Reflecting on a year

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?


“Seasons of Love,” from the Broadway musical Rent


Here we are again, just a few short days from the closing of another year. With the stroke of a clock hand, we bid farewell to one year and welcome a new one. Between 11:59pm and 12:00am, both everything – and at the same time, nothing – changes. Life rolls onward, bringing remnants of the last moment along for the ride as we enter the next moment.


It’s a time for us to reflect on the last 525, 600 minutes, and to consider how we have used that time. It is a time that many people create goals for the coming year, in hopes of creating a better life one day at a time. If it’s been a hard year, the transition from one to another can feel like a relief. Even if you wake up in 2019 and the circumstances that plagued you in 2018 remain the same, it can feel like a fresh start.


There are a million articles about New Year’s Resolutions, how to set them, and what to do when you struggle to keep them. Set them or don’t set them, that’s up to you. What I’d like to do today is to help you find a new way to review the last 525,600 minutes as you close one year and step into the next.


Relationships that nurture


Many of the articles I write focus on what’s difficult about toxic, emotionally abusive, or narcissistic relationships. There’s a lot of pain there that deserves to be acknowledged, heard, and spoken to. But it is equally important to celebrate the relationships that are defined by nourishment, support, and love.


What relationships have fed your soul in this last year? Which ones have brought you joy, made you feel seen, heard, and loved? What is special about those relationships?


Think about the people in your circle that meet the needs your narcissistic loved one could or cannot. Take a moment to send a thought of appreciation and gratitude out into the universe for those relationships. And maybe send a verbal thank you to those people as well. We all need love to thrive, and a nurturing, supportive, unconditionally loving relationship is worth celebrating and treasuring!


Passions that inspire


Do you have a special hobbie, recreational activity, or – if you’re very lucky – career that brings you true joy and passion? Something that inspires you to develop a skill or talent, brings you pride in your accomplishments, or simply warms your heart to do?


Celebrate your passions. Think about the times in the last year that you have felt truly, vigorously alive. Even, or maybe especially, if you were never taught or encouraged to pursue those passions. You have interests, skills, and talents that are unique to you. You get to celebrate those, whether or not a narcissistic loved one can do the same.


See if you can spend some time before the year ends engaging in a favorite activity or passion. Your passions can inspire and motivate you. What better way to ring in the new year than by celebrating them?


Love that you give


Just as important as the relationships that nurture you are those that allow you to bring your most loving, compassionate Self into the relationship. What relationships allow you to feel the most You? What friendships, family relationships, and other connections spark a feeling of openness, connection, and loving acceptance?


And when have you been able to shine that loving light inward, giving yourself some of the same care and affection that you give others?


Whether bringing love to your own soul is something that comes easily to you, or tiny sparkles that peek through dense cloud cover, celebrate the love you have to give. Giving love to others is most easily done when you can bring love to yourself as well. Give your heart a hug and see if you can be thankful for its capacity to love yourself as well as others. Loving yourself can be a work in progress – the point is that you have the heartspace and the love available to give yourself. And you deserve what you have to give.


I hope that your 2018 has been a year of growth, love, and joy. And my wish for you as we approach 2019 is that the next year will bring even more.


Happy New Year, my dears!