Thoughts: Focus on the Positive


Over on Facebook I’ve been posting a ‘Good Thing of the Day’ each day this year.

Why?

It has occurred to me that we spend far to much time thinking and worrying about the bad things. And not only the bad things that actually happen and impact us but also the imaginary bad things we dream up that could possibly happen. 

Some of you know that the last couple of years for me have been fairly challenging. 
Thankfully I am wired that I tend to not let these challenges occupy my head too much, but there are definitely times when the dark twin comes out of the shadows and reveals himself. 

I have learned to focus only on the things that I can control and change, and I am actively engaged in this process at present. I have zero control over the actions of others. I have total control over how I respond (note: not react).

My positivity posts are designed to reinforce one idea: That no matter how crappy your day is, there has to be One Good Thing that you can find. I have found it to be incredibly useful for me to take a few minutes, disengage from the busy-ness and simply reflect. Reflect on the people met. The conversations had. The tasks completed. The new thing tried. The successes. The opportunities.

The more I’ve done this, the more my outlook has changed. It gets easier to see the good things in my life, and easier to acknowledge these good things. It gets easier to be grateful for the good things. And easier to express my gratitude.

Will I continue to do this? Yes. Will I continue to post to Facebook at the risk of being boring and repetitive? Probably. I don’t have an endless supply of cat GIFs after all.

That’s that then.

2013 is done and dusted.

I am pleased to see the back of what was, for me, a particularly challenging year. (I also note that it has been a particularly challenging year for many people. The Year of the Snake, perhaps?).

It’s time to reflect. To remove the old stuff of the year from my life to make room for the new stuff that will come my way in 2014.

The absolute highlight (and the thing I’m most grateful for) is that I spend time with my kids often and I am loving seeing them continue to grow into very cool, very promising people. They’ve both had a great year at school and I’m really looking forward to spending time camping with them in January. Their presence in my life is grounding when all else is swirling about uncontrollably.

I didn’t achieve a great percentage of the Resolutions I made this time last year. This was primarily because the majority of them required finance which wasn’t readily available.

That being said, I did establish a gym routine (which suffered in the last third of the year due to routine changes and business distractions). I did tone up and strengthen, and I anticipate re-establishing that routine in 2014. I did learn that I don’t find going to the gym a solace or ‘me’ time. I don’t actually find it relaxing. I’m not sure how to go about changing that. It would be helpful if I could.

I did go on more walks (making good use of the boots I bought for this purpose). I did explore more of Auckland and its surrounds. I had a very enjoyable long-weekend in which I explored Northland (as far as Cape Reinga) with the girl. Amazing scenery and lots of wine.

I still loathe running (or more accurately, walk-jog-walking) so I tend to avoid the opportunity to do this.

I did get to read and relax. I am very happy in my own company and do need this type of time to recharge. I have learned that if I don’t get to hermit, I start to hate people. This, of course, isn’t entirely helpful.

I totally failed in my grand plan to learn to speak Japanese. There is a significant time factor involved. Perhaps I need to calendar it, and set up conversational Japanese classes regularly. That one goes in my 2014 list of to-do’s.

I’ve not traveled overseas since late 2011, my expectation is that I will make up for this absence in 2014. I didn’t get to Malaysia for a friends wedding (regret). I didn’t get to the UK to see my mother and family (regret). Even my kids got to California this year. I love to travel and discover new cultures and people, and I feel bereft if I don’t do it.  It doesn’t help that I do some work for a travel agent so I get to see email after email of travel bargains and exciting destinations. I’m extremely twitchy and the idea of hopping onto a Boeing or Airbus right now is appealing.

Business has been interesting this year.  I’ve been focused on getting my business stable and cutting unnecessary expense across the board (achieved). There has been a lot activity missed out on, but I’ve had my eyes firmly fixed on the end result. January sees a new beginning and the efforts of 2013 will have paid off. I’ve had some great clients that I’ve been working with, as well as some that turned out to be less than ideal. I’ve learned some tough lessons with respect to separating business from personal. In learning how to detach emotion. I’ve come out of 2013 a little harder and a little wiser than when I went in. I am grateful to those that supported me through these trying times.

Emotionally, I think I’m in a better place than I was a year ago. I do hope I’m more open and vulnerable. The guards still go up pretty quickly if certain buttons are pushed, but I think I’m getting better at verbalising what I’m feeling and reacting to. I do feel I did not spend enough time with people this year. I certainly didn’t spend enough time with those closest to me. I’m hoping to be more visible, available, and out-and-about in 2014.

2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse (Jan 31-Feb 18, 2015). I like this overview for us Roosters: “Those born in Ox, Snake, and Rooster years will use patience and determination to support a foundation for success. What you sense about people and environments will be quite accurate. People are drawn to you. It’s an ideal year for research and developing your skills in any area of interest.”

Bring it on.

2014