We say it's year 2009 (for a few more hours) because we are basing our calculation upon a fixed point in time. (An incorrect fixed point in time, by the way.) It turns out whoever set up our calendar originally got the start point wrong by up to three years. And then, nobody took into account the fact that a year isn't exactly 365-days until over a thousand years had passed. So it's all guesswork.
But other calendars use different fixed points in time and so come up with other years. Isn't there one calendar in the 20,000s now?
My point is that all year ends are artificial, created by one or more people establishing a fixed point in time. Most people in the world are now using the same calendar and so the year is 2009 - ending. And for several hundred years that has worked well enough.
You know, though, I don't believe I've ever read anything in which the people preceding the beginning of our calendar ever referred to a year as a number. They seemed to think about years with regard to a significant event. The Year of the Great Flood. The Year of the Locusts (hey, that would make a good book, I bet [smiles]). The Year of the Drought. And so on. People didn't seem to count years beyond knowing how old they were.
Personally, I am ending 2009 a bit worse off than I ended 2008. That has been the pattern for several years now. Perhaps it has been the pattern all my life, but when I was so much better off I never noticed it. Now, any adjustment, good or bad, is keenly felt.
Despite this "lowering of station" I have experienced (and Spouse and Son, too, by reason of their affiliation with me), I must say that 2009 was mostly a happy year in my memory.
Surprised I wrote that? Yes, I know. I write a lot of self-pitiful stuff. And I whine more than most about my situation. But that's just my way of expressing an emotion out of my system. And when I speak sarcastically about myself, I really am laughing at myself, despite what you may think. I DO laugh a lot more than my writing would imply.
Early in the year I got the feeling that something significant would happen at summer's end. I was convinced this "something significant" was something of great benefit. If it happened then the benefit has eluded me. The most significant thing that happened at summer's end was we lost the house. But that was followed immediately by me writing three novels in less than 90 days. I don't know that either of those things qualify as a fulfillment of my feeling. Maybe something happened I'm unaware of.
But this year has been especially good to me while attempting to bring me low. What am I thankful for?
- My best friend. Without a doubt this has been my most precious gift of 2009. I have not had a best friend since Stephen died. Many are the days I am nearly brought to tears with the joy of knowing my friend is there. Still. And on top of that, I have made other friends this year, too. They can't all be best. How did the song go? If everybody's somebody - then no one's anybody.
- A new creative outlet for my writing. I found myself writing more about women this year, and I have enjoyed it beyond explaining. I have truly opened a part of myself I never knew was there. And I like what I'm finding.
- I have enjoyed my most prolific year ever in writing. Just a few thousand words short of 1,000,000-words. I started and finished five (5) novels. In fact, I wrote a complete novel in September, October, and again in November (after I abandoned NaNoWriMo).
- While not at all healthy, I am still here with my family.
- I have discovered there are certain family members who's proclamations of love go far beyond words.
- I have discovered I care a LOT more about people than I do about rules. I realize this puts me at odds with a lot of other Christians, but I am not firmly convinced I understand what God meant when he told us through the Apostle Peter, "Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8 Revised Standard Version
- While I can't do it right now, I know what I want to do with my life. It's just a matter of finding and recognizing the opportunity when it comes. (Tied with that is the understanding of how to create the opportunity to find.)
- Son has discovered his first best talent is in music. He now owns his own saxophone. Whatever it cost us to get it, it was worth it.
I am also grateful to those of you who come to read what I write. I realize the posts on this blog are hardly informative or inspirational, but you come anyway. Thank you.
I hope your year has ended well for you.