Where to Find the Meaning of Life (Chapter 4)

It’s quite scary to think where 2019 has gone, don’t you think? Every year flashes by faster and faster, and it takes the whole 365 days to get used to writing the date before you realise you have to start learning it all over again! Every piece of paper gets scribbled twice over because it’s obviously still 2018, or even 2017 sometimes. Apparently, this is a sleep deprivation thing, which isn’t really a surprise. 2019 has been a pretty crazy year.

For instance, no one can deny that living in a fantasy world would be far easier, but if anyone still thinks Brexit is a space-age conspiracy or a type of cereal after this bonkers year in politics, then I implore you to find a box down your local Tesco aisles and bring it to me.

Also, talking of fantasy worlds, 2019 was the year that saw the long-awaited epic conclusion of Avengers: End Game. More than 100 million people watched the film during its worldwide opening and one Marvel fan even admitted to watching it a record-breaking 116 times! See what I mean by crazy?

Another surprise came on May 6 2019, when Prince Harry and American Actress turned Duchess, Meghan Markle, welcomed a new baby into the world! Nations united as this modern Royal family celebrated his birth, eager to discover the name of the newborn. But their fans had to endure a whole 2-day wait before a string of photographs were uploaded on Instagram (of all places…) finally announcing the name of their baby (and 7th-in-line to the Throne) – Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

Those three events may well only be scratch the surface of 2019, but nonetheless, they make a good point.

Every moment affects how we navigate our lives.

Every event has given us a discussion, a place to have an opinion, an emotion to hold. Other events resulted from these events – parties, debates, conventions etc., like a domino, the opportunities that came as a consequence were endless. And as long as there is still passion inside us, there will always be another outside moment to live for.

Perhaps those events do nothing for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s not the point here. The point is that acknowledging a world outside our own (even if it is a little crazy sometimes) is what keeps us going. There’s no magic to it. Perspective is key. Unlocking the door to happiness is not based on always living the “best” life. It’s about seeing the best in every moment, and whilst they can’t all be epic, thankfully, there’s always more than one facet to focus on.

Alongside your own story run parallel a million others – friends, family, strangers etc., which is why it’s so important that we stop reading our own pages from time to time and immerse ourselves in the narrative of another. Because no one knows what someone else is going through and a bit of kindness really does cost nothing. Seldom do people showcase all the good, the bad and the ugly parts that life has to offer. Most of us filter everything so that our lives appear better than they are, anyway. Technology has made that an easy process.

My online self, for example, is a keen traveller, avid writer and all-round positive lady. My offline self, though, has had the far less glamorous job of contending with job stress, pet traumas, car troubles, perpetual singledom and a rather rare vascular condition which causes significant pain and discomfort down my neck, back, shoulder and arm every single day.

Nevertheless, the former is who I prefer to show to the world. Even if that person can’t do those awesome things all the time, they are the memories I choose to hold dear. They are the ones that keep me smiling and represent who I really am inside. I don’t want to be defined by ill-health or by being a whiney bugger, I just want to be happy, and since happiness is contagious, then hopefully I’m still spreading that positive energy to others by cherishing the moments my heart needs to stay optimistic.

Anyway, going back to the reason behind this article’s writing, it goes without saying that we all want the New Year to be “the best one yet!”  And whilst the colour of hope is never a bad shade to wear, we must also bear in mind that 2020 probably has its own plan to fashion too.

Because life is full of surprises – some of them good, some of them not so good. In any case, our best bet is to stay mindful of those possibilities and to realise that whilst we’re not wholly in charge of fate, we are in charge of how we respond to its offerings.

We know our strengths and weaknesses, our mistakes and our achievements. We know from past experience that every problem has a solution, every bad side has a good and has every start has an end. We also know that, despite all of these ups and downs that filled us with fear, we’re still here to tell the tale. We coped even when we didn’t know if it was possible to do so. Which means that, ultimately, when it comes to another catalyst chapter in your story, be it evanescent or everlasting, the choice is yours as to how you read it.

So, next time there’s a crack in the surface of your world, remember that how you feel towards it depends on how you look at it. Is it a glass half full or half empty situation? Does a rainy day mean you can’t go outdoors or does it mean that you can finally have that movie day in with your bestie? Whatever the case may be, find the silver lining. Maybe you can’t patch up that crack as perfect as you’d like, but you can still do your utmost to make use of the light that pours through. 

The choice is yours.

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7 POSITIVE TIPS FOR 2020
  1. Accept that things don’t always go according to plan.
  2. Old dreams often unfold into new ones.
  3. Learning strengthens the mind.
  4. Wisdom is liberty.
  5. Kindness keeps the world turning.
  6. Good communication is essential.
  7. “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

Image result for diamond

Life is like a diamond,

Its worth based on the psychological value we place upon it.

Some will see it as nothing more than a pebble,

Others realise that a bit of effort is all it needs to be more beautiful. 

Pressure and time prove strength,

Darkness gives light a platform

  And if there is a will to try, it will shine through.

***Previous chapters to this annual discussion can be found at 1, 2 & 3***

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