Sunday, 30 December 2012

LIFE OVERSEAS: A record of wonderful things

CLOSING A CHAPTER: How to make the transition from one year to the next

AFTER tomorrow, 2012 will belong to the past. Repetitive dates such as 12.12.2012 will only happen in the next century, the earliest being 01.01.2101.
I feel rejuvenated when ringing in the New Year. Once again, a fresh slate is granted. Life begins anew.
All our yesterdays are left behind. Most of us do not realise that we have a priceless gift each year — a natural reset button.
However, some people have mixed emotions when it comes to this time of the year. It may be the inability to accept the occurrences of the past year, or being unable to face what is to come.
So how do you make the transition from one year to the next?
First of all, reflection is good. It is indeed extraordinary to look back on the year that has just passed. It either feels as long as a century or as brief as a mere whisper.
Usually the first memories that come to mind are the bitter ones. They tend to be hurtful recollections due to loss of opportunities or loved ones or even personal regrets. People tend to dwell on their shortcomings and forget about good things.
Secondly, try to change your perspective on painful memories. Instead of grieving over the loss of a person, appreciate the time you spent with him. Learn to treasure the life lessons you have learnt, which made you stronger, after a heartbreak. Without hardships, you would never be the person you are today.
Then comes the part that we all tend to forget, the most important of all — give thanks. Think carefully about the many blessings that you have received. They may differ in significance but we should be grateful for small blessings nonetheless.
Look at the simple things that made your day such as your mother’s offer of an iced beverage after a tiring day at school or your dad dropping you off at the shopping mall.
What else is there to be grateful for? Did you forget the last packet of instant noodles you found in the cupboard when you were starving? Or that RM1 you found on the ground?
It is only when you list these tiny yet meaningful events that you realise how much happiness you have. As they say, it is the little things that count.
But it is only after you have reminisced about the bittersweet memories that you can finally close that chapter on 2012. You can put a seal on it and look upon it fondly. You can then smile and heave a sigh of relief that you are alive and well.
So when the clock strikes 12 and the fireworks and cheers are heard, you too can rejoice and be excited about the New Year. Think about surprises, unforeseen adventures and countless stories to add to your memoir.
Why not start a journal or a blog next year? And for each time you have something to be happy about, write it down. Before you know it, you will have a record of wonderful things.
So the next time you are sorrowful or distressed, read your journal and smile.
Smile because it is good for you. Smile because you should. Smile because you can.

The writer is studying at a high school in Ireland. She loves to try all things but is a Malaysian at heart

Read more: LIFE OVERSEAS: A record of wonderful things - You - New Straits Times

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