After a horrendous 2013 & 2014, which was a wreck - personally and in general with several tragedies, 2015 has been rather pleasant.
That being said, there were some painful losses this year... to death, and to stupidity. While the latter is definitely not worth mentioning for obvious reasons, one of the saddest moments was in February when I lost my aunt to cancer.
As cliche as it may sound, the loss taught me to appreciate what I have and never take anyone for granted.
This subconsciously led me on a mission of rekindling relationships.
I went on to make several bold attempts to take the first step (and many consecutive steps) to reach out to these people.
I'm happy to report, each and every attempt worked out well.
Of course, the pessimist (and drama queen) in me began to think - hmmm, this is what usually happens when someone is about to die soon. They reach out to send out much delayed apologies, overdue gratitude and just a hey, I care about you.
But I quickly realised that it is also what many people do not get to do until it's too late and there's no worse feeling than regret.
So, I learnt to listen to my heart and if I felt like saying hello, or contacting a long lost friend, I just went ahead and did it.
I started putting more thought into the gifts I buy, to make it more meaningful to both me and the recipient. And to let them know what I really think about them. Instead of just To and From, I wrote messages to go along with the gift.
There is almost no way to regret saying what you really feel to someone who matters.
And chances are, it will be the best thing that happened to that relationship. And when done repeatedly, it only gets better. What's the point in keeping it all in? What are we waiting for? National Appreciation Day? The only thing appreciating while we wait is the property prices and the dollar!
Here's one example that summarises it all.
In June, I read an article of an ex-colleague and it was a great piece. I then realised that there are many writers out there who I admire and yet never reached out and told them that I did. And we writers know that feedback, compliments and critique are all we ever work for (hence why we're almost always broke). So I shared the article and told her I loved it. She tweeted me back, thanking me and telling me how she bawled her eyes out writing it too. That was her last tweet. She passed away on Christmas morning after a hard-fought battle with cancer. I never knew what happened in between. And while there's a tinge of regret that I had failed to asked her how she was coping, I was glad we had that last conversation. Though I may not be as close to her as the many who were privileged to be, I'm honoured to have known someone who is best described as beautiful both inside and out. Time to rest, Elaine.
In the process of rekindling old friendships, I also made some new ones - really great ones. Blessings really do come through when you open the doors of your heart.
To those who have been part of my pleasant 2015, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And no, I will not let the gratitude rot here in my age-old blog. I will continue reaching out and telling people exactly how much they mean to me, or what an awesome person they are, or if they're wearing some real kick-ass shoes.
Even if it's a sign that my life is going to come to an abrupt end soon, I'm glad that I'm doing this now. And will continue to do so till my last breath.
Signing off the year with much love and light,