Goodbye 2016, onward to a “A New Hope”

Colin Finlay, CPHR, 2016“Clinging to a situation that brings nothing but despair and it doesn’t matter how hard they try to navigate troubled waters eventually all they can see around them is jagged rocks. The rocks are waiting for the moment where a mistake would be made and sharks are swimming in the waters waiting to feast on what might come. Eventually it’s realized however; that it is forces beyond their control creating these troublesome waters and pushing them towards those rocks. The only way to be put at ease is to abandon a crew and a vessel that they care for in order to ensure they can return home to those they love in peace. They are reminded that sometimes you can’t always solve the problems created by outside forces and letting go of it all is required to spare what’s most important, friendship, family and health.

The winds of change help them escape, they gazed over the rails of this doomed ship that was without the required competence at its helm, eventually to find a path that leads to calmer waters and a new vessel brought to them by chance that could carry them forward.”

2016 has been a year of tremendous tribulations and triumphs all of which have lead to this moment; the moment where I contemplate what has been learned in order to usher in a new year filled with hope.

Similar to the exert above I found myself in a situation that required me to let go in order to move forward and find the balance in life that I let slip away. I was reminded in 2016 of a lesson I learned so long ago; you may not be in control of the environment around you, but you are always in control of your choice to stay.

There have been many occasions where I have spoken to others about work-life balance. Many times, I have read fantastic articles about steps to achieve such a thing in the workplace. One thing that is often overlooked however is that on occasion you need to recognize it can only be achieved by walking away.

To those who offered me their ear, their patience and their wisdom this year, and you already know who you are, I say thank you.

2016, was a beast in so many ways. Creative icons of a generation “became one with the force” throughout the year. People whose craft of song and storytelling always left people inspired or at least in silent contemplation about how they could relate.

We also have seen a dramatic shift in the political spectrum that will most certainly have an impact on the economy from both a macro and micro perspective. All the ways in which these changes impact us at home have yet to be realized. Or as it was once stated by Edward Lorenz in his study related to the theory of chaos, “When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.”

To me, 2016 was like a ball of chaos that rolled through my life, but it wasn’t the first time, and I’m sure it likely will not be the last. After all, the definition provided by the Oxford Dictionary on Chaos Theory, “… complex systems whose behaviour is highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions, so that small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences.” I can only imagine this would only enhance the probability that additional times of chaos will follow those which have been overcome.

But it wasn’t the Oxford Dictionary that brought me to contemplate this recently. Disney’s new Star Wars movie, “Rogue One” was what inspired me to consider what “alterations” where left behind by 2016 and envision the possibilities of what those “strikingly great consequences” might be. I then realized this film was what lead us directly into the story of George Lucus’ 1977 movie, “Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope”.

So, what alterations did I come up with? Here’s a few:

The birth of my son. Watching him come into the world, the sleepless nights and even sleeping on the floor of the hospital was a welcome reprieve from the overwhelming chaos that awaited me beyond that hospital room door.

Two of my daughters started school this year, and one started high school. I can’t explain the joy and the fatherly pride I feel when I come home and listen to what they have learned. The excitement they demonstrate when they come and tell us about their day, or the good grades they are getting.

A new focus in my learning plan with acceptance to a program at the University of Winnipeg, through which I will continue to develop both professionally and personally.

A national change in the human resource designation once known as CHRP, is now known as CPHR. This change represents the ever-evolving nature of my profession.

A new job with which comes new leadership and new friends as well as the opportunity to learn about an industry that is also new to me.

Most importantly the supportive and loving relationship with my wife, it is altered by growing stronger with every obstacle we overcome.

My final thought about 2016 is this:

2016, with all the tribulations you brought I will endeavour to learn from them what I can to make better the years ahead. I will celebrate the triumphs that were achieved and grow stronger the relationships that bring a positive influence in my life.

I am happy to see the end of 2016 because from it comes 2017 which in my mind is an era of renewed hope.

Happy New Year everyone, and as it is often said in the Star Wars stories, “May the force be with you.”

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2 Responses to Goodbye 2016, onward to a “A New Hope”

  1. Great post Colin! Your words are thoughtful as well as vulnerable – and as a result, so many of us can relate and learn from you. I welcome you guest posting on my new Website blog if you’d ever like to.
    May the force be with you too! Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Colin Finlay says:

      Hi Jacqueline. I appreciate the kind words and invitation to contribute to your new site. I’d be happy to help you. Drop me a line via email with some details about what you’re looking for.

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