The past twelve months have not brought many reasons for Planet Earth, or it’s inhabitants, to celebrate. From election results that made me wonder if I had been transported to an alternate reality, to revelations about behaviour that made me feel angry and powerless. Each day of 2017 seemed to increase my levels of astonishment, fury, despair and absolute astonishment. And rage.
As we draw to an end of this dreadful year, I ask myself what I can celebrate; I always reflect on my successes at the end of each day, month and year. It’s a positive, reflective opportunity to acknowledge my achievements and since my change of pace (from a too hectic “doing” life to a more present “being” one) one that helps me notice the little things that make a big difference to my wellness, my friendships and the lives of those I love.
There have been plenty of things to celebrate in my world during the last year, and when I stop looking at the overwhelming world-picture, one I can have very little impact on, and focus instead on my tiny, and rather beautiful, corner of Carmarthenshire, I see far more to be positive about than I imagined. Each morning here, we sit in awe of the view from our window and watch the birds. We start each day with a celebration of the decision we made to move here, thanking each other for the brave and bold move me made.
It can be so easy to focus on the negative news, the social media sensational stories that beg us to share the misinformation, stirring up hatred and ignorance. All too easy. It takes a bit more effort to focus our energy instead, on the positive stories, the daily heroes who interact with others and change lives, the things happening in our communities that we can be proud of. Stories of hope and change. Stories to celebrate.
They are there if we look for them; and when we choose to put our effort into finding, sharing and liking the good and the positive, when we spend time looking for things worth celebrating, guess what happens? We find them! We find them and enjoy them, and gain strength and hope from them, and when we share them with our friends and family, they smile and enjoy the thought that “there are things to celebrate in the world”.
I’m setting myself a challenge for 2018 and I’d love you to join me. I’m going to find more to celebrate. I’m going to go out of my way to share things I believe will encourage other people to celebrate the positives in their lives too. And let me be clear, I’m not hiding my head in the sand or pretending that everything will get better for Planet Earth whilst I’m focussing on the positive. I am not going to be silent, I am not going to sit back and let the world continue on it’s self-destructive path without speaking and peacefully protesting in any way I can. And I will do that in a positive way, celebrating my ability to express my opinions in a (relatively) free country.
Who’s with me? I’d love to know how you’re going to celebrate more in the year ahead, and what you’re celebrating about 2017 that gives you hope.