How Do You Measure A Year?

As part of my Christmas season, and as the year draws to a close, it seems appropriate to take some time to look at the year that is passing away.  It has been a good year for me.  A really good, learning, deepening year.  As I was thinking about the events of the year, the song “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent sprang to mind.

Each year, I am more aware of how quickly the minutes slip by.  Time is becoming more and more precious to me.  I watch my children grow into adults and think that it was just seconds ago that they were babies in my arms.  When I realize that I have experienced almost all of my 525,600 minutes for 2010, I have to take a minute and wonder whether I made those minutes count, whether I made the most I could of them.

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How
about love? Measure in love.

Daylights and sunsets – did I make the most of them as each day passed?  Did I take the time to notice the beauty of each day or mark its end by pausing to watch the sunset?  Some days, yes, but too many slipped by while I was busy.

If I were to measure 2010 in midnights and cups of coffee, I would say it was a wonderful year.  Gallons of coffee accompanied wonderful conversations with friends and gallons more went with quiet mornings reading the paper with John.  Many midnights found John and me talking about the past, present, and future and trying to write some words that might sort out our thoughts and feelings.  A few midnights found us worrying about where our loved ones might be and whether they were safe from any storms.  A few, but not too many.  Some midnights found us outside, enjoying the quiet of nature at night.  Those were my favorites, and were minutes that passed blessedly slowly.

If I were to measure 2010 in inches, I would count my slow progress toward breaking bad habits.  In miles, I would see the advances my children are making, becoming taller and smarter than me while I watch.  Traveling miles would describe the journey of our marriage, and our love which has deepened significantly over the course of this year, in a way that I never imagined was possible.  Miles would also signify the lengths John has gone to in order to accommodate the limitations I have faced as I struggled to learn new ways of cooking and cleaning and being in the face of reduced vision.  And, I would say, I have journeyed miles from seeing my low vision as a burden to discovering that it can be a great and wonderful blessing.  In addition, the miles toward reconciliation and friendship with loved ones has brought me great joy.

I can mark the year in laughter and in strife.  The cycle of consolation and desolation and back to consolation was completed many times over the course of the year.  So much laughter and so many tears.  More than enough to make it a wonderful year of growth and emergence into new life, or at least into a new way of looking at life.

And…How about love?  If I begin to measure my year in love, I am overwhelmed.  So much love has been poured out on me that it is overpowering.  It makes me cry, just thinking about the blessings of love I have received this year.  I have felt loved by a divine source of power and light and have felt warmed by the closeness and intensity of that love.  From John, Emily, Sam, Ben, my family, my old and new friends, my coworkers, my neighbors, Facebook and Twitter friends, my blog followers, acquaintances, and strangers, I have experienced acceptance and support and encouragement and love.  My attempts at independence have been applauded.  I have been reassured in my weaknesses.  I have been given the great gift of being told that my words have had an effect in the world, which has given me immense joy.  I have cried with people I love and celebrated with people I love.  If I am to measure the year 2010 in love, I believe that I can count this as a very good year, indeed.

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14 thoughts on “How Do You Measure A Year?

  1. Belinda, This is a wonderful reflection. I truly thank God for the overwhelming gift of love. May we continue to count these moments.

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