Tuesday, 30 December 2014

New Year Thoughts

Another year is approaching a new dawn, prompting many to look back at the last twelve months and forward to the future. In some ways my own year has been one of the worst of my life and yet I don't really feel that's entirely accurate. I'm writing this as a press conference is being held in Indonesia announcing that 162 families will never get to see their loved ones again. As awful as losing a parent is I don't think it really compares at all with what those people are going through.

This has got me thinking about how important it is to live your life as part of a society, as a cog in a greater machine. When my dad died I was overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers, friends and family alike. The strength they gave so generously got me through those first confusing and distressing weeks, so that four months on I feel like I'm processing and learning to live with the new reality. Without that support I genuinely don't think that would have been the case; thank you to everyone who was there for me, even if it was just a text message. You'll never know how appreciated it was.

So if I've learned anything from the last twelve months it's to be kind, even if you don't think it will make much difference. I've also learned to live well, and as happily as you can. Embrace the lessons life gives, even if it was unasked for. I learned what loss feels like. I also learned how amazing people can be. I learned how much I appreciate the people in my life.

So whatever you're doing for New Years, give someone you care about a hug, even if it's a virtual one. Raise a glass to those who you've left behind and to those you haven't met yet. And above all: Be excellent to each another.

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