Let’s face it, 2009 is a year most will be happy to see go.
In my world I started the year with a stress-fracture of my foot, took five days off without pay in the summer, then had my salary cut by 5 percent in the fall, had a heart attack in July and my mother ended up with a case of dementia that had me scrambling to find a nursing home in November.
I even lost my favorite cat to a coyote on, of all days in the year, my birthday, and my brother continues to battle his addiction to demon rum.
It would be easy to get bummed out at this point, but I’m actually feeling pretty good and grateful.
Despite all the setbacks that occurred this year, I have much to be thankful for.
Unlike almost 200 of my journalism colleagues, or my Master Mechanic brother, I still have a job. My heart attack resulted in no permanent damage to my ticker and, since then, I’ve lost 30 pounds: all good things.
And while my mom was losing her grip on reality, she has gotten much better since her episode and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope we’ll have a good Christmas.
My wife still loves me, my cats only scratch the furniture or pee on the carpet once in a while and we found a gift card for Harkin’s Theaters in a drawer the other day.
For many people, truly bad things happened this year. Homes were foreclosed on; jobs lost and loved ones were suddenly taken.
But for me, and I would imagine many others, what could have happened often was more depressing than what did happen.
Take my career as an example. With the upheavals in journalism it’s easy to be despondent, until I remember that I have a job and it is the best job ever. It may not last forever, but today I’m doing what I love, surrounded by co-workers who are dedicated and talented and, frankly, it doesn’t really get much better than that.
Sure, I’m broke, and the future looks uncertain, but for right now life is surprisingly good.
And that is all that matters.
May 2010 be as good, or better, than 2009.
Doug Murphy is a reporter and opinion page editor at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org