Look forward to a year full of promise

2008 is over and what a year it was. Some are glad it has come to an end and many grieve the pain it brought to them. Many enjoyed most of the moments they had and happily anticipate another year. Some lost loved ones in wars, hospitals, accidents and nursing homes. Others watched new life come into the world as they gave birth to children and welcomed grandchildren.

Many spent the year wrapped up in the presidential election while others did not have a clue about who was running. Some welcomed new pets into their lives and others ignored the ones they have. Many lost their jobs and their homes to the economy, floods, hurricanes and fires. Most worry about what 2009 will bring to them as they face a pile of bills or fear of a job loss. How many will be laid off? How many more foreclosures will we see? How do we live our lives peacefully when the check book is empty?

Children spent the year playing not worried about the economy unless the new high tech toy they wanted did not appear beneath the tree. Some children, sadly, worried about whether they would be abused each day. Too many families quarreled constantly over many things: alcohol abuse, money, sex, religion and whether or not someone wiped their feet before tramping through the house.

Other families rarely quarreled, cherishing each moment with those they loved. Most of us were somewhere in between. Some people on our planet died of starvation or disease while others lives opulently having far more than they needed. Many shared what they had and many did not.

For some dreams came true. Others were afraid to dream. Artists painted, surgeon saved lives, crossing guards helped kids get to school safely, sales people sold their goods, and all of us (well, most of us) did the best we could to be the best we could be.

The year was one to remember but as we move on we will soon forget much of what went happened.

We will forget, in time, the nasty political ads, the rain on our family picnics, the traffic that held us up, and so many other petty concerns that bothered us so much.

We will never forget the loved one who died, the pet that got run over by a car, the treasures lost in floods and fires and the words we wish we could take back.

Each year of our lives is precious though we don’t always recognize how precious while we are living in its moments. We tend to take the days for granted and soon those days turn into months and we wonder where the time has gone. Each year tends to go faster . . . those of us over 50 know that all too well. I guess that helps us cherish the moments time offers us a bit more . . . knowing they will flit by with the blink of an eye. Kids think Christmas and their birthdays will never come. We oldsters know Christmas will be here and gone in a flash.

It is time to say Happy New Year to those close to us and to strangers as well. It is time for hope and joy and it is time to pull those dreams out of the boxes that hold them so securely . . . dust them off and put them out there.

Who knows which ones will come true? They won’t come true hidden in a box.

May 2009 be one of hope and health and stability. May it heal those who need healing. May we see our country heal and recover and may we each do our parts to make all of that happen. Happy New Year!

Mary Friedel-Hunt, freelance writer, publisher (Voice of the River Valley) and a licensed clinical social worker, has been a psychotherapist for 32 years. Her column runs weekly in Faith & Values. You may contact her by writing to: P.O. Box 189, Lone Rock, WI. 53556.