Optimism Getting Dressed

2016 will go down in history as one of The Worst. Years. EVER. It’s true. You are not alone. (If you escaped, congratulations. The rest of us cannot relate to you.)

The bizarre thing about 2016 — the facet that has been the hardest for me to resolve — for all that was awful about this year, the few high points were really high. The exceptions were major. The good was some of the best I’ve ever known. I guess it had to be, for balance.

Just so you know, before we go too much further, I am not going to make you read a list of my “accomplishments, milestones, and successes.”

I keep reading these year end review posts, where the author shares all the gleaming, glittery, wonderful things they did — and some part of me commends them, I really do…

But no matter what I’ve accomplished — and I honestly have done tons of shit — there’s something about the whole “Here, sit down, let me get you a cookie and a cup of tea while I talk about myself” … It just bugs me, man.

It brings out this bitter, sarcastic voice within me. It does. I’m admitting it.

So, anyway, one of these wonderful posts — by someone I truly admire, by the way, because I would not have been reading it in the first place — challenged me to actually make a list of what went right this year.

I was busted.

I needed to humble myself and start with some basic gratitude reframing. I did.

And so the part of me that is generally lit up, lit up, and was like:

“Do this.”

I did it.

And I had them — the accomplishments, the milestones, the successes.

They looked different in print. I was impressed, seeing them there like that. How in the hell could I have ever failed to acknowledge this much? How did I forget?

But, as tempted as I am to shove those accomplishments, milestones, and successes in your face and scream “Ta-dah! Look what I did!”

I’m not going to do it.

Because I’m assuming you might find that as annoying as I do.

What I will do is challenge you — encourage you, truly, wholeheartedly, without an ounce of bitter sarcasm — to make that list for yourself.

What went right for you this year?

If nothing went right for you at all, list everything you’re grateful for.

(I know. You’ve heard this a million times. All the unicorn people preach about it. But have you really actually literally sat down and made that list yet? This year? Do it. It works.)

Bonus Exercise:
This ain’t over. We’ve still got three weeks before we bury this year, and there is time to end strong.

Pick one thing — just one — from the list of things you wanted to accomplish this year and never got around to.

Pick the one likely to have the most impact. Do it. Just the one.

You won.

Slade's signature

Image credit “Optimism Getting Dressed” by h.koppdelaney via Creative Commons

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