I do not think I am wrong in proclaiming 2017, Year of the Pirate. Some years are tougher than others, but I feel we can all agree that 2017 was a doozie. The name of this post could also be, Pirate’s Fortune, because 2017 seemed as though a wicked pirate with a wind-blown leathery face took charge of our fortunes.
Instead of the imagery of an old wise woman or man guiding us through the year, offering us wisdom and growth opportunities little by little, the trickster-pirate held nothing back. His approach seemed to be, “Go big or go home, says I.” The trickster, peg-leg, eye-patch and all, carried our fortunes in pouch stringed to his belt. His pouch filled to the brim with gold coins, chinked and rustled as he hobbled to one corner or another along a main thoroughfare or gate which we all had to pass through everyday.
At his leisure, randomly or at some unseen order known only to himself, he took out a coin and tossed it at my feet one day then your feet the next. There was no way any of us could avoid our fortunes. All year everyone of us were given multiple coins. Sometimes the coins landed face up and felt good, giving us what we wanted and sometimes the coins landed face down and felt unexpected and hard, but the coins he threw were always made of gold.
Even misfortune, after the pain is gone, can be like gold, of great value. At the very least the hard times give us the wisdom to appreciate fully the times of ease and fun. I bring this up because for almost the entire year I have felt haunted by current events in the news and events in my own life. There were two deaths in my family and two in my husband’s and I underwent 2 surgeries. As a result I could not wait for the year to be over. I heard myself saying, “I cannot wait until we’re done with this year!” I was not alone. Many others expressed the same sentiment. Now that the year is up and we are all making a reset and starting 2018 with hope and expectation, I think it is important to revisit the misfortunes of the past year with fresh eyes.
Firstly, we do not want to bring baggage into the future by focusing on how hard, sad, or traumatic things were but rather on the success of overcoming hardship. Secondly, it is important to find the value in both bad and good fortune because misfortune, hardship, and pain will continue to find their way into our lives. The ups and downs of life are unavoidable. When we can find insight in the challenges life brings we gain deep understanding.
As I think back on the past year, my goal is to draw upon the unseen gifts that the bad fortune garnered so that I do not lose out on personal growth. I see life as one big journey that has its ups and downs but that ultimately teaches me what I am meant to learn. After all, the stone does not become smooth by basking in the sun all day. No, the stone must be thrown in the water and left to ride out the currents. The stone is meant to encounter friction. It must weather the tide before it will shine bright.
Still, remember to take the time to appreciate good fortune, bask in it. Take a long walk on the beach. Breathe deeply. Moments of peace and delight get us through and help us to ride out the stormy seas in those years the Pirate takes the helm.
Thank you all for reading this far. I wish you the best.
May 2018 be Merry and Bright,
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
– Albert Einstein