Year Unknown

“It’s been a tough year.”

I’ve been hearing or sensing this among those I know, those who know who I know, those I read, and many Facebook statuses.

Makes you think… What makes a year good or bad?  Moments it contains? Consequences one dealt with? Goals achieved or perhaps not achieved? Reality illuminated on that which one has tried to deny? Domestic and international affairs? I suppose the answer is different for everyone but it’s interesting how so many people seem to be feeling 2009 has overall, and pardon the expression, sucked. Yes, the economy and unemployment is abysmal, but beauty can still be found. In fact, one could argue, just such a setting could allow beauty and happiness to glow even brighter…

Suppose in the same year, you found the greatest love of your life but also felt the lose of someone very special to you. Would this make it a great year? Can we generalize a year to be something as simple as good or bad?  Years are a measurement we’ve chosen to signify the length of our time on this earth. But really, what is a year? It’s the time it takes for a planet to revolve around the sun, as a dictionary will inform you. But speaking on a metaphysical level, what is it and does it matter?

Speaking personally, I’ve been on a roller coaster of sorts for some time now. Major changes have taken place in my life and my mode of thought. Some days I’ve fought the greatest struggle of my entire existence while other days I felt probably the happiest I’ve been… well, ever. I’ve tried to make sense of all the good and bad and came out realizing I was dealing with what I’ve put off, what I’ve kept out of my conscious, what is true and what came at me from life through no apparent cause of my own. The road ahead is smoother now but I have no doubt that there will be many more turns, highways, detours, and stand-stills to come. Nonetheless, I’m all the wiser and stronger and the car I’m driving on that road is now much more sturdy.

Excuse the metaphor but what better time for something symbolic than New Year’s Eve.

I’m left with a thought though, after realizing it was not only me that had been kicked in the ass during the past 365 days. What if we all were to release this notion that age or years matter? Would this relieve some stress and unhappiness in which many are happy to leave behind as the clock strikes 2010? Besides maybe a hangover, will you wake up much different on January 1, 2010 than you did on December 31, 2009? Sure, there are always exceptions, but likely, no, you will not. I venture to cast aside this belief that the year matters and how old one is makes a difference outside of biology.

Albert Einstein once said,  “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”

As we continue to figure out the people we want to be and identify the people we are so we can make change toward the former, we will be faced with challenges and yet experience great joy. But does the year really matter in regards to this?


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