As 2016 draws to it’s conclusion, like many I have been looking back over the past twelve months.
Undoubtedly it has been a very difficult year for a multitude of reasons. On a worldwide scale there has been so much unrest and uncertainty. Here in the U.K. We have been reeling at the unexpected deaths of so many of our dearly loved and respected musical & film icons. I think that many people are holding their breath to see if we can make it to the turn of the year without further famous people leaving us. It has seemed as if everything is coming to a dramatic peak, surely not much else can go wrong? Here of course is where a problem is brewing….
With so much difficult news in 2016 it is easy ( and understandable) for many people to blame everything that has gone wrong onto the curse of the year. But is that really the case? Disasters happen regularly. World unrest is all too familiar. Famous people die, in fact death knows no barriers, people die everyday. Undoubtedly there has been a plethora of devestating deaths this year, one star after another seems to have cut their ties with this Earth and gone on to who knows where? But is this reason enough to consider 2016 a cursed year?
It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon, adding our own tales of woe and just as in other years, there have been many. However little has been spoken about the positive side of the past year.
I can’t be the only person who has plenty to be thankful for. I know of many people who have had wonderful news and fantastic events, yet the bad news seems to be over riding this.
My foray into the writing world began in earnest at the beginning of this year. In 2015 I had taken my first writing course which opened the floodgates, other courses and workshops followed, allowing me to enter this year with enthusiasm and new hope. In the late spring I set up my first writing group. On more than one occasion I sat alone, wondering if I had made a major error, but rather than give up ( as I am prone to do), I persevered. At first the uptake was slow, then the trickle grew into a stream and soon I had to stop advertising as I couldn’t accept any more members. It has proved to be a wonderful group and through it I have made some great friends. Running this group is no hardship, It is an absolute pleasure and I look forward to it each week. Fuelled by the success of the group I applied to the local newspaper to see if they would like me to write a regular column, which they accepted. I’ve loved doing this too. Another life changer for me was finding the courage to apply for a voluntary job in a local charity shop. Despite being hard work, as it is a really busy shop, I enjoy every second that I am there. My writing year finished on a high with me completing my first novel during the NanoWriMo challenge, where Writer’s across the globe take up the gauntlet and try to complete a 50,000+ word novel during November. I doubted whether I’d succeed as I suffered a small stroke in the early days but somehow I persevered and was delighted to write my first full novel! Although it still needs editing before it can be published, I am delighted with it.
There were many other highs, including my son becoming an expectant father, as well as finding his own life turned upside down by having two young step daughters moving in along with their now pregnant mother. On the surface it would seem like 2016 has been wonderful for me and in some ways it has, but there have been down sides too. A second voluntary job didn’t work out. My newspaper column is in the balance as the newspaper itself has changed ownership and I’ve no idea If the new owners will want me to continue. My health in recent months has taken a down turn. My finances have nose dived. The point that I’m trying to make is that life is always swings and roundabouts. I could blame the lows on the curse of 2016 but surely they are just part of life?
I was listening earlier to a radio interview about some of this years’ deaths. Although most of them have come as an unwelcome shock, could it be a coincidence rather than curse? Many of the stars of the music world rose to fame in the 70s and 80s, most undoubtedly lived and played hard, many leading a less than healthy ( and legal) lifestyle in their heyday. Although still comparatively young, I wonder if many of these stars would have dreaded the idea of fading away? How much better for them to go out on a high, while they were still adored by their followers. I can’t imagine some of them rotting away in a nursing home in their 90s. I’m sure that would have seemed like hell! We are the ones who will miss them, their creativity, their inspirational songs, music, words. Perhaps their demise reminds us of our own frailties. Many of us were fans from our youth, now they’ve gone. What about us? Will we soon be following? Of course it’s possible, but most of us have lived a life far removed from that of the stars. So many of them found sobriety and became drug free in later years, but I daresay that the damage was already done. These departed stars may be gone but they have left their inspirational works and the music will always be part of the soundtrack of our lives. When the majority of us pass on, there will be no major outcry, no public weeping, we will leave this earth, missed only by family and friends. But surely that is the way that life has always been and always will be?
I may have waffled during this blog but I just wanted to show that live has it’s ups and downs, always has, always will. Yes it’s seemed worse this year but there have been many positives to offset the negatives. So when you look back over this past year, don’t fixate on the sadness and misery, look for the good things, I’m sure there are plenty! And when you raise your glass to the New Year, by all means hope for nirvana, but don’t be surprised when life doesn’t turn out perfectly. Everything needs to be in balance. There needs to be good and bad. That is the way of the world. That is real life.
Despite all of the above, I too will be raising my glass ( non alcoholic) to welcome 2017. We all need something to focus on, something to look forward to. We all need new challenges. Let this coming year be the year that you take steps to achieve your goals. May your dreams come to fruition and I hope that it is successful, happy year.
Take care one and all. Till next time,
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