Closing Doors on 2013

Hi there Dear Readers,

Well, 2013 is almost officially over. I’m not sure about you, but for me, 2013 has been a bit of a roller coaster. How was your 2013? What would you say is your happiest memory of 2013? And, what is your least favourite memory of 2013?

In terms of world news, 2013 saw its fair share of highs and lows. For most of us, the passing our beloved Madiba was certainly a very sad feature of 2013. Something good that did happen this year, in my opinion, was the election of the new Pope – Pope Francis. Irrespective of what our religion is, I think it is important to acknowledge the major effort that Pope Francis has been making in terms of encouraging love and compassion towards our fellow beings and also towards all sentient beings.

I’ve come to realise that many people feel a bit down at this time of year. It’s pretty normal to reflect on the year that was, and to think about all the sad and difficult things we experienced. Part of being human means that we are going to go through challenging times as well as, hopefully, joyous and happy times.

I think it is important to remember the following:

  • Nothing ever stays the same;
  • Everything has a beginning and an end (no matter how unpleasant those endings are);
  • We all cry at some point;
  • We all laugh at some point;
  • Whatever situation we are in now, at some point, it will come to an end;
  • Just as we know that life is difficult, we also need to know that life has the potential to be good;
  • No matter how we are feeling right now, it is possible to have something positive to look forward to;
  • Irrespective of how challenging 2013 was, there must be at least one good thing that happened to us in 2013.

In my mind, I am seeing the end of 2013 as the closing of a door, and that there is a new door opening just around the corner. It’s as if I am telling myself that there is a new journey waiting for me, a new door for me to walk through. Anyway, it’s not as if we have a choice in the matter – we are bound by the passing of time, and whether we like it or not, we have a new year to walk towards.

New open door

We may not be feeling very optimistic about what is on the other side of the door ahead of us. And this is understandable. It’s also understandable if we are feeling anxious about all that which will be coming our way.

But like I said, we have no choice. We have to go through the new door. The ‘old’ door (2013) has almost completely closed behind us. The only option is to go through the ‘new’ door (2014). There is no option B.

Sometimes, saying goodbye to a closed door can be a good thing. I think it is important that we acknowledge that we got through the year. And we should be proud of ourselves for getting through the year!

So, picture turning your head and looking behind you. Picture a door that is almost closed. Acknowledge that you successfully made the journey. The almost-closed door behind you (and the open door ahead of you) should be a symbol that you made it.

For many of us, some of the things that are behind the almost-closed door (2013) are very painful. But if you could pick just one moment from 2013, a moment in which you felt happy, what would that moment be? A moment in which you felt happy to be alive. A moment in which every single colour around you looked more beautiful. A moment in which you felt you wanted to be in forever. A moment in which you felt that just maybe everything is going to be okay.

My happy moment

Think about that moment. Be grateful for that moment. And may there be many more such moments for you in 2014.

May your new door bring for you excitement, happiness, adventure, achievement and love. No matter what the door ahead of you looks like, don’t be afraid to step through it. You can do it.

National Day of Reconciliation

Today is National Reconciliation Day in South Africa.

The word ‘reconcile’ comes from Latin reconcilare “to bring together again; regain; win over again, conciliate,” from re- “again”  +concilare “make friendly”.

In other words, reconciliation is all about making things friendly again.

As human beings, we all have issues and / or people in our lives that we need to ‘bring together again’, to ‘regain’, to win over again’ and to make ‘friendly’ with. No matter where we live or what we do during our waking hours, there are unresolved stories, dramas or tensions that we need to pay attention to.

I know that dwelling on such things can be difficult and emotional, and I know that most of us do our very best to avoid experiencing difficult emotions. It is much easier to aneathetise our minds using our various coping strategies – TV, social media, food, sleep, harmful substances etc. I can completely understand that spending time thinking about our still open emotional wounds is far less fun than most pastimes.

What do you have in your life that you need to bring together again? What unsaid words do you have to say? Or, what too hastily said words do you have to apologise for?


I am going to end off this blog article with a few lines from a poignant poem that I came across in a poetry anthology:

Crimson Lentils

“And I’m sorry for how I used my words like blunt and bloody daggers;

And I’m sorry that I barred your exit when you really wanted to run;

And I’m sorry for every tear I made you shed (even the ones you didn’t let me see);

And I’m sorry that we are on two different mountains;

AND, I’m so very sorry that I turned out to be a bowl of crimson lentils.”

Remember, say the things you need to say.  Sometimes we need to eat humble pie and say ‘sorry’. Sometimes ‘sorry’ is the closest way we can say ‘I love you’.