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The indescribable pleasure of New Year’s Eve; another hike through time and finally standing there at the peak of the year, immerged in breathtaking views. Letting the gaze wander and the mind taking a stroll through the recent past, these lush pastures of future dreams. No matter how the year went, whether the landscape is dominated by some gloomy valleys or bright heights – allow yourself and your thoughts a rest, turn around and look back. This might not be the landscape of life we shaped throughout the year, but one that shaped us. New Year’s Eve is never the valley between two years; it’s rather the peak of the old and the foot of the new one. We cannot catch a glimpse yet of the vistas that are awaiting and even though we may vaguely discern the way ahead of us, it almost certainly won’t be the same in retrospective…

The intricate tightrope walk

One of the biggest challenges might be to keep balance. Being resistant to change may keep us on the rope for a good while, but it won’t lead anywhere. It matters where we go and that we move at all, not where we are standing now or where we come from.

“Nothing endures but change.” ~ Heraclitus

I like how this ancient aphorism serves as pattern for our times alike, since “The only constant is change” indeed. Referring to the “high wire of life” again, there are two types of change: the wind and your own steps. The wind blows with variable intensity and it might be quite a challenge to withstand and react to its fickle nature, facing change that is beyond our power. However, equally important are our own steps; decisions small or big, acting and making for change ourselves.

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” ~ Dalai Lama

This might be one of the most approachable New Year’s resolutions ever. It’s probably not so much about the place itself, but rather the act of moving and discovering. The longer we stay in one place, the more blurred becomes our sight, our perception. Standing in one place for the very first time will open our eyes and unfold a map of wonder in front of us. Wring out your mind and soak up some mundane marvels. Travel and go places. Not only see them, but also be there… I try to seek such new vistas every year for my birthday.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius

Probably the trickiest ingredient for a happy life and another balancing act indeed. Only some of us are actually creative and bold enough to dedicate themselves to a truly enriching mission. Some others may still be in search of their true vocation and yet others settle for making a living instead. Nothing wrong with it since we probably need to compromise in life – as long as we don’t have to sacrifice too much. Compromise is temporary and we should dare to be happy, determining what price we want to pay for earning money. I’m well aware of the fact that the recent job is not my actual vocation but time may come when both will become one…

“There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning.” ~ Christopher Morley

If I were to choose a single New Year’s resolution, I would probably make it the following: “Never stop!”. The aim to stay curious and retain a certain longing for the unknown, the idea of continuously shaping life and personality, the ability to marvel at the mundane, the will to learn something new and so much more. It may sound terribly hackneyed, but there will be 365 opportunities… I’m looking forward to a path paved with love, wonder, laugh, happiness, creativity, joy, trips, music, books, magic and moments ahead with curiosity being the compass. And in a year’s time looking back on the characteristic landscape that formed the year and shaped myself, some lush pastures of future dreams… Happy New Year(ning) and let’s be creative with the 300-odd opportunities ahead!

winter warmth by Annalisa Turolla

winter warmth by Annalisa Turolla

Categories: Stories

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