Thursday, December 31, 2009

Each Year is a Gift

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,


Risa said...

Lovely post, and I heartily agree with your sentiment. I wanted to thank you for all your wonderful comics--I love the humour, and can very much relate! The one showing the difference between how others see homeschoolers (home) and how homeschoolers see homeschoolers (home, museum, shop, nature centre, etc. etc.) was a particular fave of mine. Looking forward to more in 2010.

call*me*kate said...

Happy New Year, my friend!

Thank you for a year of laughter, thoughtful insight and intelligent comic-strip humor! This post is sums up the year in the way that it should be. Forget the media hype. Life is life, you are so right.

Thanks for being a faithful reader of mine. For that, I am humbled and grateful.

May God bless you richly in 2010!

Love, Kate

call*me*kate said...

Kate, again.

That line should read: "This post sums up ..."

Oh how I wish one could correct one's comments! Perhaps I'll have a word with the blogspot folks!

- Kate

ComfyDenim said...

I like the way you have wrapped up your thoughts. I know our year was fast paced, full of challenges and fun alike. It's sitting here trying to figure out how to write up a summary that makes the year look either worse or better than it was. :-) 2009 was a year. :-)

~*~The Family~*~ said...

When I read Dear Abby this morning I thought that her quote was odd as well.

We had a great year, sure there are a lot of things I could have done without, but it is what it is. I am not sure what people are expecting or if people in the media feel some obligation to make everything either the best or the worst.

We will be cheering in the new year tonight and looking forward to another wonderful one to look back on next year. We wish the same for your family!

Janet said...

I have to admit that I'll be happy to say goodbye to 2009, but that's more because of the promise of moving into the future than it is a gripe with the current year. All things considered it's another year of living and loving under our belts. Thanks for not joining the media hype that tells us the economic situation is horrible and everything in our existence is related to money. Luckily we all know a secret- money's the least of life's blessings. Faith, hope, and love... much more important :-)

Laughing Stars aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

I agree that when our only losses are material, we are lucky indeed. We have had a difficult year due to my older daughter's illness :-( -- of course, there have many blessings as well. Happy New Year to you and your family!

TobyBo said...

Happy New Year! And you have brought many smiles to my face. :)

The Stone Age Techie said...

What a great post.
Wishing you all the best in the coming year -

Inner Elder said...

Amen to everything you and your commentors said. And Amen to 2009, a year of blessings and suffering, love and joy, challenges and adventure. I loved 2009 overall, especially our trip to Italy. Love, Mom

appleleaf said...

It's been a great year for me, up there with 1995, 1998, 2003 and 2004 (which are when my babies were born except 2003 which is when we made many changes)
I really appreciate what you've said about money and realising that we can do without things when we have to. And I appreciate our blog friendship too. How our children have all grown since we first "met"
I think 2010 will be great too.

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