Reflecting on 2015

POST DATE Dec 22, 2015

AUTHOR Udo Jahn

We’ve arrived at the end of another year. It’s amazing how quickly this year has gone by. I can’t help but reflect on what has transpired over the last 12 months. Like many people, my thoughts revolve around family, friends, and my workplace. These days it seems like our lives are very complicated, but thinking about the ending of a year can really put things in perspective.

Many people have lost close friends or family members over the past year. The holiday season makes us sit back and think about those we’ve lost. We miss them, and wish we had spent more time with them while they were here with us. It would have been nice to spend at least one more holiday season together, enjoying their company and celebrating what binds us.

However, we get so busy in our lives that we set only a small percentage of time aside for those that are still around us. Too many obligations, or things we deem too important to miss. It seems that our calendar fills up very quickly, especially during December. We also have to find time for those weekly chores that our households require. We are thankful for handy apps that help us schedule our busy lives more efficiently, supposedly freeing up our time for more important things, but do they?

Many of us have also experienced high levels of stress from all the things we have encountered this year. Conflict is one of them. It seems like there are so many unhappy people around us, and they really want to share that unhappiness with the rest of society. We find ourselves getting wrapped up in many of these conflicts that can totally consume our time. They even cause us to lose sleep, and at its worst, can manifest as health issues.

Speaking of health issues, we have had to manage those also. Worrying about our own health consumes so much of our time, and brainpower. We also perhaps worry about the health of others. Rushing to make it to doctor’s appointments on time adds to our complicated schedules. After rushing to make the appointment, we find ourselves sitting in a waiting room for extended periods of time with other ill people worrying about their health too.

The holiday season also adds a lot of pressure to our lives. There is a time consuming preparation period that is required to properly plan for the holidays. Running here and there for gifts and décor, we seem to get lost in the hustle of late December.

During all this running around, I found myself standing in a fast food restaurant to quickly order a burger and fries. Thank goodness for the sake of my health that I got some plain water with that. My mind was filled with all of the thoughts I mentioned above, and even more. Tragedies and remorse, conflict and family health, economic issues and problems, etc etc etc.

So I get my burger and fries. I am very hungry, but I decide to take a short rest. I sit down at a table and open up my burger to eat it. Then I look up. In front of me at a nearby table is a family enjoying their meal. The mother is quietly feeding their teenage quadriplegic daughter her meal. My hunger is instantly gone. All my problems are instantly gone. I realize how lucky I am.

For the rest of the year, I am going to stop worrying about tragedy and the economy, and instead cherish every day. My calendar is freeing up quickly. Turns out so many of the things I thought were too important to miss weren’t that important. I am going to take a moment for myself to reflect, and then start making much more time for others in my life.

Sometimes it just takes one small thing that you see during your day to remind you to stop worrying, stop rushing, and just enjoy the life you have. I feel a lot happier now and thank goodness! This is going to be a great holiday. Best to all of you, and your families, for this holiday season and for all of 2016!

Author: Udo Jahn

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