I think I would be right in saying that, for many, 2016 gave us little to celebrate on a global scale. The loss of so many much loved icons of the music and acting world has been well-reported and their lives celebrated in tributes across the media.
Our hearts continue to be touched by the suffering caused by so many conflicts around the world, in particular in Syria where there seems no end. Our views of what is ‘normal’ are all at sea as we witness the breakdown of confidence in ‘authority’ which led to Brexit, the election of Trump and the demise of Matteo Renzi’s after November’s Italian referendum. This uncertainty will continue in Europe in the run up to the upcoming elections in Germany, the Netherlands and France.
Our individual influence over these political and economic events is miniscule but the impact these ‘big’ events has on us is, I believe, massive. It undermines a positive mindset which we need to support everything we do in our personal and professional lives. In the face of adversity we need to have hope to build an abundant life – one full of love, laughter, rich in experience, with just enough resources that we can give a little away.
"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Desmond Tutu
2016 taught me to value community. The community I sing with, write with, and work with, my family and friends and the band of women I volunteer with. Thank you to you all.
I will celebrate the creation of the Celebration Project and the help of the Ambassadors’ group – the online community which keeps me motivated. We now have 20 products where a percentage of profits goes to good causes, and have plans for a crowd-funding campaign in 2017 to launch a Family Journal. Without your support this germ of an idea I had in April 2016 would have come to nothing. In 2017, we will be donating more to the women’s volunteering organisation, Soroptimist International and to Pencils of Promise as the business grows.
So whatever 2016 threw at you look back at it highlights, however small, and make some plans for 2017 – after all, it can only get better. Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year.