2011: Smile because it happened
The December page of my kitchen calendar bears this quote from Dr. Seuss. I grimaced when I read it because, for me and many of my acquaintances, 2011 is a year well left behind.
As 2011 progressed, challenging event piled on top of challenging event. The spring, summer and fall blur in my mind. Every day was a balancing act of deciding which pressing matter to deal with and which to neglect for another day. The steady sequence of one thing after another and the relentless pressure baffled me. I even considered consulting astrological charts to see if there was some explanation from beyond in the planetary alignment in the heavens.
I thought it was just me.
But then I started to hear it from my friends. Time after time I heard, “I’m looking forward to New Year’s Eve so I can put 2011 behind me.” So many people I know faced unusually difficult health challenges, losses in the family, or unwelcome job changes in 2011. It was a crushing year for many people.
We want to do the opposite of what Dr. Seuss advises: cry because it happened, and smile because it’s over.
This goes against my optimistic personality. I don’t want to wish my life away. So I will have to seek and find the positive that came out of the events of 2011. And I can do that, for personal growth comes out of the trials and challenges in our lives. I’ve learned a lot.
It’s easy to take Dr. Seuss’s advice not to cry because it’s over; I am so very glad that 2011 is behind me. It’s a little harder to smile because it happened. But I will tilt my mind in that direction. Challenging as it was, I’m a better, stronger person now.
Happy New Year, and may 2012 bring many blessings and personal growth in only small, manageable doses.