Sunday, 5 January 2014

A new year must always bring hope!

Well it has finally arrived, 2014. We seem to have been thinking about it for a long time,in a similar way to talking about Christmas from September onwards! Traditionally we give these events a massive build up, and I personally wonder, if once the days have arrived, we are quite glad, to get back to our normal lives, as we are fed up with hearing about them. This year in the UK, almost for the entire break, the weather has been atrocious, with constant wind and rain, bringing chaos to many people. This is still continuing into 2014. I also understand that the weather is poor in many parts of America.

Unfortunately, I was not well enough to go out on New Year's Eve, as I traditionally would have done. We have celebrated in many different ways over the years, from small gatherings to massive parties, however I don't know whether it is my health or my age, or maybe a combination of both, but I now prefer a quiet one at home. 

For most of us, I guess the New Year brings a logical place on our life's time line to review our past year, and start planning the next one. Since my illness, I have found planning very difficult, but I do think about the direction I want my life to take, even if I can't control the speed it goes at!
I have done a bit of 'spring cleaning,' removing certain things that I was involved with where I was gaining no satisfaction, to free up time for new projects.

Most people I have spoken to in recent weeks, seem to be very keen to see the back of 2013, and accelerate into 2014. "That was a bad year for me, so I am pleased to see the New one." It feels like they believe a change in date will bring an immediate upturn in their fortunes. 

This made me think about how last year was for me.To be honest, it was pretty average by my standards. My health was up and down and unpredictable. I had some really good times, with some of the projects I am involved in, but was also pleased to see the back of others. Friends died, and babies were born, we had weddings and parties to attend. To sum it up, there were highs and lows, but since my illness, pretty much an average year. 

Which made me wonder, how other peoples lives compare to that? If you had to summarise, your year, would you say it was average? As I watched people going wild around the world, I couldn't imagine they were thinking that they were going to have an average year.They had hope, that next year would indeed be so much better than this one.Actually, I always have that too. There is a lot of potentially exciting stuff lined up for me in the New Year, but I talk and think with caution now. Maybe that is experience? 

Hope is an emotion I have always had, even when I was given my original prognosis.It is actually what keeps me going. It ensures that I think positively, because I do believe that amongst the bad stuff in our lives, there will be some really good things. Sure, if I want to, I can recall vividly all my health problems, but I try to keep them to the back of my mind as best I can. My issues will never actually go away it seems, but I have to believe they will.

Without hope, we really would have nothing. The small team has to believe they can beat the big one. In our personal lives we must feel that we can progress, and that even the very pinnacle of our careers is achievable, even if we may not want to get there. For me President Obama is the perfect example of what can happen when you have hope.

So, are we all riding into the 2014 on a new wave of enthusiasm, after celebrating the exit of 2013? I imagine not! Some of us are going straight back to our routine treatment, as if nothing has happened. A couple of my friends are awaiting news on test results done in the holidays.I just don't know what is going through their minds right now. People up and down the country, are trying to keep their businesses and properties safe from the terrible weather. But we know that eventually things will get better, we have hope and resilience.

My simple thought, which I say every New Year's Eve is "I just hope next year is better than this one." Are you  hoping for something special from 2014? What would you like it to bring? Maybe you love all the celebrating and have a different view to mine. I would love to hear from you! 

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  1. dear Chris,

    happy new year to you and your family!!! I wish you all good things and many happy surprises in 2014. I loved that you put so much focus on "hope" in this post. such a wonderful gift to have to keep us on our hind legs. the miracle of hope is that it is an ever-evolving entity that is always there for us. perhaps we hoped in the beginning that our diagnosis was a mistake, but when we knew it wasn't, our hope was that our treatment would bring us a cure. if a cure was not possible, hope did not leave us, it simply evolved into what we needed it to be in the next phase...and on and on. when I cared for dying patients as a Hospice nurse, I found that reviewing the evolution of their hope, from diagnosis to then actively dying, was still holding firm, albeit in a different frame - the hope there would be no pain, the hope that dear family and friends could be given the support and guidance they so needed, the hope that for many, there would be something waiting on the other side when the dying slipped the bonds of their earthly lives, peacefulness and freedom from the wretchedness of pain and sorrow. with following up on my patients, I saw hope personified, still present, there to comfort and help the loved one's survivors to be able to realign their lives and go on to live purposefully and meaningfully.

    when one has hope, it seems to lead to setting goals. for me, as a new widow and once again, a cancer patient, hope and the goals that live right alongside it, are what keep me afloat. the fluidity of hope carries over to being more flexible with the goals I set - a little tweaking can be huge, and in this life, nothing is written in stone! and when even some of the hopes and goals fall into place, the floodgates of gratitude are flung open to bathe and cleanse and restore with it's beautiful and soothing balm.

    dear Chris, I wish you and all your readers the enduring gifts of hope and gratitude. and I am glad that you were able to find comfort and contentedness just being at home on new years eve. and who knows, that party animal inside you may well have the chance to show itself once again!

    much love and light,


    1. Hi Karen

      A happy new year to you too.I'm so pleased you liked the subject I chose to write about. You couldn't really have summed up my thoughts any better! Your personal experience is wider than mine, but I was with you, in everything that you described above.

      As the new year came upon us I just felt that we just had to have hope that things would improve. If we didn't have that, life would be very tough. You are so right about sometimes thinking our diagnosis is a mistake. I think that constantly, and even when receiving the news I remember asking the doctor, if he had the correct file!

      I do indeed live my life with hope, Karen, and I hope that things improve for you in 2014. My party animal days feel a long way back now, but who knows?

      I feel very privileged that you feel able to share some of your very personal thoughts and emotions with myself and the readers. We are all learning a lot from you.

      Much love, Chris xx

  2. I guess some people need to draw a line in the sand and see it as a fresh start. For me Jan. 1st has never been that line. But there are moment, big or small, when it does feel like life resets. I think hope is a wonderful thing. It helps me face the big unknown of what comes next, and I hope brings you good things in this new year. ~Catherine

    1. Hi Catherine

      You are right about drawing a line in the sand at some stage. I do it quite frequently actually, as I am finding that things are changing so quickly these days, that I am constantly having to readjust my thoughts and plans. So many things seem to be happening that are out of our control too.

      I have often felt that without hope we have nothing. Like you it helps me through life, but it is not always easy for some people to find it!

      My best to you and your family for 2014, and I hope it brings you many good things, Chris x