It seems that at year’s end, the focus is always on the year ahead. We celebrate the beginning of a new year, we make goals and resolutions for all the the things we want to accomplish. We think of it as a fresh start.
And this looking ahead is good. Thinking about how we can grow and achieve is good. But a part of growth and change also involves reflecting on the past.
New Year’s is a beginning, but it is also an end. Last year for Christmas, a friend of mine gave me an empty jar to fill with memories I’d gather throughout the year (Thanks Lex!). At the end of the year, I was supposed to open it and read through all of the wonderful memories from the year that had passed. This allowed me to remember and reflect on all that had happened throughout the year, all that I had accomplished, all that had changed.
In reflecting, we are able to see how far we’ve come. . Our reflections can guide our goals and resolutions – we can put into practice the things we’ve learned.
Here are some of my best 2015 memories from the jar:
- I spent New Years Day at the Scandinave spa with my mom and we stopped at a great coffee shop on the way home.
- I was reunited with my Burkina Jojo, with ice cream, wine, Dawson’s Creek and funny photos.
- Someone gave me a rose, just because.
- Reading week ski trip to Blue Mountain.
- Rereading the Uglies Series, indulging in my love for all things dystopian.
- Went to Smithers for my cousin’s wedding; it was the first time all of the cousins got together.
- Finished my undergrad.
- I got a full-time job with Christian Horizons.
- Sanket and I were Carl and Ellie for Halloween. I loved making our own adventure book.
- I discovered I’m an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person).
These memories reminded me of all these wonderful things that happened throughout the year. It reminded me of all that I could look forward to in the new year to come – new memories, new excitement, new opportunities to learn and grow.
My memory jar is a tradition I will continue. Rather than focusing immediately on the new year and ‘resolutions’ that are almost doomed to fail, I want to take some time first to remember and acknowledge this past year. After I do that, then I can think about where I want to go in this next year. After all, from the words of Confucius, you must “Study the past if you would divine the future”.
So what are your best memories of 2015? What did you learn this year?