By Elma Asio

The year is drawing to a close and 2015 is almost through. Soon we’ll be caught up in that time when we forget that it’s actually 2016 and continue to reference 2015, especially when we need to write down the date, until it finally sticks in our minds. A number of us are probably excited that Christmas is around the corner, while others are still trying to figure out where the time went.

Let’s relax for a moment and not dwell too much on the festivities or the confusing concepts of time and its disappearing acts. It’s time to take stock of our lives as the year draws to a close. We must now ask ourselves, “What have I done with myself this past year?” We all set goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year; whether it was a new attempt to read more, getting that business started, going out more and traveling or even cutting down on the midnight snacking because you’ve started needing room for a new friend on the block called “muffin top”.

We set these goals for good reason; for our health, for the progression of our careers, to stress less and actually live, for our families, for the sake of our happiness, for our general well-being. And then what do we do? We underrate them by calling them “New Year’s Resolutions”, and yet they are issues that affect us, not just during a single year, but throughout our entire lives. Resolving to do so much in one year brings about stress; we ought to be taking things one step at a time. How about we dub these resolutions something fresher, like “*insert your name* 2.0 download”; and hey, if you’ve already had a version 2.0 you can upgrade to version 2.2. Who says you can’t have multiple versions of yourself?

But before we think of reinventing ourselves, we have to look back a bit; the same way accountants go through their records and books at the end of each month and report on the fiscal health of an entire company; the same way artists, after hours and days of pouring their hearts out onto canvas, take a minute to let it marinate and admire their accomplishments. We must do the same with our lives.

We are the auditors and the artists of our lives. We shape it into the beautiful thing that we hope it will become. The end of the year is the perfect time to assess our lives, to step back from our works of art and see what we’ve accomplished and what’s left to do. It doesn’t help us to continue to paint and add to the piece without taking a break to look at what it’s starting to look like; be it chaos, beauty or something in between. By stepping back, we’re more able to locate which parts need to be erased or painted over, which parts need to be reworked and which parts would look better if a little more colour was added to them.

We’re constantly told to move on, let go, have our faces turned only to what’s ahead; but I think sometimes, just sometimes not always, we must look back and take a glimpse, nothing more than a glimpse, of what we have left behind – remind ourselves of where we have been and then look forward to where we’re heading. We should also look back to see how far we have come so that that silly little voice in our heads that tries to lie to us, claiming that we haven’t done much, can be shut up and completely hushed. None of this is meant to be a reminder of not-so-good times. Even if it does spark some memories, tuck in your feelings, wipe the tears and blow your nose because there’s still work to be done. Retrace your steps and revisit the drawing board if need be. You must look closely at who you are as a person; What defines you? Have you made progress towards this? Now embrace this, continue to grow and be a QUEEN.

This isn’t a one-time post only meant to serve the end of 2015. As I write this, I hope that it ignites something that will remain in all of our hearts and minds for 2016 and the years to come; each month, each week, and each day that we triumph.