Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Four lessons I'm taking into 2015...

So... I'm still stuck without reliable Internet access. Which is why I've been so very quiet lately.

Still alive. Quite well. And... camping. Yep. My family of five members, three dogs, six cats and a parrot are currently living in two caravans, since we're living on a farm now where we still need to build the house.

Add to that the fact that it was silly season (not sure if it's the same up north, but in South Africa, at least, EVERYTHING except retail closes or is reduced to skeleton staff at end November.) which meant that we couldn't submit the planning permission required to start building. (Nor, for that matter, could we even have the plans drawn.)

Anyway. As I mentioned quite a few times: last year sucked. And... well... things didn't simply snap back when January 1 dawned. I'm still carrying the wounds from last year and there are still a few things (like an announcement on Facebook by someone I thought I'd unfriended, but I forgot to unlike her page) that hit me like a punch to the gut.

At the same time, though, I am feeling better.

Because... for now at least, it's all over. By the end of last year, the things that went wrong, did so spectacularly. But the fireworks are over. Now all I have to deal with is the smoldering remains. Which is quite a nice change, frankly, after so much drama and explosions.

For one thing, it's so much more... peaceful, which means that I've written almost 70 thousand words since December started and I've read a third of the amount of books I read in 2014, in the first week of January.

I'm getting a lot done at the moment, and in doing so, I'm actually doing a lot of other things as well:

1) I'm trusting God. Honestly, last year was so hard towards the end that my trust had been shaken. But now that things are calming down again, I'm able to gain some perspective on 2014. And it's something I just do know: Even if I don't understand, God's still there, and He still has my back. Now that I remember that again, I'm peaceful, which I can't honestly say is a state I've been in since mmm...  I don't know... December 2013.

2) I'm working to forgive. This one is hard. This is the one where all nature of things remind me of what went wrong, who wronged me and how they did it. Once I used to be an angry and vindictive person, and it could be so easy to get back to that, but the truth is, no matter what, the one who gets the most damage from me not forgiving is me. So what's the point? These people hurt me. Quite a few of them cut to the quick. My automatic reaction to go cut even deeper than that, but in doing so, I would lose myself. Which hurts me even more. By acting on this desire for vengeance, I'd only be hurting myself in ways that no one else ever could. It's not worth it. They aren't worth my happiness. Besides, I happen to believe that people get what they deserve. If not now, then in the afterlife. God's job is to judge. Mine is to learn, let go and move on.

Neither are easy, but both are doable. It starts with a few prayers for help. It continues with listening to that soft, gentle voice inside. It finishes with taking the right actions. Like unfollowing/unliking someone rather than leaving a nasty comment. Like knowing that at least I can continue living my life without having compromised on who I am. And...

3) I'm being grateful. Sometimes, this is all the perspective we need. Because throughout all the bad stuff that went wrong in 2014, there is much to be grateful for. Like... we're all healthy and alive. And we found the perfect place to stay (the fact that there's no house aside.).


4) I've regained hope. At some stage, I've given up hope that things would ever be okay again, but they are. And they will get better. I just need to keep going.

How was your year in 2014? Any lessons you're taking into 2015?