Every new year brings something new to each person's life,whether that be in the form of a
blessing or a setback of any kind.It is of course the wish of every single one of us that the
former be more than the latter.I realised some time ago though,that setbacks too,have
their significance in the grand theatre of life.They appear at that moment in your life when you
need to become uncomfortable,shake off the dust of too much comfort and complacency of
yourself and get busy on becoming more of who you really are.To take all that is still raw and
unprocessed in you and give it shape and function.That is much like the process charcoal goes
through to form the diamond.To quote Henry Kissenger, "A diamond is a chunk of coal that did
well under pressure".
2017 sent a lot of blessings my way.Alas,setbacks were an inevitable part of the deal.I learnt
soon enough to be grateful for both.To accept the good with grace and gratitude.To bear
the"bad" with patience and the desire to unlock the lesson in each.It has been a year that finds
me an entirely different person at its end.A person I am still getting to know. A person I am
willing to become more of.
I learnt several more lessons this year.It's a pretty long list so I'll try to keep it concise.
- I am by nature more a pessimist than an optimist.I strive to be the second with some success.
So, was I surprised to hear I was appointed at a public school.At a location so far from
home,Crete.Nine years after the last Entry Competition the Ministry of Education had
organised.What are the odds of that happening?It did.And it changed my life.Lesson
learnt:Expect the unexpected.Always be ready to receive it.
- The fact that a blessing or miraculous event takes place in your life,does not exempt you from
the responsibilities that go hand in hand with it.By accepting it, you accept also that you will
work hard to keep it.In my case,accepting a position in Crete, entailed a lot of stress till the
final placement was made, a home was found and all formalities taken care of.Getting used
to public school system,new colleagues,new students.Most of all getting used to taking care
of things entirely on my own and being alone in a place I was not accustomed to.That of
course,changed fast.And that takes me to my next point.
- A lot of negativity exists in the world.Still.Don't know if or when that will be eradicated.So
much blind hate and violence,so much tragedy.People are bound to be afraid and distant.
Upon going to Crete I had absolutely no idea what I would face.It was a pleasant surprise to
have been met with such kindness and helpfulness.It restored my faith that there are still
positive people around.I have been blessed a great deal on this aspect.I have many
good and special people in my life, both Greek and from abroad, whom I dearly love and am
grateful they are here.I am truly blessed.
- If something is broken in your life,even if you tried your best to fix it,let it go with grace and
kindness.Not everything and everyone is meant to stay with you forever.As you become more
of who you are supposed to be,the more you find yourself unable to fit in with past situations
or people.It feels awkward and painful for sure.My experience tells me it hurts more to hold on
to it, whatever or whoever it is.Just let go and be ready to receive those conditions and people
that will be there to accompany you for the next parts of your life.
- As your conditions in life shift, as you increasingly change in this ongoing process, new people
make their apearance in your story. Quite often in the most unexpected places and even more
at the most inconvenient times. Again,as per life's rules,not all are meant to stay with you.As
you change,so must your circumstances and people,whether they are friends,family or loved
ones.Very few qualify to stay with you till the end titles.Do not worry yourself with who they
are.You will know when the time comes.Focus on becoming the best possible version of you.
The rest takes care of itself.
- The ability to adapt to the ongoing changes in your life are an absolute prerequisite to your
making it. Adaptability is what helps you adjust in any environment, accept the adversity in
your circumstances and persist in spite of it.An effective way of becoming more
adaptable,apart from life's own twists, is to do more of what makes you uncomfortable.An
excellent way to test and stretch your limits, gain infinitely more self-knowledge and
eventually learn to adapt to all the curveballs that will be thrown your way.
- Kindness goes a long way.Even if it is not alway met with kindness in return,it still is better for
your soul and general well-being.Though much has been said to praise kindness,I will quote
Desmond Tutu here:"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put
together that overwhelm the world.”
- Practice daily gratitude.In my own experience, it is the glue that holds it all together.
Gratitude and faith.Be grateful for the blessings because they make you feel loved.Be grateful
for the setbacks because they teach you who you are and who you can become.Be grateful
because it's the only way to invite more of the good stuff in your life. Our generation has lost a
great deal of this gratitude.Our children can find no reason to be grateful, in spite of the fact
they have so many reasons to be. Quite sad really.Just be grateful you are alive.For another day
on this blessed planet.For more opportunities coming your way,in whatever shape they may
So grateful for a beautiful 2017, with all its up and downs.Looking forward to an even more
With lots of love and light for all.