Monday, 19 December 2011

2011: accentuate the positive

All year I've been complaining about the shitty year I've had. This is my right as an Englishman. It's also been a complete waste of my time. Trouble is, I've started to believe my own propaganda. Last week I got some bad news. Personal stuff, you'd not be interested. But the point is, it stopped me from blundering blindly along, bemoaning my misfortune over the last 12 months. It's been alright. It's actually been better than alright, it's taught me about being a human being.

What I will take from 2011 is that you don't need unendingly positive things to happen to you for them to be positive experiences. In fact, much of what has happened to me has ultimately led to stress, worry and sadness. I've lost a grandparent who was a significant part of my upbringing. I've lost my cat who had been part of my life for over half of it. Friends have moved away, moved on, moved up. And there's nothing but the prospect of more to come. But that's OK because 2011 has taught me I'm equal to it.

In fact, 2011 has taught me that I can be better than it. I've never made more new friends in a year as an adult as I have in the last 12 months. And that's not through things falling into my lap. It's been because I've put myself out there to do it. I risked rejection to do it but ultimately didn't encounter any. It's been a learning experience, and like any learning experience I'm not there yet. I have been slow to adjust to all the new things. This will get better and I will be better in 2012. I've been a good friend, a new friend, an old friend and I'm afraid to say, a bad friend in 2011. Not bad for any other reason than blindspots, laziness and not realising all the things I could and should have done.

There are a couple of people who I feel I've treated particularly shabbily and I'll be trying to redress that balance and keep it redressed next year.

But like everything else that has come out of 2011, although I don't feel good about having done that, I'm not feeling good about it for good reasons, positive reasons. I'm not beating myself to a pulp in a corner over some perceived internal failing. I let myself slip, I recognised it and learnt from it.

2011 has been really tough going, but I've got through it and I'm a better person because of it. And it's not just me thinking that, independent adjudicators have confirmed it. Which is particularly pleasing to me. 2012 promises to be the hardest year of my life. But I'll get through that as well.

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