A Brand new Year


There is something kind of exciting about the start of a New Year. It naturally encourages a healthy bit of self reflection about the last 365 days: the successes, the sadness, joy. I always look back at the last year and am surprised by how life can throw up the most unexpected things. Although the last year has more then its fair share of heartbreak, I try to focus on the unanticipated positives. I love that life can throw us happy curveballs too, especially if we aim high and work towards them., and stay optimistic. I’m not a fan of New Year resolutions, but I do like to reflect a little on what I would like to achieve with the gift of these 365 days ahead. I build a plan, but I am always aware that life will shift my plans around , and that is fine too. We should not be rigid. Life is a fluid and ever changing seascape, and swimming with the tide is less exhausting than swimming against it. I think about the things I could have handled better in the last year, and what lessons could be learned by this. Mistakes, I believe, are only mistakes if we do not admit we could have done things differently or better, and learn from it. I think we should look at our choices analytically , but without judgement - for ourselves or other people. Its ingrained in us to be judgemental, a part of human nature, a kind of survival mechanism, and a hard habit to break. However, although life is a beautiful treasure of unexpected and amazing experiences, it is also stressful and exhausting and we need to remember most of the time we are all just doing the best we can with the situation we find ourselves in. I do not know a single person who isn’t dealing with complicated and worrying issues running constantly in the background of their lives, even if most other people are unaware of it. It is something to remember as we interact with each other daily, in sometimes challenging circumstances. Cut yourself, and others, a bit of slack. A difficult goal, but one worth striving for.

A cliché, for sure, but life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it, this is your life, your story. Are you happy with the way its being written? No better time than the beginning of the year to check in on your world. A life mini-audit, so to speak. We get so busy there is hardly a moment to breathe and ask : What makes me happy? What brings me peace ? What is holding me back from the things I long for? We may get pulled by the currents in a different direction to the one we chose, or the one we expected, but we can decide how we respond to the stresses and challenges life throws our way. Every single day is a new chance to be better and change the way we do things. That is an incredibly exciting prospect.

www.claireinkson.com

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© 2016 Claire Inkson. All photographs copyright Claire Inkson

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