A Look Back

Bring out the sweaters and socks. Tissues too, for all those runny noses. It’s winter again. And winter means, it is the end of the year. Where did the time go? Going through my kids’ winter clothes from last year, seeing how tiny they look, tells me that a lot of time has passed – a whole year in fact.

So, 2017. You have ended. I don’t know how I feel about that. I’m happy yet sad. It was a year full of changes but if I really reflect, I would like to say a year full of triumphs. My daughter, Noor, started talking in full sentences. Her personality started shining through –as did her love for horses, makeup, my high-heeled shoes, and peanut butter. My son, Ammar, got fully potty-trained at last! He also started speaking in English which he picked up from school. 4 years old and bilingual, I’m proud of that. 2017 was the year where I started to focus on myself more; working for Hissah Enrichment Center as well as some personal ventures. My husband figured out some of his career goals this year, which was a big breakthrough for him. My dad retired in 2017 after over 40 years of working and my parents moved back to Pakistan, settling back into where they spent their childhood. Let’s just say 2017 was jam-packed with change and it has been memorable, to say the least.

Time to Reflect

So, what has 2017 been like for you? If you look back, can you pinpoint the highlights of the year? Maybe you started a new job, found that special someone, or had a spiritual reawakening. Or maybe it wasn’t such a great year – a loved one fell sick, an opportunity was missed, or someone close to you passed away. For most of us, it is usually a mix of ups and downs. So much happens within a span of a year, yet before we know it, it is New Years’ Eve again.

So, 2018. What do you have in store for us? It is scary, yet exhilarating thinking about it. But, whatever the next year does bring me – good or bad- it is okay. There is nothing that I won’t accept. This attitude is new for me, another triumphant product of 2017. I have learned that practicing the art of positivity and mindfulness does wonders. Living, enjoying, and really experiencing your present state. Where you are, what you are doing, what you are grateful for, the goodness of being YOU. Facing every situation with an open heart and mind and as much positive energy as you can muster.

The Human Spirit

Human beings, since the beginning of time, have survived so much – war, famine, sickness, displacement, heartbreak, loss. The list goes on and on. Yet, look at how much we have achieved and how far we have advanced as a race. The technology we have developed, the cities we have built, the breakthroughs in medicine, science, understanding the human mind. Despite all the horrors and hardships found in the history of humanity, how did we collectively manage to accomplish so much? The answer is simple…Resilience.

It is one of my favourite words. In literal terms, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, it means “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness” or “the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity”. If we apply this definition to ourselves as humans, it is striking and so relevant. In one individual human life, in how many different shapes and forms do we manage to recover and bounce back from setbacks, hurdles, obstacles, and tragedies? It is this innate ability which allows us to flourish and prosper.

If you go deeper, you realize that resilience is not a generic term. It applies to each of us differently, depending on how we view it with respect to our particular lifestyles and value systems. It holds a different meaning and worth to each of us individually. To one person, their cancer-fighting mother could be the definition of resilience, while to the other it could be getting through a tough exam with the flu. The bottom line is that our relationship with the word resilience is a very personal and specific one.

A Deeper Look

So, now that we have explored this beautiful word a bit, what does resilience mean to you?  How do you interpret and understand it? What impact does this quality have on your life and your overall wellbeing? Every single day, we can find one example or the other of resilience, if not within ourselves, then in those around us. It is just a matter of paying attention. This quality of resilience is what I am most grateful for as this year draws to a close and a new one begins. I find it in myself, in my elders, and even in my children as I watch them brush away their tears and dust off their clothes after a bad fall. It is present in all of us. We just need to find it.

Wishing you all a very prosperous, enlightening, and beautiful 2018.