Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ringing out the old...

Just about this time last year, I wrote a year-end review piece. It was a brief reflection on what the year had meant to me. In short, I had an amazing year. I even ranked it among the top-five best years ever - and indeed it was. It is important, I think, to qualify just what that means, however. There are some once-in-a-lifetime events that usually occur during the same period in everyone’s life. Coming of age… the first kiss (and other firsts)… marriage… the birth of children… and other similar singularly momentous events in each of our lives are the source of life-long memories. I have had those and the years in which they occurred were also very good years - still, even so many years later.

But I can’t say with any certainty what else happened in those years. In other words, it was a single event that identified the quality of the passing year. And, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t in the habit of documenting the quality or lack thereof of the passing years until very recently. Oh, sure I would take a quick look over my shoulder each New Year’s Eve, but I never gave much thought to what was - only what wasn’t. Usually I was only too happy to see the old year breathe its last breath. This year was a good year, and I can say that with a definitive measuring stick - my 2006 “Year in Review.”

If a period of time is measured for it’s overall quality, it must involve some element of consistency. Not every day was what one would call a banner day. Most, in fact, were more of same… diligently working through each day, accomplishing what needed to be done and sometimes a little more, and building upon the prior day’s work. Some days were exceptionally good, others not so much. Most were satisfying and complete. It has been a very long time since I have had a “bad” day. Although there were some singular, memorable events, this last year was the best ever not because of them, but because of the work that preceded them.

It has been a year - no, two years - of solid and consistent effort that was the means that created these ends. It’s not rocket science; one day at a time, day in and day out, I have done the simple things that have to be done and the results have far exceeded anything I ever dreamt possible. I’m not just talking about the academic achievements or the earning my Bachelor of Arts degree, but also the relationships I have built, re-built and reinforced. There are people in my life today that are genuine, authentic and all remarkable in there own right. Some are new friends, many are family and some are associations built through my writing - all are important.

That is what I am truly most grateful for. I’ll miss 2007 - but it prepared me for 2008.


craziequeen said...

I struggle with review - or preview, for that matter.

But I think my year highlight was the small joust I attended back in June, as a medieval woman. It was such fun being around horses and horsey people.

Or my birthday party with my friends, drink, bowling and lots of love.

Michele sent me here today, Mike.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

It is very interesting, this reviewing aspect of one's life---in this case Mike---one's 'year'. I am not sure I have ever NOT done this reviewing but not in any formal way, but as I have gone along in life....
There are many milestones that move one along on one road or another and evewn take us down some little roads off of the bigger one....I hope I have appreciated most of the good things and also hope I got a lot out of the bad things, as well. Now that I am 76, I seem to be reflecting on the past quite a bit because of Photographs that I want to download digitally for, hopefully, better preservation.,...And I see that there is at least one thing I honestly did not see---And that was the way I truly looked as a young woman....I Was Really Pretty!
And I so wish I had 'felt' that and known that---Not in any conceited way, mind you, but it means I never really saw my physical self as it really was and therefor THAT effected and changed how I felt about almost everything! And that, in retrospect, is kind of a sad thing, to me. What a waste of time and energy as well as not truly enjoying the woman I really was, on the most superficial level, except, as it turns out, it wasn't superficial, at all---If this makes any sense....!(lol)
I think it is wonderful that YOU are taking an inventory, if you will, and appreciating the good things along with the bad....! It certainly sounds like you have been having some wonderful years in this most recent past Reviewing in a 'real' way certainly makes one appreciate how far we've come....It would be good if more people could and would do that....Because of the perspective it gives you and especially the gratitude one can feel for everything that has happened to one!

I remember hearing Barbara Cook, that sublime singer of songs---that master interpretor of the American Song, who has the Voice Of An Angel----I remember hearing her say...."I guess I wish I had realized I was living and performing during the Golden Age Of Broadway....I might have enjoyed it more....!"
Well, she is certainly enjoyimng a "third Act" as they say, NOW, and truly appreciating her "blessings". It sounds like you are too, Mike, and
Ms. Cook is 80 years old! So just think of all these great years you have ahead of you! A VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU, DEAR MIKE!

Bobkat said...

I think reflection is importnat, it allows us to sift through the past and take the imporatnt stuff with us on the road ahead, like the lessons we have learnt and the good memories. as you asy, it gives us something to build on for the coming year.

I am glad you have had a good year and must also congratulate you on finishing your last paper for your Bachelor degree - well done!

kenju said...

It is true that what we are today is the result of what we have been/done/seen/accomplished in the past - a direct result of it. You have worked hard, Mike, and reflection should bring you nothing but pleasure and pride at a job well done!

Michele sent me this time.

Snaggle Tooth said...

I hope 2008 is glowing in the spotlight for you as well!