Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in Review

Life comprises of rainstorms and rainbows, and this year was no different
Photo: Shayera
Wait, it’s December already?! I can’t believe the year is almost over. Where did the months go?

It’s that time of the year when one pauses to reflect, and I’m doing so with the help of the ‘tab list’ I wrote earlier this year. I’m delighted I achieved most of the outlined objectives in addition to taking on undertakings that weren’t on the list.

I’m impressed with my achievements this year vis a vis last year. For instance, I got around to reading Nigerian newspapers and perused more books than I did last year, focusing mostly on classic novels. I broke the record of 12 books I had set, reading a total of 14 books – 11 books more than I read last year. I completed The Art of War by Sun Tzu, read 48 Laws of Power, George Orwell’s 1984 (I wonder why it took me this long to discover this treasure), Fahrenheit 451 and Uncle Tom’s Cabin among others. And once more, I attempted reading Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, but my eyelids got the best of me. Maybe someday in the future, when my eyelids cooperate, I’d read it.

Furthermore, this year, I blogged more than ever. I hadn’t set out to do so, it just happened. I suppose it’s because I started writing short stories, the first of which was inspired by a conversation I had with an acquaintance. Admittedly, publishing my very first story was a little daunting as it was the first time I’d ever written one, so I didn’t know how it would be received. Nevertheless, I put on a brave face and clicked ‘publish’. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? To my surprise, there was a huge response in readership, which then emboldened me to write more short stories.

Another exciting and unplanned happening from this year was getting published in a major Nigerian newspaper as well as an online African magazine. Not only was I happy that I reached a larger audience, I was glad my articles received positive feedback and reviews. So lookout 2015, my writings just might appear in a much larger publication!

During the course of the year, I reviewed past blog entries from 2012 and 2013, and found some cringe-worthy writings – which, by the way, have long been reedited and rewritten. It wasn’t the content of the entries that was the source of my abashment, but the quality. In retrospect, however, those old entries were an indication that I’ve grown as a writer – and still growing.

Also included on my tab list was a paragraph about savings and investment. This year, I invested in myself by taking a course in journalism, which so far has proved to be a good decision. Furthermore, I’m glad I saved more than I did in the previous year.

Now to the part of the tab list I’m not very keen on writing about.

I wrote that I was going to practice meditation and work on being more patient. I can’t say I did OK on those two goals, and it wasn’t not for lack of trying. The problem was, even though they were at the back of my mind, I didn’t actively seek to challenge myself by tackling them head-on. This challenge is succinctly described in the following quote, “When you ask for patience, what you get is a line at the bank. In other words, life gives you the people, places and situations that are going to allow you, once and for all, to develop what it is you need.” Thus, if you ask for a virtue, then be prepared to do battle with its complementing vices. Seeking to meditate or asking for patience is one thing, doing the ground work is another. 

Lastly, seeing how successful I was in accomplishing my goals this year, I look forward to next year’s boxes of surprises. I can’t wait to start writing in the new 365 days book.

Here’s to a New Year filled with golden opportunities.