This is the time of year when I tend to look back over the past 12 months and evaluate what has been happening.
I am aware that my natural tendency is to focus on what has not gone according to plan or where I could have done better, noticing the times when I got stuck or seemed to walk around in circles.
When my inner critic starts raising her voice, magnifying challenges and disappointments, she can easily drown out the inner cheerleader who reminds me of the many blessings and unexpected opportunities which were also part of the last 12 months.
One concept I have found helpful in gaining perspective is "Kindsight". Here is how Karen Salmansohn puts it: “View your life with KINDSIGHT. Stop beating yourself up about things from your past. Instead of slapping your forehead and asking, “What was I thinking,” breathe and ask yourself the kinder question, “What was I learning?”
When working on the above collage, I was also reminded of the importance of taking the long view and looking for blessings in disguise.
In 2013 I attempted to climb Kilimanjaro, but I was sent down the mountain before I could accomplish my goal. For years, I viewed the journey as a failure, but I increasingly see it as a journey of transformation. It ultimately had a positive impact on my life and the lives of others.
Obvious benefits included publishing a book, something I had wanted to do since I was 16, and raising money for charity. However, there are also benefits that are harder to quantify. The adventure finally got me into the habit of exercising regularly. Now that I am in my mid-50s, I still have the energy and flexibility to do most things.
The collage juxtaposes the last photograph I took on Kilimanjaro with an image I created to commemorate Easter 2020. For me, butterflies are a symbol for hope, transformation and resurrection.
I am really pleased that the collage was chosen as one of the pieces for the "Celebration of life" exhibition that will be held at Gallery 30 in Petersfield from 5th January to 31st January 2023. :)
Whatever 2022 has been like for you and whatever 2023 may bring, may you be able to look at your life with kindsight, take the long view and discover blessings in disguise.