Thursday, January 16, 2014

What A Difference A Year Makes

When we are younger, years come and years go. We often don't give them a second thought. As we age, each additional year of life is a gift.  As such, I think we are less likely to take time for granted. We also tend to reflect more. I'm not sure that last year was much different from other years. It seems there are always wars, political upheaval, natural disasters, terrorist acts, and notable deaths.

On a worldwide scale, 2013 will be remembered as the year a new pope was chosen, a prince was born and a South African icon died. There were typhoons, building collapses, bombings, meteor explosions, nuclear testing and bailouts of entire countries. Those were newsworthy events in what seem like far off places. Some may have touched us personally.

During this past year however, many memorable events have also affected us closer to home. Who can forget the terrible tragedy of the train derailment in Lac Megantic killing forty seven people?  What about the continuing saga of Rob Ford? Then there were the weather events like flooding of major cities. How about the ice storms, fallen trees, and power outages which kept some people in the dark and cold for weeks?

For me personally, it’s now been a full twelve months since I began writing a newspaper column. I remember one of my first pieces which contained a rant about my new cell phone.  I complained that I would not be using the device for looking at email, checking Facebook, Googling or watching movies on the teeny tiny screen. One year later, I do all of those and more. Well, maybe I don't watch movies but I have been known to look at the occasional youtube or video clip.

It’s surprising how much change takes place in a year. My daughter, Ingrid came home for Christmas after having been gone since January. She was shocked by our new money. She wondered where our the pennies went and asked whether it was really possible to photograph and deposit a cheque into a bank account. She looked at store aisles in disbelief. She had forgotten how fortunate we are and all the goods which we have available to us compared to where she now lives.

We too are often unappreciative of what we have and take things for granted. Perhaps not time, as much as our surroundings and conveniences.

So another year has gone. Friends and acquaintances have become sick, some have had accidents, and sadly, some have passed away. We are thankful for those who have recovered from illness and we hope to spend many more years enjoying their company.

As I said in the beginning, each year is a gift. Let's put the gift of 2014 to good use.

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