and what have you done?
Another year over, and a new one just begun.
Those are the opening lines of my all-time, most-favourite Christmas song, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), by John Lennon.
Around this time of year I always do a Christmas roundup post. More of a friendly chat with friends, really, and I hope you will read it to the very end.
What have you done?
I hope you had a brilliant year, and I really wish you the absolute very best for the new year. At the same time, I’d like you to take some time and think about what you’ve achieved this past year.
Oh, I don’t care if you’ve made more money. If you did, good for you, but money should be very far from the be-all and end-all. Instead, I’d like to know what you did to make someone happy. What did you do to make someone belly-laugh? And what did you do to make someone else’s life better? Please tell me, using the comments section below. Also tell me if it’s a private comment, or one you’d be happy for me to publish?
What have I done?
I truly don’t believe in anyone listing the good and kind things they’ve done. I’m a big believer in random acts of kindness, but I also believe you should keep quiet about them. If not, you risk doing random acts of kindness for how it makes you look to others, not because it’s simply a good thing to do. As a result, I won’t bore you with a list of stuff like that.
I am proud that WillCycle is growing, though truthfully, that’s as much to do with you, and for that I want to thank you. This year, the site has had double the visitor numbers, and that makes me glad, as it means you find value in what I deliver here.
In October I started publishing traffic-free route guides, and you guys like those. The Traffic-Free page on here has seen almost as many visitors since mid-October to now as some very popular posts have had in 12+ months. The good news is there are hundreds more such guides on the way.
What didn’t I do?
In 2022, I finally caught COVID, and that ruined my fitness, and my health (for quite some time). Just as I was finally recovering from COVID, and rebuilding my fitness, I had a crash and broke my collarbone.
That meant I had to cancel my plans to go cycle the C2C and Hadrian’s Cycleway routes as a single big loop. Well, postpone to another year, as I’m still planning on doing that ride.
Charting a new course
None of us know what 2023 has in store for us. You can listen to the doom & gloom crowd, who will tell you all about economic woes, wars, and more bad things. I’ve no doubt money will be tight in 2023 for most people, and that there will still be war.
In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, it’s important to focus on the small things that matter so much. Like passing on that smile to caught from a stranger, to several other people. Smiles are infectious and can spread like wildfire – just try it out.
Make a conscious decision that, no matter what trials life throws at you – that you will keep going. Not because you have to, not because you’re strong (though you’re stronger than you think!) but because you’re brave. Yes, even when you don’t feel brave.
Choose to have a year in which you do more for other people, even if that’s simply holding a door open for that old person, or offering your seat on the bus to that person who looks exhausted.
Together, let’s make 2023 the year of paying good things forward!
I don’t care if you’re religious or not, and if you are, what your religion is. Christmas is for everyone.
I wish you and yours the absolute very best Christmas, and I truly hope 2023 will be a fantastic year for all of you.
Thank you for being there. Thank you for being you.