Here we go again

I rang in the new year last night on the Millennium Bridge with a couple of hundred strangers and good friends.  Danced on the tube, popped bubbly on the street, I kissed a stranger on the lips at midnight and ate soup with the most beautiful Swedish man in my favourite bar. We laughed, we sorta watched the fireworks and we toasted to a great, new year. For some of us, we wanted to leave behind not-so-good things that chased us in 2011 and look forward to a bright beginning.

But the most important thing I learned in the last year is that life is what you make of it and what you want from it. The more you put in, the more you get back out. I’m a Yes person at heart and being open to things can sometimes be risky but the rewards are so worth it. Saying yes to things has connected me to more amazing people and adventures in the last year that I could ever have hoped for. So… to saying yes more in 2012.

I love this guy, no idea what he is singing about.

Jonathan Johansson – Efter skimret, efter snön

Simple but significant

 

I love this time of year when people are embracing change. Anything seems possible with a new year ahead of you. Lululemon and places like Holstee all have these affirmations on their brands and sure they are trying to sell you something but is there anything wrong with selling hope and positivity? Brands that encourage you to get out there, get fit and healthy and focus on making yourself happy, I could stand to see more of these in the world.

Maybe it’s all that west coast positivity that rubbed off on me in Vancouver, but growing up with the Irish ‘can-don’t’ mentality, I need a reminder of that ‘can-do’ as much as I can get it. The future is built on messages like this; engagement and outreach are the only ways forward.

Takeaways from this video.

Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them.

Wherever you are, be there fully.

This definitely resonated with me. Cursed with a restless nature, I always want to be moving or doing something else. Living in the moment can be hard to master. We focus too much on making ourselves happy in the future and not enough of just being happy in the present. When you meet someone, do you always have to think ‘is this person the forever one?’ Or do they make me happy now? Sometimes that is enough.

The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.’  

Since I have friends in different places, it can be hard to keep the connections and some suffer as a result. I got to do a little bit of this watering the grass when I went home for the holidays. I caught up with friends I’ve known for 10 years but lost contact with. We danced and laughed and ate pizza at 2am. Of course, things don’t get better overnight but connections can be remade when you make even a little effort.

Everyone will take away something different from this video, some will probably even dismiss it as sentimental bullshit, but it’s there and it’s how people feel.

 

 

Illustrations of life

Life lessons are always easier to take when they are accompanied by quirky illustrations, aren’t these great? (comics by alex noriega)

 You can always sugar coat, a little 😉

This is my favourite. I’m always late to the game, so it makes me feel better.

Sometimes yes but not always, I hope.

Word, son. But we still feel it, right?

 Life happens.

True story, bro.

I hear ya.

To 2012

I don’t know about you but I am really excited for 2012. A new year for untapped potential, adventures and fun times. I’m starting as I mean to go on, leaving behind 2011’s dramas and getting ready for a fresh new 12 months.

A few key things I’ve loved about 2011:

#thepeoplewhoshowup Our very own hashtag dedicated to friendship. Raise a glass to the people in your life who show up for you. If you don’t know what it means to show up for someone, then maybe you can learn this next year.

‘This is a once in a lifetime thing’ To more people saying this to me in 2012, even if it means getting out of bed in a tent at midnight to splash in the cold ocean and see phosphorescence for the first (hopefully not last) time in my life. Once in a lifetime thing, I live for this shit.

I’ve never done this before Then you definitely should. Goes double for I’ve never eaten this before 

Surprising myself  To more experiences where I push myself out of my comfort zone, perhaps this means strapping into a harness and forgetting any fear of heights.

Defying Expectations The great thing about a new year is that you don’t owe anyone anything for it. Defy people’s expectations of what ‘you always do’.

Growth However many mistakes made and wrong turns taken, you learn eventually to stop beating yourself up about it, figure out the lesson and grow to use this knowledge for the next time.

Be grateful for friends made, relationships that mean something, adventures that open you up and lessons that change you.

This is the first year in a while I’ve no baggage weighing me down. It’s just a new year and I am delighted to see what it holds.

            
I hope there are more ridiculous hats.