hold.
I remember taking this photo so vividly. It was a sunny winter’s day in a small sea side town a few hours north of Adelaide and I had just gotten off the phone with the One Minute Closer development team. That 10 minute discussion was really positive and after a magnificent omelette for brekky, the day was definitely moving in the right direction.
As I hung up the phone, I noticed the landscape in front of me so knelt down and snapped this image. I remember looking at the picture after I’d taken it and thinking this is a photo I’d talk about for years to come. I stared at the screen, eyes flickering left to right to left at how both sides of this picture are very similar but different enough to make them individual.
The sky on right being more cluttered but clearing from the gentle breeze blowing from the left.
The horizon on the right having more peaks and troughs, up and downs, with a dip in the middle of the jetty then moving up and to a consistent level moving across to the left.
The shore on the right more littered with debris from the rising tide, but as the water recedes a beautiful clean beach is left for both sides to share.
The lights of the jetty sit on the right side and point slightly to the left side; as to lighten the connection between them both.
Even the pole laying on the left side, was currently allowing others access to the middle for others to observe both sides as one.
As I looked to my left, I locked eyes with a stunning woman standing a few meters away who was waiting for me to finish taking my photos. Only for a second or two but from her bright beaming smile, I knew she was enjoying the view as much as I was.
As she turned away and started to walk up to the jetty, I hoped that in this moment in time, I had captured a glimpse into my future…in that moment it all made sense and I could feel my clouds starting to clear and the wind of change come across me.
But alas, the dulcet chuckle of Stephen Fry bought me back to my lounge, my wine and to reality. In this reality of New Year’s Eve alone, how do I now view this same captured imagine?
Are the sides that different? Or are they so different that the jetty is just too big of an obstacle to overcome?
What if the breeze does not blow the clouds away but brings more?
What if the rising tide dumps more debris making the pristine beach that both sides share, shrink until it totally disappears?
Or…what if this photo is just that…a photo? Just an image taken at a split second in time of a quaint little beach and a wooden jetty; just a few hours north of Adelaide? A photo that should hold no sentimental value at all.
Have I associated too much personal and emotional value with this photo; over and above its actual worth? Or is that the value that all pictures derive; because they hold virtually no physical value?
Thinking about this, I realised that I have become way more sentimental over the years I have worked away. Maybe it’s because of the milestones I miss with friends and family? Maybe it’s because I have made tough sacrifices because of my current life balance (or thought I had to??).
I have heard that to be sentimental is a form or emotional fatigue. Or maybe it leads to emotional fatigue…expelling energy on trying to return to something that has been left behind? Being carried away by the emotion that something stirs up rather than the reality of it?
Whatever the case, I have definitely come to the conclusion that I need to be more aware of when the clears waters of reminiscing about times passed start to get muddied by personal metaphors and emotive bundles of straws.
So going back to that picture and why it suddenly make me sentimental? One word sticks out to me now. Hope. I hoped I’d captured a metaphorical glimpse into what my future holds.
By just hoping, I am realistically taking a leap of faith that clear skies, less debris and that smooth horizon are on the other side of my jetty. That by continuing on my current course, that beautiful woman on my left will let me shine some light on her and that she will block the jetty from others walking between us.
Given how my NYE was spent, I am guessing this is not a realistic scenario to hope for.
On the other hand, if change from being just hopeful to becoming optimistic about this metaphor; I have to look at the evidence at hand and ask is it is a reasonable scenario believe in? As it is clear on current evidence that it is not; it pretty much means I have to change, become better, do something different.
I guess this little trip down memory lane has simply reminded me of a few things that I believe I need to keep front of mind for 2016 and beyond:
- Be optimistic over hopeful and to have faith in my ability to recognise the changes I need to make to justify the optimism;
- It’s OK to reminisce but don’t get caught up in lamenting mistakes and attaching personal feelings where they just don’t fit;
- Keep taking photos of things and times that are important to me…because they are important to me;
- Continuous improvement, I have to become better. Better at a lot of small things but generally a better human being;
- Live in the now. The past has gone and if live well now…the future will take care of itself;
- And, last but not least….I need to organise to go out next NYE!!
When I get back home after this swing, I am going to print that picture and place it somewhere inconspicuous. A place where I will see it every now and then and it will remind me of that time some months ago and also to do a little self-check to see if I am on track for 2016.
Who knows what the coming year will hold? Professionally it looks to be intriguing; personally, a little exciting but I do think that if I can keep the above in mind; it will be a positive one.
And just maybe, I might get another glimpse of that pretty smile under the jetty lights, on the dawn of a new day, on that wooden jetty and quaint beach in a town just a few hours north of Adelaide…metaphorically speaking.
So, cheers to a happy, prosperous and safe new year to you all!!
Until the next instalment; keep safe and stay connected!!