New Year Reflections

It's 2015! And it feels so strange. I'm still stuck in 2012... And remember the song 'I gotta feeling'? - 2009!
Time keeps ticking on and before we know it, a year has passed. I've moved into 2015 making all of the necessary resolutions (get fit, spend less time online) but there's something else that's been on my mind too.

I was reading a '2014 in pictures' supplement from a newspaper and I suddenly realised how, whilst my year may not have been a year of fun and games, it was certainly a better year for me than for many others.

The Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. Plane crashes.The crisis in Ukraine. The Ebola outbreak.

It was the Nigerian girls in particular that struck me the most. Many of them are the same age as me, and the only difference between us is that I live here in the Uk and they live in Africa. If circumstances had been different, I could have been living in Africa. I could have been kidnapped. I could have been beaten or raped or killed.  It's a shocking thought. And suddenly I've become much more appreciative of all that I have. I can go to school freely; I can speak out without being rebuked; I can even go to university if I want.

I'm not going to pretend I know what life is like in other parts of the world - I know it varies depending on country, class and sex - but even  taking a few moments to remember the ways in which I have been blessed  helps me to stay more positive. I have a warm bed at night (something I don't appreciate enough); I can come home and choose something nice to eat; I'm even able to buy clothes not because I need them but because they look nice.

I'll leave you with a little thought. Whether you pray or not, this picture that I posted on my Instagram last week sums everything up pretty clearly for me.

I'm not saying you have to jump around ecstatically every day (though that wouldn't hurt); it's more a question of attitude. Are you going to spend your year longing for more or are you going to step back and say 'thank you' for what you have now?