“When Life knocks you down, roll over and look at the stars” ~ unknown

I will not dwell too much on the morals and significance of entering a new year with a positive vibe because frankly it’s been outdone! I did think however as I sipped on my cup of joy this morning that the point of reflection is to share things that could cause someone else in this virtual world to say “Hey me too!”

If you would label each year with one theme, 2017 to me would be “Year of Challenges”. It’s not to say it was tough or negative, in fact, it was full of good “Let me push you harder” sort of months and weeks and of which I wanted to share the lessons it got me through.

1- Believe your an expert in something (or actually some things), and act on it

Instead of questioning your knowledge in meetings or during gatherings when someone shows off their vocabulary or selection of selfies with known people, remember this – You are a collection of abilities and knowledge unique than any given person, wear that certificate proud.

One step further even is to show interest in something you don’t understand. instead of worrying about being judged for not knowing what the famed book Lord of the Flies is all about and zoning out – nod and say tell me about it I have no clue. You might earn a new expertise for next year!

2- Do not compare, confirm

This has been a personal struggle for me, to feel I am in a competition all the time and in need to prove I am the best, or else run an extra mile because I am not there yet! This year, I learned to train my mind to think “I confirm I am working on this and that I like his/her ability and can learn from it.”

3- Ritualize

love a coffee first thing in the morning? Like to walk slowly through the pathway to school or office? Fairouz or classical music makes your start? Then make it your ritual. I like to get up no matter how crappy I feel, let my amazing oven sort my breakfast while I think positive of the day and channel any bad thoughts that still linger from the previous day in today’s gym workout. I  also welcomed technology in the form of audio books finally to my life and noticed it is an amazing distractor from the God-forsaken cardio I have to go through!

On Friday? Breakfast with family gently adding no negative topics or extreme thoughts is how I like my morning.

4- Take two steps back, check then salsa

No, I didn’t take dance classes, but I learnt from their rhythm the importance of stepping back to see the whole view before you move your feet unconditionally. Before you say or do something, take one step back as the last check, think am I in line/will I hurt someone/what do I want to achieve with this/what could the outcome be. If it hits the mark, then salsa!

5- One dream granted is another wished for

I have since my teenage years longed to find my partner for life, like any other young man or woman. I thought that once God grants me this wish, I will be content and I will be able to fulfil everything else in my life.

But meeting other people with that wish granted, I realized, other things become a wish – freedom, a baby, acceptance from the in-laws, work, security…and that’s the point! We will always seek what we do not have and that is in itself a beautiful thing to own. I need to remember to be thankful for what I have, as those I long to be in their place are also wishing for it.

6-  Life (seriously/really/in fact/من جد) goes on

This is so given, yet when things go against what we expected, we think its the end and despair. I certainly faced a lot of those moments last year and went to an extreme point of wanting to give up and take the new role of stay at home daughter! But I recently heard a friend comment at a social encounter with “Life goes on” and it hit me, that’s just it! it does.

God has given you this time to live, not despair or fear or doubt, but to breath, think, fight and dream. To wake up and hope, to ask him and to want and long. That is the essence of life – to seek meaning. this never ends as long as we are on this earth.

So here it is, my list that I will take with me this year, and if there is one thing you will notice me repeating to you and me it’s this – I am lucky for my place now and I will make the most of it – let things come as they please – maybe salsa to me!

“Its ok to look back at the past, just don’t stare!” ~ unknown 

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