I didn’t plan to write about my year in review. I guess I don’t think much of New Years.
People on Facebook post “new year, new me!” I think these posts are ridiculous. Why should the new year change who you are?
Many people don’t keep their new year’s resolutions. Isn’t this enough to show a different year doesn’t change who people are?
Despite this, I’m going to write about my year in review. I had an amazing 2015. The purpose of this post is for me to express my gratitude to the past year, and touch on what I hope to accomplish going forward.
“We Should Go to Europe!”
In early April, my girlfriend asked me if I would like to go to Europe with her in the summer. Travelling Europe was a dream of hers. She would be getting her Bachelor’s in May, and the upcoming summer would be the perfect time to travel.
I’d never been out of the country before. I was hesitant. I read news stories about horrific things that happen to tourists.
You know the stories – terrorist attacks and random acts of violence.
Prior to the trip, I did my research. I read about people who got pickpocketed or scammed.
I read horror stories about people getting caught in the airport or losing their luggage.
Oh yeah, my other concern had to do with the 10 hour flight from the U.S. to Europe.
I knew flying is safer than driving. But I still had thoughts of the Malaysian airline plan that randomly went missing.
Despite these (completely irrational) fears I couldn’t say no. These worries weren’t going to prevent me from taking the trip of a lifetime.
“I can’t wait to go!” I said to my girlfriend with slight hesitation.
I’m Grateful I Had This Opportunity
I’m grateful I could take a month off from work and travel. This isn’t a privilege that many people get to have, and I had it.
In July, my girlfriend and I traveled throughout Spain by car for two weeks. Afterwards we hopped on a plane to Amsterdam, Netherlands for a few days. Then we took a train to Cologne, Germany for a couple of days. Then a short bus trip to Brussels, Belgium. And finally one last flight back to Spain to visit my girlfriend’s family for a week.
A Wonderful Learning Experience
I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to observe different cultures and the different ways of life.
I was exposed to the Spanish culture of taking afternoon siestas and lunches being the biggest meal of the day.
I saw a more laid back, slower pace of life in these countries. Contrast this with America, where everything is quick, full-throttle all of the time. The slower pace of life was a nice change.
I’m grateful that I got to see many beautiful landmarks. I saw countless Cathedrals throughout Spain, including those in Avila, Seville, and Barcelona.
I also got to see breathtaking museums in Amsterdam and Cologne. Museums which chronicled the rise and fall of Nazi Germany in World War II. Others that exposed me to the art of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
I’m grateful because I found a greater appreciation for the world.
I appreciate the other cultures that share the world.
I appreciate how far we have come as a civilization.
What Else am I Grateful for in 2015?
Going to Europe was the trip I will never forget. But it’s not the only thing that I’m grateful for in 2015.
I’ve learned to become more present. I’ve learned to live in the current moment.
In years past I would fret about the future or the past instead of enjoying the present.
As a result, my mind focused on those things that I cannot control right now.
I’ve learned to live in the present and savor each and every day that I have.
You Know How You Savor a Good Meal?
You smell the food prior to eating. You chew the food slower, and try to identify its many flavors. You strive to make every bite count.
This is my new approach to life. I try to savor every moment that I have. I don’t rush to get things done.
I’m more present. I live in the current moment. I work daily to become more aware of where I am and what I am doing.
As a result, I’m more in touch with myself. I better recognize how I really feel.
If you read my last post, I don’t worry about the past or the future any more. Life’s too short to worry about those things. Time is just an illusion. All we have is the moment that is given to us right now.
I’m extremely happy with 2015.
Most people are ready to turn the calendar over to the next year. They hope for a better year. This year I don’t feel that way. I’ve grown a lot as a person. And I couldn’t be more pleased.
Moving On to 2016
I’m not asking much more from 2016 than I got from 2015. But, if I had to list out some goals, here they are:
1. Continue to learn every day.
Learning keeps you young. It makes you grow.
Not only that, but growing and learning helps you identify opportunities.
I also talked about this in my last post. I strive to make every moment a learning and growing opportunity.
2. I want to help others more.
It’s easy to focus on what I want.
In 2016 I strive to help others out more.
I think I do a decent job of this, but I would like to improve going forward. And I want to help others continue grow and learn as well.
That’s why I enjoy blogging so much. If only one person learns something new from what I write, then I have accomplished my goal as a writer.
3. Create an ecommerce business that will allow me to quit my job.
This last goal is one that I’ve been working at for a couple of years now.
I want to make money selling products online. This goal is completely unrelated to this blog. I have no intention of making money from this blog.
But I do have plans to grow my ecommerce business online. My goal is to generate enough income that will allow me to quit my job and focus on this business full time.
If this doesn’t work out, will 2016 be a bust? Of course not!
I had a goal of generating income from eBooks in 2015, and I failed miserably. And here I am, calling 2015 one of my best years ever.
These are my goals. But they’re not really goals as much as they are reminders. Reminders of who I am and who I would like to become.
What about you?
What is one thing you are grateful for in 2015? And what is one goal you would like to accomplish in 2016? Let me know with a comment below!