When the Year End is closing in and the New is in close range, it’s natural to start thinking of what has been, what might have been, and what is in store. I can only remember a few years like this one, where I was glad to see the year behind me. The first such year was the defining year of 1995. The year I grew wise beyond my age of a mere 19. My mum had suffered from cancer, and on New Year’s Eve I was told the battle was lost. I never really spoke about it with my mum. Or at least I cannot remember doing so. But I do recall feeling a strange feeling of dread mixed with excitement. The latter may seem strange, but I don’t think I fully comprehended the impact of my mother’s death. I don’t think I fully comprehended it all until years later.
The second time I had a year-closing in the region of 1995, was in 2004. Equal to 1995 I didn’t celebrate Christmas at home, but in Cornwall with friends and family, in a bid to escape a year full of deceit, defeat and an impeding court case. Luckily I was not the one defending myself, but then again we had lost nearly all to a rough lawyer (or so he claimed himself to be) that wrecked havoc with our personal finances. I couldn’t bare spending Christmas in a 45 m2 apartment where I felt the walls were closing in on me. But we were received with open arms elsewhere, and it made an impression I will never forget. Luckily the next year picked up, and I bought the house I am currently living it. But the impact it had on the family was everlasting.
This brings me to this year. 6 years on, and another bad year which is coming to an end. I choose not to call it catastrophic, as I have yet to experience something really terrible. We live, we learn and we move on. But still it was not one of the easiest years.
When bad things happen, they tend to come in clusters. Perhaps in the same way good things do, although we have a tendency to take the good things for granted.
I left my previous employer of 5 years, I embarked on a short-stint job which in hindsight I shouldn’t have, I was diagnosed with some obscure neurological syndrome called Brown-Sequard, possibly due to MS which still needs to be confirmed (I pray it never will). To top it all off with a court-case, and my bad ass year was complete.
There might have been some karmic law involved here, as in the grand scheme of things I had been a lost soul ever since that year of 1995. Even though very focused on achieving personal stability and wealth, I realise now how off I truly was. I took for granted my family as well as personal health, with an imbalanced focus on work (I can’t even call it a career because what did I achieve in the end?) on the expense of my family…and myself.
Perhaps I needed an illness, someone to tell me a shitty prediction of what life would be. I consumed anything and everything about MS learning that I had a life expectancy of 30 years after onset. It wasn’t that difficult to do the math that I would be 63 before death would consume me. An age my mum never had the luxury of achieving as she died at the mere age of 56.
The last weeks, and only the last weeks, I’d like to point out, have I started to re-evaluate the meaning of life. I have been thinking about karma, I have weighed it against the notion of being (or at least appearing) strong and hard in order to succeed (NB: all measured according to the western notion of success), I have thought of the afterlife…or the lack of. I’ve found solace in that my children will live on to carry the seeds of my family. Genetically I am considered secure. I have two offsprings and can die happy whenever death decides to strike. I’d prefer to live to be a 100, without wheelchair and crutches if I had the choice. Not that it would really matter when I’m passed 80.
But something tells me, what happened in 2010 is something that shouldn’t be dismissed, nor forgotten. I can choose to put it behind and forget, or I can draw wisdom and knowledge from it and change. It might have been a fucked up year, but only because I couldn’t handle it…or I just didn’t know how to. Because no matter what comes on our path, it’s all down to how we decide to see it. It’s really just a matter of a glass half full or half empty.