Thursday, 27 December 2012

Backwards and forwards

It's a sure-fire bet that, at this time of year, most newspapers and magazines take a retrospective look back at the year that's passed.

So as you cross the last few days of 2012 off your own calendar, what do you see through the rear-view mirror?

Perhaps like many of us, these past twelve months will have been a mixed bag, with some good times and others that were less so. I think we tend to reflect back on times by looking through a filter which is tinted according to how we currently feel.

If you're going through a rough patch at the moment (and of course I hope you aren't, but sympathise if you are) you may feel that many of these last 365 days were overcast ones. If things are currently better for you (praise the Lord) maybe you'll view 2012 as really not that bad.

However, while we can perhaps learn from the way things went this year, what's done is done. Without a time machine we can't go back and tweak events. They happened and, well, that's it.

You and I can choose the way we view them, though, even if it's simply to say 'thank goodness that one's over'. More constructively, we may choose to be grateful for whatever good times came our way, and look for the possible meaning behind periods which we'd rather forget.

Of course things will be different in the media in a week or so. Once 2013 begins, it'll all be about looking ahead, with forecasts, speculation and what to expect.

So maybe rather than spending too much time in review, the time of year presents a good excuse to find a few things to look forward to. Perhaps it will be someone's birthday? The arrival of Spring or Autumn? Or a new book from a favourite author?

Having something to look forward to is good, even if it's only being able to move on from turkey sandwiches.