The Importance Of Reflecting On The Last Decade & A Simple Message For The New Year

new year message for 2020 and the importance of reflecting on the last decade the ash tree journal

As family and friends have gathered on New Year’s Eve and in the New Year, thoughts of the last decade – whether intrusive or subtle- have come up. I mean, the start of a new year is upon us, it’s only normal to celebrate the year to come and “zone in” on the one we have left. 

2020 marks the beginning of a new decade. For many of us, it feels fresh to start a new decade, especially as growing adults. And I can imagine, that the term “decade” can bring in a sense of confusion, especially with the reminder that we are getting older and much closer to our death. We have lived many typical days, filling it with many, many mundane things and haven’t really thought much about our existence.

In a moment, our minds deviate and we think: Where has time gone? How is it already 10 years past? And then, the big questions come up in our minds : “what have I achieved this year?” “What would I change?” “What will I always remember?” 

But, why bother with the past? What is really the point? 

The time was there. Now, it’s ticking, toking. Tik. Tok. Before you know it, it’s just about gone, again. 

Each year end, I try to avoid the waddling thoughts that lead me to reflect upon the year spent. I surely avoided it in 2018 & made just one active resolution for 2019 ( See here

Sometimes, the moments of disappointment and grief may be sharper than the moments of pride and hope. Now, we have 10 more years to digest the weight of hope and loss a little bit more. But then, what if we don’t look back? What if we allow the memories to fill and avoid the panic of time passing? 

{Reflection can feel like exposure}

Reflection can feel like exposure

Reflection can soften the edges of the sharp memories that stand out the most. Reflection can bring back those in-between moments. As we tease the moments that are quieter, we can paint a picture of life that is happening and life that has happened. Through reflection, we can bring back memories and we can breathe life back into a moment. And then we will really see the past decade for what it really is : Our lives.  

The truth is that we have all lived, we have lived every moment in the past 10 years. The last decade did not exist simply to give our future a lesson or trial that made us stronger. Our years are more than just a checkbox or steps we have to climb. 

Be encouraged that when you venture back into your memories, you are not alone in facing disappointment, regret and grief. Hear me when I say, you are not the only one. 

{The New Year}

In the new year, let us remember that our years are a measure of us, who we are. They are all worth remembering. If the past 365 days weren’t made valuable by the achievements you have to show for them, then perhaps they are just valuable, because you are. 

As we approach a new year and decade, will you be brave with me? Are you willing to hold space for the memories of the past and what they have to offer?

We can sit in the discomfort of a large chunk of time passing before us, and in it, remember that we existed for each moment whether they make us proud or bereaved. We remember that though we can never hold a moment in time, we can always hold space for life. 

We remember that though we can never hold a moment in time, we can always hold space for life. 

In the New Year, I want to acknowledge that 2019 probably brought a lot of hardships and ultimately, growth with it. You might still be in the middle of a difficult time, but a new year is always a symbol of hope and new beginnings.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to keep to “resolutions”; be grateful and be gracious with yourself.  Wherever you’re planted, bloom with grace. Don’t listen to lies, surround yourself with positivity and truth-filled people. Finally, accept the fact that you are a beautiful work in progress. No one has ever been like you, no one will ever be, so embrace all of who you really are. 

Happy New Year!

Written & Edited by : @theashtreejournal { Instagram }

Post Inspiration : Darling, Magazine

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