I love Instagram. The other night as I was snuggled up under a blanket on my aforementioned giant and cosy chair and I was flicking through some of my snaps and saw what a great record it has made of the last year. And not just the big things that we tend to remember but also the little things that really make a day at the time.
|Little things like biscotti making. A great day!|
|2015 saw the founding of the sewing corner!|
Things like my ‘Curry Resolution’ last January which has to be one of my only New Year’s Resolutions to be a resounding success. I now wiz up curries like a pro! Or things like my first attempt at baking macarons and biscotti. Little things that you really would forget in the midst of the busyness of life if there weren’t a little record of it to flick back through.
|One of my first curries and still one of my favourites|
2015 has really been an extraordinary year. A few weeks back I said to my husband, ‘this has been the best and the worst year!’ and it really had been. Insanely tricky at times and very challenging indeed, but absolutely full of the best surprises too.
|A trip to Crete|
As I flicked back through my pictures I realised that I have managed to rack up a trip to Paris, Crete and Prague, a graduation, finishing training, moved house, was ordained, learned to dress-make and starting my first church job! Not a bad list really! Starting work at church has had a whole truck load of firsts to add to the list, first baptism, first funerals, first ‘ordained sermon’! I have ended the year in a very different place to where I started but with a sincere sense of gratitude for a year of adventure that will live on its effects for many years to come.
|Starting ordained life off right at the summer fair!|
In all this I have wondered about the nature of the ‘good year’. That’s what we all hope for as the clock strikes 12, isn’t it? That this year will be better than the one before, that this will be ‘our’ year. There is something nice about that. Always striving to get more out of life, to challenge ourselves and broaden our horizons.
But the reality is that the good and the bad is so often intertwined. It can be so well laced together that it is impossible to pick apart. The best things rarely come in easy to manage packages. If something is going to make you say ‘Wow, I did that!’ at the end of the year then it is unlikely to come without some struggle and a few tears alone the way.
Someone I read recently put it like this, in life there is death and is death there is life. As we look back on some of the hardest times in life they can be the place from which new life has sprouted up, the places that have generated real change. Likewise the truly life giving moments are caught up in struggle too.
|And ending the year with baubles a plenty!|
So perhaps I won’t look for a ‘good’ year this year, as strange as that maybe sounds. Perhaps instead I will look for a year well lived, in whatever comes. And here is wishing you the same for a brand new year about to open up before us. Happy New Year to you all.