Brave New Year, Brave New Me

Happy 2017 to you all.

I am always excited by the start of a New Year, the new opportunities and experiences that are ahead – as well as the period of sobriety and lack of excesses I impose upon myself (and a grudgingly accepting J) during January, to heal our bodies which are broken by Christmas and New Year gluttony.

New Year was a rather drunken affair at the barn, where I am assured I became a rather verbose host to our friends and neighbours – who politely endured my waffling.  The following morning my friends suggested I take my one woman drunken show to the Edinburgh festival in a bizarre homage to Alan Bennett.  So I hope I was vaguely entertaining….my memory of the whole thing is a little hazy, so I’ll just cling to that hope.

Over the festive period we’ve also taken the opportunity to watch lots of films ranging from Ant-Man (fantastic, loved the concept, loved the ants), Saving Mr. Banks, The Lady in the Van and Pride.  I’ve laughed at them all, cried at some and learnt things along the way, about myself and the world around us.  Saving Mr. Banks made me want to be a better parent, to give the children memories that they’ll cherish, and the importance of being a good role model through the good times and the bad.  So maybe 2017 will give me the gift of more patience and less ranting – though so far the gift has eluded me, but it’s only day three so I still have time to work on it.

Pride made me think more about injustice, about how strange it is that some humans can hate so deeply that they want to bring chaos and harm to others.  This could be because of people’s sexuality, their religious beliefs or their skin colour.  I have always had a deeply held belief about what is right and wrong, and the world around us confirms it isn’t a belief held by everyone, but I think it was put best by Bill and Ted when they said we should “Be Excellent to One Another”.  We have a limited time on this planet – no matter what belief system you buy into, you have to agree with this – so I really can’t understand why some of us spend that time finding reason to hate others rather than finding reason to appreciate our differences.  And this isn’t just limited to individuals; whole organisations and parties are borne of this love to hate, to fear, others that maybe aren’t exactly like “we” (whoever the “we” is) think they should be.

Despite my firmly held beliefs though, I’m not very confrontational and don’t always have the courage of my convictions, and I maybe don’t stand up for what I believe in enough.  So for me, 2017 is going to be a year where I try and get better at that too.  I’m just not really sure how yet.

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