Strange days with a dreamlike quality, slightly out of focus and removed from the reality of day-to-day routines. A sense of anti-climax after the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas and the anticipation of seeing family and friends, of good times shared with loved ones.
These few days of calm before the New Year celebrations do not sit well with me. It’s a time out of time with a chance to relax and reflect, but with a sense of sadness and loss at another year passed so quickly. A balancing of the books; the positives and the negatives, highs and lows, frustrations and successes in a year that has been tough for many.
Reflecting over the last twelve months, 2011 will not go down on the balance sheet of life as outstanding. It’s had it’s share of high spots (my father recovering from cancer, the engagement of our eldest son) but sadly those are outweighed against devastating losses.
Death has walked with several families we know this year. A shadowy spectre in our peripheral vision for many years, he has claimed centre stage, standing in the spotlight clear for all to see. For three friends the loss of parents, and for two families the loss of children, has had far reaching consequences as we deal with finding a new way of living without these wonderful people in our lives. Cancer continues to be an ongoing battle for others, who inspire us with their strength and courage every day.
Years like this make us reassess our expectations and values. What’s really important when you remove the gloss and tinsel are the solid foundations of family and friends. Of caring for, and nurturing, each other.
Our lives are enriched by the people in it, whose lives mesh with ours as the years pass by. We share their good times and bad, they share ours. Those are the only values that have any place when we prepare the balance sheet at the end of each year.
On this last day of the 2011, thanks to each of you who are part of my life, whether our lives touch briefly or are woven more deeply. To my husband and children without whom my life would have no value or meaning. To my family and friends who travel the path through life alongside us and enrich it every day. To those of you who take the time to read the words I write, you are part of the journey too.
On this end day of 2011, I’d like to wish each of you a 2012 full of hope, peace and love.
We’re going to need it – the world being about to end and all that . . .