It’s easy to write off 2016 as a crap year for most of us. But there have been great things too.
And you don’t often hear me complaining – I certainly try to maintain a sunny disposition but that’s not always possible.
Personally, being hospitalised seven times from cellulitis then heart failure, and fighting resurgent bouts of depression and anxiety (worst in 30 years) pretty much topped my list of crap things that happened this year. Oh and Trump.
(What was I thinking???)
Peter Spann 3 Great Life Lessons
But there are three things I have learned in my life and this year in particular:
- Keep swimming
For me, no matter how hard it gets, the way to get it better is through gratitude.
And this isn’t always an easy practice. It’s easy to be grateful when your life is full of Ferraris, good looking women, first class travel and what not (as you all know, LOL), much harder when you’re in the back of an Ambulance and they are plugging in tubes, wires and so on, when the things that are supposed to make you happy actually have you reeling into the deep blackness of depression and grief, and you no longer answer “Unknown” numbers.
(Tubes and tests – not such fun.)
But it’s essential.
When I was discharged from hospital after heart failure I must admit I was in a panic. Contrary to popular opinion I have been healthy all my life and this was brought on by an inherited condition (which my mother died of at 23) and an infection, so it was a shock. It still causes me anxiety. Every palpitation I think “is this the one?” but so far the answer has been “no”, so I have to retrain my brain – gratitude – I am alive. Every day above ground is a damn good day.
After I made my first film I spiralled into depression. I was not expecting that, at all. Here I was, finally doing what I wanted to do all my life and I was struggling to get out of bed.
(Shooting my first film – Heavy Heist)
Of course, it may have just been the twig that broke the camel’s back, but all I could feel was grief. For lost years, lost opportunities. Twenty years of my life that I couldn’t get back. It’s very hard to explain this to people and they usually just reply with the old cliché “Yes, but all those experiences have led you to where you are now.” Blah, blah blah. Go be a freaking seminar presenter, will you? LOL
I could also make mention of the grief and remorse I felt over what happened with some of my clients after the GFC. That’s always difficult for me to deal with and move on from.
I was VERY grateful to AFTRS which has a free counselling service for its students which helped me get back on my feet and my head straight.
Fact is I HAVE had an amazing life. I have had more experiences, travelled further, lived more than most people ever get the chance to, but don’t believe anyone when they say “It is better to have loved and lost…” No, having lost is just shit!
(No, no, it’s a metaphor silly, don’t take it literally!)
But there’s only one way to deal with all this – just keep swimming. Fall down seven times, get up eight.
It’s not over until the fat lady sings (hence my somewhat hypocritical paranoia and prejudice against fat women – I also don’t like fat men if that makes you feel any better – and do what you want with that statement!).
I know what I want to do I just have to keep doing it. No matter how many obstacles are put in my way. (Hilarious that I miss-spelled obstacles and spell checker changed it to popsicles. Because you’ve gotta just keep climbing over all those darn popsicles!).
(Test shoot for my next film – Surfer Girl)
That’s what makes life worth living.
And this year, of all the years the importance of friendship was ever present.
(Birthday dinner – new friends and old)
A few of my relationships were stretched to breaking point and that’s very sad. I mourn for those losses.
But I also created even deeper and more meaningful bonds with many people this year and welcomed new friends into my life. I watched as many of my friends kicked the arse of success, love, prosperity and health and cheered for them. And I witnessed much joy.
My best of friends and indeed you, my Facie friends gave me the love, encouragement, financial backing and hand holding I needed this year just to make it to the end of it. I wouldn’t have made it without you, and that’s a real statement, not an euphuism.
A simple “thank you” is not enough but sometimes, especially from someone as verbose as me, “thank you” can be a profoundly simple acknowledgement of everything you have done for me. So, thank you and thank you again.
So, here’s what I wish for you in 2017…
- Lots and lots of good things to be grateful for;
- That the currents are in your favour for your long swim home;
- That you are surrounded by much love, joy and friendship.
That is all.
2016, you can go now. Peter Spann, out!
P.S. Oh, and if Maxine’s attitude to life (which I wholeheartedly endorse) doesn’t make you happy then you know what to do!
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Written by Peter Spann
Peter Spann is a business coach, writer, presenter and investor.
© Copyright: 2016 Peter Spann – All rights reserved