Making the most of the year’s memories.
Once I get through an extra long ‘to do’ list and a hectic schedule at work and socially, once the 25th of December is done and dusted one of my favourite weeks in the year arrives.
What do I love so much about the week between Christmas and New Year? It’s not just about sunshine, and delicious ‘leftovers’, it’s about my custom for this time of year.
Each day has a rhythm, a rhythm that is different to the one I march to when I’m working, AND, different to the one I march to when I’m off on adventures.
This change in routine, a pattern interruption, is good for us. It’s an opportunity to rest and reset, an opportunity to ‘digest’ more than Christmas dinner. To chew the cud so to speak, to reflect on the year that’s been and prepare for the year ahead.
For me, my days, ideally a haze of sun and sand, go like this, sleep, walk, swim, eat, read, write, repeat. What I’m going to share with you here are my year end prompts for writing. The questions I pose to myself and attempt to answer. Sometimes the answers come easily, willingly, sometimes I need to return to them again and again to gain clarity. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth – I know the answers are there yet unexplainably they are hard and/or uncomfortable to drag out.
Before I share the prompts, I’d like to encourage you by sharing what this process brings me. History can be one of our most valuable and delightful teachers, if we’re willing to engage. Reviewing the year that is finishing, looking through the lens of recalling what experiences we’ve survived, where we’ve failed and where we’ve triumphed amplifies the learnings in a good way. In math, x5 is a much larger number than 5x. In addition to amplifying the learning and improving retention, it provides a marvellous window of opportunity for the year ahead. Because we know that if we don’t learn from experience, we tend to repeat the lessons – not always to our liking.
Plus, it helps file the experiences, catalogue them in the library of our minds and hearts. To be revisited when the resources gained are needed again, or simply for uplifting, for example recalling a magnificent adventure, an unexpected kindness, or a hard-earned victory.
As you begin the process, set the scene, keeping in mind that this is to be a creative fun process. I like to use coloured pens and/or highlighters and a brightly coloured notebook. Have a pot of delicious tea to sip, if possible, sit on a balcony where you can gaze out to the horizon. This helps in putting the not so happy moments in perspective. Or light a fragrant candle. Tapping into memory and filing even the difficult times with positive senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound), supports healing.
Here are your prompts:
- What did I learn in 2021? About yourself, about the world around you, about those you love, about the ‘work’ you do. Keep in mind the 6 life areas, health, family, career, learning, financial freedom and spirit. I challenge you to come up with 21 items on your list. Once you’ve listed the items that spring to mind, ask yourself the following questions.
- What surprised you? Or surprises you when you read the list you’ve just made?
- What were you the most grateful for?
- What are you most proud of?
- What challenged you the most?
You might like to pause here and return to the list another day before commencing the next questions.
- Thinking about what I’ve learned (my list), what do I want more of?
- What do I want less of?
- What do I need to let go of?
In the next blog, I’ll share some ideas on converting these learnings into action steps to support vitality in your life as 2022 unfolds.
Thank you for your support and engagement this year. I appreciate it immensely.