Apparently, 2009 was a difficult year. I know this, because I've heard it said on the news so many times, I've read it in Christmas newsletters, and even Dear Abby said she was "sure all of us are glad to bid a 'fond farewell' to 2009."
I feel like I missed something.
I didn't find 2009 any better or worse than any other year. Each year is a package deal. You get good and bad events. Some months--weeks--even days may be better than others. Some may be worse. But that is what living is all about. What would we be without the ups and downs of life?
I think of the people in Wall-E. They had everything they could possibly want at their fingertips. They wanted a drink, they pressed a button. They wanted to change their outfits, they pressed a button. No need to worry themselves with waiting. No need even for human interaction to reach their goals. Were they better off for it? All they did was sit there staring at a computer screen (and yes, I recognize the irony of what I am saying) and atrophy. They were alive, but lifeless.
If your only loss this year was material, you did well. We were barely keeping ahead of the bills some months, and one of our cars breathed its last. Luckily, my husband doesn't work very far from home. He's been taking the bus, and I've been dropping him off or picking him up when I can. It is always nice to have no worry about money, but unrealistic. We've always tried to live frugally. In good years, it is easy to get used to material comforts, but it is good to remember that we can do without them, if necessary.
My heart goes out to my friends and family dealing with illness, and those who lost parents, spouses, children, relatives, or friends. Since the beginning of the year, I've been to three funerals. That didn't even represent all of my grieving. But saying goodbye, as hard as it is, is part of the journey of life. The lives that touch us are fleeting. I cherish the moments I have with each family member and friend. We do not know how long we have to spend with each person, so enjoy the time you have with the ones you love. Help them when you can. Listen to them. Everyone appreciates being heard.
This year, I was also blessed with friends and family who brought new life into this world. I'm sure none of them would think of 2009 as a bad year. I believe some of the most beautiful babies were born this year.
So as the ball drops this year, do not bemoan 2009. It wasn't a good year or a bad year. It was one more year of life. If you are loved at the end of this year, I think you are doing pretty well.
And if no one else tells you so, know that I love all of you who have taken the time to stop by and read my little blog. If I have brought one smile to your face over the course of this year, that means more to me than anything I could possess.
Peace and Laughter,