New year’s. It’s one of the few points of the year that genuinely excite me. Not because I’m one of those “new year- new me” types who make resolutions year after year and never have the patience to see them to fruition (I’m far from that) but simply for the reason that making it to 31st of December is a testimony to the one thing I’ve all along been skeptical about. My survival. It’s only then when I can proudly say that despite everything that life threw at me, all the shots it took, against all odds, I made it; I survived.

For most of the us New Year’s Eve has become the universally accepted precise pivotal moment set for anyone wishing to embody change. On that regard, turn their lives around. It’s the day when everyone except a few, forms new resolutions that they could’ve made any other time, but for no particular reason, didn’t.

I sometimes wonder why that is, and being the thinker that I am, I arrived at one conclusion. Control. Making a fresh start in a fresh year gives the feeling that we’re back in the driver’s seat of our lives. It almost feels like a new beginning to our once crappy lives. All our previous screw ups we render obsolete. For we consider ourselves newly reborn people who are now more productive, with better time management and more careful about our health. Ha ha, give it two weeks tops. Past the excitement of the moment and it’s back to the same old us.

We repeat this cycle year after year promising ourselves that next year we’ll get it right. But have we stopped to consider that this resolution making tradition is irreparably flawed. It takes an extremely determined person to turn over a new leaf overnight, on a set time window, and sadly…that’s not most of us. The solution I believe is to make short term goals under an exact time frame( by this I mean deadlines MUST be put in place). They can either take a week, a month or whatever time you choose. I just urge you to stop worrying about missing the new year window. Resolutions need to be made when they need to be made. If you pile up enough tomorrows, you’ll find that you’re left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.

Personally 2017 was a great year for my personal growth and development. I established reading as my official time wasting activity. I discovered Swahilipot hub, the first and only innovation hub in the coast province of Kenya (A big win for us), where the harmonious integration of art and technology comes to being. That’s where I’ve been spending most of my time lately. Best of all I joined and later became an Executive at MTY Organization where I discovered the joy of community service, importance of celebrating one another’s small victories and the biggest win for me, I found my voice. Strangers, we made homes out of one another, all for the passion of improving our communities. So yeah, a pretty great year, and I’m thankful for it.

Notice I said thankful up there. Perhaps that’s the paradigm shift we need to adopt in order for our goals to be realized. Being grateful. Haven’t we all read it , “ And [Remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful I will Surely increase you [in favour]… “[Q14:7]. This is where we need to begin. Try counting your blessings, I’m sure you won’t enumerate them. Be grateful for them and realize that this new beginning isn’t exactly starting on an empty slate. Your blessings upon blessings are a headstart. Look for ways of improving on the good that has already been established and see the difference.

In 2017 while everyone else was ranting, some of us were busy doing their planting. Seeds of growth. I got to work on developing firm roots as I fed strictly on positivity. 2018 is essentially the year I branch out and grow or totally wither. I’m positively optimistic though. This is the year I polish the diamond in the rough.


Wah, it’d be ironic if I died after this…speaking of Survival and all that…Lol.

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Hassan Kassim

Hassan Kassim is a Mombasa-based Creative non-fiction writer, recently longlisted for the Toyin Falola prize, blogger and translator of Kiswahili work. A beneficiary of the Penpen program by African Writers Development Trust(AWDT) commissioned by Culture at Work Africa and the European Union(E.U), and holds his Bachelor’s degree in Maritime Management. Hassan writes about the ill-documented Communities of Coastal Kenya. His work has appeared in Writers Space Africa; his 2 non-fiction stories published in the anthology 'Twaweza,' a collaborative effort of 12 African writers on the African identity and set to appear in the forthcoming anthology for the Toyin Falola prize.

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Hassan Kassim is a Kenyan-based Creative non-fiction writer, blogger and translator of Kiswahili works with over 2 years of experience. A beneficiary of the Penpen program by African Writers Development Trust(AWDT) commissioned by Culture at Work Africa, and holds his Bachelor’s degree in Maritime Management.


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