Letter to my one-year-older self – a Savoir Vivre Vignette
Dear one-year-older Self
At the dawn of another year, 2023, you are looking back at 2022. I am sure, you have to admit that as I predicted at the end of 2021, it was a year filled-to-the-brim with a few optimistically expected and many thoroughly unexpected miracles.
In 2022, you took maintaining a gratitude attitude to hither-to unscalable heights. Knowing the benefits of keeping a gratitude diary you consistently made a gratitude list every morning and evening. Looking back through your diary, you notice that mindbogglingly beautiful sunrises and deep, restorative nights’ sleep featured regularly on your morning lists. On your evening list, you find short descriptions of better-than-every-before days as well as reminders of heart-warming and mostly undeserved relentless support from your friends.
Amazed (you really shouldn’t be, I told you that you could and would succeed) you make a list of what you have achieved in 2022. You have learned a LOT. Some of the learning was formal and you can now add a couple more certificates/diplomas to your name. Most of it was informal: life experiences and life lessons that invited/coerced/forced you to grow. I suspect that there is another book in your not-so-distant future, in 2023, titled “My Year of Miracles.”
2021 lies far behind you now, on the eve of 2023, but you no doubt remember, intentionally vaguely, how difficult a year it was. A year characterised by the most stressful life transitions that a person can experience in a lifetime, all happening in the same year. On the eve of 2022, you decided that the suffering of 2021 will remain in the past, where it belongs. Filled with hope, you made up your mind that you are only taking what you are grateful for and you have learned from that darkest-of-dark years into 2022.
With firm resolve, you headed into the new year, 12 months ago, intending not only to record what you are thankful for twice a day in your diary, but also to share what you have: your time, attention, energy and resources with those you love and with those in need. You finally clogged what 2021 was trying so ridiculously obviously to teach you: that the more you give, without expecting anything in return, the more you receive. 12 months ago, to the day, you were hosting a New Year’s retreat, and together with your retreat guests, created your own treasure map for 2022. As you look at it today, you are filled with wonder at how this map came to life during the year and how far you exceeded your wildest expectations. “Think big,” you suggested to your guests, “Think huge! The crazier the better!” You followed your own advice and here you are, at the end of an outrageously successful year.
IN 2022, you were not “anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, presented your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guarded your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.”
“What you get out of the new year will depend largely on what you put into it.” Dr Margaretha Montagu
I have to say goodbye, for now, my retreat guests are waiting for their New Year’s Eve dinner. Dear one-year-older-self, I can’t tell you how much I am so looking forward to meeting you in 365 days’ time.
PS. If you are interested in attending a Miracles MasterClass in-person/virtually, subscribe to Dr. Montagu’s mailing list and you’ll be informed when the next masterclass is scheduled.