A new year always seems a good time to start afresh, and 2016 appears to have been the friend of very few. So we make haste to change. This year, I will make it better. This year, I will do it all differently. This year, I will be a New Improved Person. We make our resolutions, and then we immediately break them all. Because we are, after all, the same person that we were before the bell tolled midnight on new year's eve. And then we tell ourselves that we are failures, and we give up all attempts at doing something different.
Personally, I wonder if we are too quick to throw away that old year - all those old years - and launch into something new. And yes, maybe there are things that we might want to do differently, but that doesn't mean discarding the past. If anything, it means learning from it.
Too often we only see our failings, our faults, the sad times, the bad times. We look at what we have not achieved, and not at what we have. If we take a moment to stop and genuinely reflect on what we have done with our lives, I think many of us will come to realise that we are not such failures after all. I hope that such reflections - looking at what we've achieved, and what we have survived, what has made us stronger or wiser - can spur us all on to do whatever it is we want to do. Because at the last, it is ourselves that we must satisfy in order to be content.
I hope that we all find contentment in the coming year.
I like to imagine myself being a very old man, and looking in my trophy cabinet of life, remembering those climbs and adventures and thinking it had all been worth it. Probably the thing that bothered me most, especially the older I got, was not the fear of dying, but the fear of getting old and realising I'd let doubt and fear stop me from living the life I'd really wanted to live."
- Andy Kirkpatrick, from his book 'Psychovertical'