2015 – Happy New Year or Crappy New Year?

Well, hello 2015.

Like most things in life, I’m a little behind the curve. I had to Google “bae”. I found out what Tinder was like, 2 weeks ago. And my first blog of the new year is on 17 January. Welcome to my organised, on-top-of-things life.

This is Luke eating a nutritious snack at an appropriate time of the day.

This is Luke eating a nutritious snack at an appropriate time of the day.

I should mention that me being somewhat all over the place (I like to call it “free-spirited”) is essentially my charitable act of service to the community. For example, I keep receipts, tissues and empty Kauai smoothie cups on the floor of my car for one main reason – to make you feel AWESOME about your less-messy-than-mine car. Can’t find your sunglasses? That’s nothing – I’m on my third pair this year. (Admit it, you feel better now). If you’re still not sure what I mean, here is a picture of my 18 month old son eating ice-cream. With brownies. And M&M’s. At 8.30 am. If you have kids, you should be fist pumping the air and claiming “Parent of the Year” for yourself.

Basically, I am a messy, unorganised, often a bit confused person who hasn’t made a list of personal goals since 2005 and now you can feel awesome in comparison.

You’re welcome.

Despite being the wing-it-fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda girl, I have had some time to reflect on this past year. To say it wasn’t my favourite year is an understatement. It was a hard year. In a word, it was a crappy year. But it was also a good year. It was a good, hard year. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in the past year, it’s that these two things simply go hand in hand.

Kay Warren puts it like this:

We tend to think that life comes in hills and valleys. In reality, it’s much more like train tracks. Every day of your life, wonderful, good things happen that bring pleasure and contentment and beauty to you. At the exact same time, painful things happen to you or those you love that disappoint you, hurt you, and fill you with sorrow. These two tracks — both joy and sorrow — run parallel to each other every single moment of your life.

That’s why, when you’re in the midst of an amazing experience, you have a nagging realization that it’s not perfect. And while you’re experiencing something painful, there’s the glorious realization that there is still beauty and loveliness to be found. They’re inseparable.

If you look down train tracks into the brightness of the horizon, the tracks become one. You can’t distinguish them as two separate tracks.

THIS IS IT. This is the real truth about life. Life isn’t a series of ups and downs. New Years aren’t either happy or crappy. Life is train tracks – joy and sorrow – upon which we travel through valleys and hills. They’re inseparable.

I’m really not hoping that 2015 will be a “better” year. But I know something will be different this year. Last year, I feel like the word “crappy” chose me. I wouldn’t have picked it as a recurring theme, in fact, I actually let it happen to me. But this year, in 2015, I’m choosing my word. I’m choosing a word that can be real and authentic and true no matter where those train tracks lead me.

My word for 2015 is JOY.

Joy isn’t happiness. Joy isn’t feeling good. To quote Rick Warren, “Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”

I don’t need 2015 to be a happy New Year. I am choosing 2015 to be a joyful New Year.

I can’t make myself happy. But I can choose to be joyful. Assurance, confidence and determination don’t happen to you. You choose them.

So I choose joy. 

Now I confess, it’s pretty risky for me to tell you all this. Because I know I’m going to be grumpy, tired, and whiny at least 100 times a day. I’m still going to write about Jess the Mess, because I think vulnerability and authenticity connects us and takes away the facade. (Also the blog is called Jess Basson – Honestly). But I’ve decided to ride the tracks on both sides. I’m going to do my best to choose to let go of controlling everything, to believe it will all turn out alright, and to praise God even when happy turns to crappy.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

QUESTION: So what’s your word for 2015?

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2 thoughts on “2015 – Happy New Year or Crappy New Year?

  1. curiouslyfuseddeliberation says:

    Joy is the gigantic secret gift that God gives us and we never stop unwrapping” – Ann Voskamp…Thanks my Jess for being so ruthlessly honest! My word for the year: “be”

  2. Christine van Straaten says:

    You are one of the smartest “messy, unorganised, often a bit confused person who hasn’t made a list of personal goals since 2005” person I know! You also kinda inspire me 90% of the time. And this is your mother speaking. By the way, my word(s) for the year is(are) “one thing at a time,”

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