I was partially in shock this morning when I looked at the date on my phone and saw that it was 30th November, 2016. The date wasn’t what really shocked me. It was the fact that it was the last day of the 11th month of the year. The next day would usher in the last month of 2016. I was with my younger brother at the time. I looked at him and asked, just to be sure, “November has just 30 days, right?” He looked at me and said, “Yes.”
Now, my brother can be very funny when he wants to. Sarcasm is second nature to him. I looked at him smile and doubted if he had been speaking the truth. I immediately recited a rhyme I learnt many years ago in elementary school.
30 days have September, April, June and November
All the rest have 31, except February alone
Which has 28 days, and 29 days in each leap year
I don’t know if other people still use that rhyme. But I’ve found it extremely difficult to let that rhyme go. It has helped in so many ways. Yes, that rhyme was inspired by God!
Immediately after I had confirmed that November had 30 days, the first thing to escape my lips was, “Wow.. so it’s 25 days to Christmas!” Now, that’s the first time I’ve used a countdown in a long while. My birthday was last week Wednesday. Guess what? My friends had been doing the countdown for me. They had been my reminders. I’m not a fan of countdowns. I don’t know why. It’s not like any countdown has ever disappointed me. I just don’t do it. Except on rare occasions.
After I had said that, I began to see, for the first time this year, the year ahead – the year 2017. And my mind quickly registered that this year had just 31 days to go. Awesome, right? Well, in my own opinion, countdowns to any new year are serious tasks.
Before you countdown to 2017, close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. So many of us get so caught up in holidays like Christmas, New Year, Easter, etc. that we really miss out very salient points which I think are worthy of note. I remember writing at the start of the year how January 1st Was Just Another Friday. What really matters is not the fact that another cycle begins. Really, what else do most of us really countdown to? Just another cycle. We start from January 1st and move to December 31st. Same circle, just with a digit difference in the year – 6 just changes to 7.
I believe that what matters more than any countdown is how much you’ve done in 2016. Can you still remember your resolutions for 2016? Can that precious paper where you wrote down your goals for the year still be found? Or did it find its way to the waste bin sometime in April? Can you remember half the things you had planned to do you while were crossing over to 2016? How many of those goals are no longer goals but achievements? Can you say that you’ve grown in 2016? I believe that these things are bigger and weightier than any countdown.
So, before you countdown, take a sheet of paper and retrospect. Look back at the year and assess yourself. If you’ve started your countdown already, sending messages and informing people (who already know that the year is coming to an end soon) that it’s 31 days to 2017, I strongly advise that you take a break. List out your successes. List out your failures. List out your mistakes.
I won’t be the best person to tell you how to assess your year. You can do that on your own. But, seriously, take some time out to look at the year 2016 and score yourself. Use your goals and resolutions as the master score sheet and assess yourself. Do this before you continue with your countdown to 2017.
Don’t forget to drop your comments. I’ll love to hear from you. Do you think countdowns are a big deal?