I cannot list many positives for this departing year. The ones I find are the light side of the darkness.
(-) In January, I didn't get a job that I really wanted. It was a huge blow. Bigger than I let on.
(+) The plus was that I still had a job here. The kids didn't have to be uprooted.
(-) In February, we had a scare regarding my father's health.
(+) The positive thing there is that he recovered and is going stronger than ever now.
(-) In March, the world stop turning for a while.
There really aren't many positive to counter the tsunami. It was a terrible thing. For a Buddhist, I suppose it was just confirmation of the fact that existence is suffering. I could have gone without that dharmic lesson though. There is a crack in my heart made by the March 11th earthquake that will never heal.
(+) The silver lining is that it wasn't us, this time. For that I am grateful, if selfish.
(-) In April, our future in Japan was put in jeopardy by a paperwork oversight made by me.
(+) The good thing? We are still here.
After that, nothing traumatic happened in our tiny corner. But those grand slam first four months took their toll on the rest of 2011. I am sitting here feeling exhausted and not wanting to do anything to draw attention to our little tribe until midnight arrives. My sleeves are wet from wiping away the tears as I looked for footage of the tsunami for this post. I know we are not the only family glad to say sayonara to 2011. Last year I had thought that a year of rabbit-ness would be a good thing. Anyone who has read Watership Down should know better than to underestimate the viciousness of a rabbit.
I don't want to even discuss my hopes for 2012 until 2011 is safely sealed in the vaults. I will say that I am grateful that there were no direct hits this year. I will give 2011 some props for making me ever so thankful for the most essential blessing, that of being alive. We are safe and together, healthy and happy. I hope the stark clarity that 2011 provided will carry over for many years to come. This year has taught me that no minute should be taken for granted. I will forever tell my family that I love them before we part for the day and feel grateful that I have the chance to do so.
For you, my dear readers, I hope that you too have come to terms with 2011. I am glad that you survived the harrowing months and look forward to rejoicing our collective good fortune as we leave the dark days for the light. And since I have the chance before we part for the year, let me send you my love and warm wishes. I know better than to take such an opportunity for granted.