My husband and I used to get frustrated with my oldest child on many an occasion when she was younger. She had this annoying habit of defining her entire day by the last bad thing that happened in the course of events.
So if we spent a really fun day at the zoo, had pizza for dinner and ice cream for dessert, and then topped it off watching a great movie -- what she would remember was how she was scolded just before bedtime for not doing her chores properly. All the positive aspects of the day would fly from her memory, and she would rattle of a laundry list of all the minor nuisances of the day and call it a disaster.
Thankfully she has outgrown that, and I have tried to teach her sisters not to take that kind of attitude, but more importantly I have tried to take the lesson to heart myself.
Looking back on this year, it would be easy to write it off as a dismal failure. From the silly -- the Cubs not making it to the World Series again -- to the personal -- a very regrettable instance during an otherwise incredible vacation -- to the serious (in my book anyway) -- the result of the election. Having the last episode so late in the year has made it a challenge not to tell 2008 "Good riddance!"
But that would be ungracious.
I never take for granted that my family, most importantly all my children, are in great health, and live a very blessed life. It could so easily be otherwise, especially since we up the odds by our sheer numbers! But seriously, I could kick myself for ever feeling grouchy or complaining about the trivial.
So I will not declare 2008 a disappointment. Rather I shall thank everyone I know, and the good Lord Himself, for being a part of my life, and for all the joy they bring.
I wish you all a very, very happy new year and all the best for 2009.