Let me be clear: I'm usually a happy, positive person. I see the silver lining in the cloud, the glass half-full, and make lemonade out of life's lemons. I don't believe in good or bad luck, I believe it's all in your perspective.
But let me also be clear: 2007 sucked. Big time.
I can't honestly remember another year which has been so determinedly, stubbornly, negative. And I don't mean just for me. Everyone I know has had a lousy year - bereavements, illnesses, financial hardships, job losses, workplace dramas, failed relationships have abounded. All topped off by truly awful weather. As I look back on the year, the overriding sensation is of a constant uphill struggle.
It seems to me there must be some big, cosmic pattern at work. I don't know enough about astrology to make an informed comment, but surely there is some kind of major planetary disharmony going on? And hopefully if that is the case, it can't last forever?
In my search for clues that the tide of fortune may be turning, I remember that Christmas 2006 was a bit of a disaster for my family. We had all planned to have Christmas together at my sister's house. Unfortunately the building work they were having done wasn't finished in time so the venue had to be changed to Mum & Dad's. Then the person who'd promised to house sit and care take the animals for us so we could be away, discovered she couldn't house sit after all - so T & I couldn't go. In the meantime, my parents went down with food poisoning which lasted throughout Christmas, my sister-in-law's car broke down on the journey up from Somerset leaving her stranded at the roadside with my 4 year old nephew, and to cap it all off, while my sister and her husband were spending Christmas at Mum & Dad's, their own home was burgled.
This year, Christmas has been a much more enjoyable experience! After a somewhat manic lead up to the big day, all has gone smoothly and easily. Everyone has been relaxed and happy, the food preparation went smoothly, there was plenty of it and it was delicious: no culinary disasters to report. Excellent gifts have been given and received, the house has been comfortable and cosy, the cats accepted my sister's dog quite happily and even the weather's been quite mild, allowing for pleasant walks interspersed with all the feasting! Quite a contrast to last year. So now I'm feeling quite positive that perhaps the change is coming. 2007 is drawing to a close; 2008 will be better!
Yes, at heart I'm an optimist. And there is plenty to look forward to in the coming year. My Mum & Dad are moving to Wales, Avalon Spring is going to be wonderful, my brother is planning another big party in the spring, and that's just the tip of the iceberg! We have a whole new year to fill up with fun.
Thanks, 2007, for the lessons learned about coping with adversity, the strength of family and community and acting with grace when under pressure. Thank you, and adieu.
And hallo and welcome, 2008! We've been SO looking forward to meeting you!