By Sabeeha Zahieer.
A New Year approaches! This means a few different things, depending on who you ask. Most people see New Years as an opportunity for new resolutions, new experiences or new challenges. This is, of course, easier said than done.
On New Years’ Eve my family and I all sit down and, before we make our resolutions, we reflect on the year that has passed. It’s a tradition my Dad started when I was in secondary school, and it’s a tradition I’ve continued since. After all, ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards’. (That banging quote comes from https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6172.S_ren_Kierkegaard)
So, 2020 may not have given us a shining example on what a super-duper leap year can entail. However, there is still room for good spirits. In this entry I’m going to be a little reflective and try to draw out the positive parts of my experience of 2020. Before I do, I’m going to share a cracking article on how you can self-reflect happily:
Although I’d love to pour my heart out in a nitty-gritty memoire-esque piece of writing, that isn’t what this article is about. It’s about reflection together. Afterall, my New Year’s tradition stemmed from a family activity.
Below is my short and sweet list.
1. I bonded with my cat
Shadow and I were at odds for a while, but now we’ve found common ground (or sofa!). Pets are members of our family, so we always capture these special moments on our phones.
These memories can put a huge smile on our faces when we look back on them.
2. I found my favourite writer
His name is Shaun Tan and I love him! If you’d like to give him a shot, I’d recommend Tales From Outer Suburbia.
In reading, film, writing or sports – whatever picks your fancy – it’s great to look back at those who inspire you.
3. I graduated, yippee!
Studying during 2020 was no small feat for any of us students! We definitely deserve a lie-in. It was a shame that our graduation was virtual, but I’d like to think of it as a new experience. It was surreal to have a mug of hot chocolate in my hands, with slippers on my feet, watching on my computer screen as they announced my name. I also had to send in a funny picture of me trying (and failing) to climb a tree, so that it could pop-up when my name was announced.
Maybe we won’t remember walking down the hall in our caps or gowns. But we will definitely look back on that one iconic picture fondly.
4. I got back into walking
Usually around a local park for my daily dose of exercise. After putting it off for months I’ve found walking to be a great stress reliver – and it’s free!
Here are some of the benefits of walking:
5. I gifted my first shadowbox
Being artsy doesn’t always mean that a person has the self-confidence to share their work. A lot of the time they don’t. People are often self-critical about their arts or craft pieces. This year, however, I was determined to share my hobby. So, I made a shadowbox for my mum. She loved it!
Shadowbox making is a really calming activity and you can have a lot of fun with it. Here are some useful links:
There you have it! A shorthand version of my 2020 list. These are only a few of the things that have made my list, but this template shows that the simplest moments that might be taken for granted are in fact a great achievement!