Three stories about how I spent 2017.
This Made Me Cry
I lost my dog Momo in October. We’d known this day was coming, but nothing prepares you for the death of a loved one. I didn’t cry the day before when we knew we were likely going to lose him. I didn’t cry that morning when we were arranging an appointment with the vet.
The moment the vet showed up at our home, however, I started and couldn’t stop. It was one of the saddest moments of my life, and I still miss him to this day. The shocking thing is that two months later, my brother’s dog passed away as well.
I’m grateful for the many moments I had with our dogs. You never know when you’re going to lose those closest to you, and I don’t regret all the days I spent being with Momo.
This Made Me Laugh
I tend to be too serious. If I was an anime character, I’d be the brooder in glasses that wears black, listens to goth, and quotes Nietzsche.
(I think actually have done all those things.)
Reading Joy on Demand by Chade-Meng Tan (one of the seven best books I read in 2017) helped me to lighten up. This single, deceptively simple technique he shares in the book proved especially useful. To become a happier person, notice all the small moments of joy that arise.
It sounds too simplistic to work, but it’s made me a happier and more grateful person in 2017. It turns out there were a lot of moments of joy that I could have missed had I tuned out. Like moments in the sun with my dog, having dinner with family, a cool breeze in the early morning.
This Made Me Grow
One year ago, I wrote about letting go and accepting everything in my life, both good and bad. I don’t think I admitted it, but it was a bloody scary thing to do.
I thought accepting things would lead to becoming defeatist and giving up on things. To my surprise, the opposite actually happened — I became happier and more effective.
Accepting my present reality helped me see it more clearly. I could see the differences between what I couldn’t change and what I could, and let go of the former to act on the latter.
My meditation practice magnified all these experiences. I’m not a hundred percent where I want to be with my practice but meditation has made me more present in my everyday life, and I cried, laughed, and accepted more fully in the past year.
Those are my stories. So what made you cry, laugh, and grow in 2017?