2014 was an extraordinary year… full of mundane and remarkable, disappointing and pleasant, worrisome and uplifting moments.
Like any other year you would say and you’ll probably be right. However, there were quite a few events that made this year unique on different levels. Looking back at the past 12 months I see a number of lessons and aspects worth mentioning. Before heading into 2015 with new hopes and aspirations, it’s good to take a little time and think about these. What did you learn in 2014? And who were the people who shared the year with you in all its ups and downs? Here is what 2014 meant to me… it all its facets.
Hard work pays off, but is it worth it?
I almost feel like yelling “Yes, it is!”…, but to a certain extent.
While I feel 2014 was successful – I learned a lot, earned appreciation, and moved along professionally, it was also the year in which I’ve asked the question “Is it worth it?” much more often than before. A question always worth asking and thinking about.
I tend to believe that I am a resilient person, and yet this year almost has almost proven me wrong. An accident in January left me in bed for a week (which didn’t prevent me from working), I spent both Easter and Christmas sick. Interestingly enough, the symptoms of sickness always started right before public holidays and ended when it was time to go back to work. Keeping this in mind, I would still confirm that hard work pays off and is worth it, but taking care of oneself and knowing when to stop is much more important. There is still a lot I can learn there.
And the loser… ahh winner is… my personal life
Spending time with loved ones was not easy this year, but 2014 was definitely the year in which I realized even more strongly than before how important this is. Amidst and despite all the stress I did manage to take time for people close to my heart, but almost never found time for myself and couldn’t manage to revisit old friendship and keep in touch with people I felt I should. Still a lot to be improved here, but a 2014 of realizing that the focus should be slightly shifting.
Disappointments: a bad aftertaste, but liberating at times
A clash of values, lies or manipulation came in the way of working or personal relationships this year. I learned that in such situations talking about it openly might help, but in case of no solution there is always a point at which the trust is broken and there is no further common ground. Yes, it is sad, but it turns out a good thing after all as it liberated me from expecting the impossible in interactions with these people. I went through that a few times this year and looking back at these situations now they feel eye-opening and seem more like a relief than a burden.
Understanding other human beings is so close and can be yet so far
Do you sometimes have the feeling that people talk to be misunderstood or listen to misunderstand? Background noise, different experiences or cultures, intentions or misinterpretations, expectations… all of them and more left misunderstandings behind. Putting bias out of the way can make communication and life in general so much easier. It’s probably naïve to think that bias-free communication, but we can at least give it a try. I’ll do that more often in 2015.
People make the world go round!
Despite stress, disappointment, misunderstandings… it’s people who caused and were part of all spectacular moments this year. People who made me laugh, jump for joy, who made me re-think, who inspired me to always go one step further and look forward to yet another source of learning and yet another way to get better. I am fortunate to have gotten to know better quite a few wonderful human beings in 2014 – some of them have been accompanying me for many years, other truly entered my life literally months ago. Many of them listened to me patiently and let me listen to them, trusted me and created a basis for me to trust them… they were there to take part in my joys and successes, but were also there to share my sorrow and didn’t hesitate to reach out to me when they needed me, they let me be part of their life and shared their moments of joy or distress. Many of you might not even realize that they made a difference in my life in 2014, others are well aware of that. I learned so much this year, made incredible human connections and kept on discovering aspects of human nature that made me ponder and wonder… To all of you who shared this year with me and made it worth remembering – I cannot thank you enough for your trust and reliability, for being who you are!
I truly hope 2015 will bring us more health, prosperity, joy, and a myriad of learning opportunities.
Happy New Year!