You Were Awesome in 2015

And you probably will be awesome again in 2016.

This evening while I was busy with the usual, dull, day-end chores, I was doing what I always do at this time of year, which was to think about all the ways I’d failed in 2015. I was never thin or fit, even when I wasn’t pregnant. There’s a string of projects, both in and outside of work, that are either languishing or have never even made it out of my head. There are things I meant to do for people that I never got around to. I meant to save more money. I meant to master more operations. I meant to have more people over for dinner. I didn’t read enough fiction. I didn’t read enough textbooks.

Does everyone do this? Do we all limp into the end of December, exhausted and defeated, and think ‘I should have done better’? Why do New Year’s Resolutions always seem to be about trying harder next year, rather than just trying to be equally awesome? Year-end is obviously a good time for reflection, a good time to sit down and take stock. On this war-ravaged, over-heating planet, in this angry, unequal country, we should all constantly be trying to be better human beings. But surely that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing a good job already?

This evening, my friend Jen and I each found five things we were really proud of ourselves for doing this year. These things weren’t necessarily very important, they weren’t necessarily things that millions of other people don’t achieve every year, and they didn’t necessarily benefit anyone other than ourselves. But still, we were proud that we did them, and listing them made us feel good about ourselves. Listing them reminded us we are capable of big, difficult things, and that next year we can make ourselves proud again.

There are many things I want to achieve in 2016. Some I’ll probably get around to, some I’ll do well, and some I won’t do at all. But those are next year’s problems, and I’ll think about them after the holidays, when the new year starts cranking into gear. For now, I’m thinking about the things I did well in 2015, and raising a glass to myself for those.

How were you awesome in 2015? Even if you don’t reply to this post with a list, write it down somewhere anyway. You deserve to congratulate yourself.

My Awesome 2015

  1. I finally completed my Master’s in Medicine.
  2. I was a good mom. I know kids probably turn out the way they do in spite of us rather than because of us, but I’m proud of the person my two year old is becoming, the things he learnt and the ways he grew this year. I think I had a little to do with that. I’m also proud that we had a new baby two months ago, and that for the most part we’ve kept it together as a family, have never forgotten that we love each other, and have never eaten fast food more than twice in one week. (This last part helped by the fact that we purchase amazing, home-cooked meals from my friend Ammy which save us once or twice a week — inbox me for details).
  3. I was useful at work until the day I went on maternity leave. I missed a day here and there, I avoided some particularly difficult operations, but I was still a functional part of the team until the very end.
  4. I travelled overseas. I know this is a thing that was more of a privilege than an achievement, but I flew alone with a 2 year old when I was 6 months pregnant. The journey was really scary, and also difficult, but ultimately a reminder that with parenting (as with much else in life), sometimes you need to do something really scary and hard to find joy at the end.
  5. I wrote some good things. Sure, nothing I wrote this year went viral, and the things that were probably the most important — my Master’s Dissertation, and a column on breast milk donation — are also likely to be the least read. But some of the things I wrote this year meant something to some people, and I’m proud of that.