A year in the rearview mirror

Published 12:46 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

Every year means something different to everyone. Tom Boggs’ column this week recounted the significance of each of the first 18 years of his life, in the process causing me to step back and take in just what 2010 has meant to me.

Every year can be defined in a different way, but 2010 will always revolve around weddings for me.

I was in my friend Braden’s wedding. I was an usher at my cousin’s wedding. I was in my friend Neil’s wedding. And I was in my friend David’s wedding.

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But my 2010 will be defined by weddings more than anything because it was at David’s wedding where I met Blythe, the female lead for my upcoming wedding. Summer 2011. Should be a blockbuster. Be there.

Each year we go through will have some significant event that helps define us in some way. Often we may look back and not recall what event matches to what year or even that said event happened. So it is important to drink in fresh each calendar’s importance as it passes.

I have already forgotten what I did in 2009 because my 2010 has been so busy. Aside from weddings and the fact that the year will be forever associated with Blythe, I lost my Uncle Tommy.

And I went on a mission trip to Jamaica. My long time mode of transportation, The Lumina, finally convinced me to allow it to pass on to the next phase of its existence.

I saw Ben Harper and O.A.R. live, knocking out the top two artists on my “must see” list.

I got my dog Charley, who still has yet to be convinced that he is indeed a dog.

I moved into a house. I watched two of my closest friends move away.

Unless something drastic and dreadful happens, I will have attended my first NBA game and knocked another state off the list of places to see by the time 2010 rolls out.

And while the pressures of the economy and the ever-growing workload of the newspaper industry have been nothing short of daunting, I have enjoyed a pretty incredible year.

Personal assessment, like most everything else in life, is all about perspective.

So while this year has not been a cakewalk by any stretch, I am a little bit sad and a little bit scared to see the calendar roll over.

Aside from the fact that I will be another year older, I can scarcely think of what 2011 may hold that could be better than what I have enjoyed these last 365 days.

Then again, there is another wedding in my future. And there is the hope of starting a new family and all the joy that could bring.

So, like every other year, I put my head down, say a prayer and hope for the best as the month that was a week that was a day becomes a new year.

In the end, that is all any of us can really do. But to let another year, even another day, go by without taking in and truly appreciating the benefits and lessons it has offered would be to fail to appreciate this life we are in.

Every year means something different to everyone. But from weddings to losses to travel to new beginnings, my 2010 has truly been about learning to appreciate life and its brevity.

Jeremy D. Smith is the community editor of The Demopolis Times.