We're a day shy of a brand new year, and everywhere I turn I see people waxing sentimental over the year just ending...and I simply couldn't resist.
I tried to remember the events that shaped this year, and for the most part I came up with patchy memories that left me doubting as to whether they happened this year or last year. Twelve months is a long stretch of time.
I was thinking that sometimes you do not forget things simply because you ask yourself, 'where was I when X happened?', and you remember with unnerving clarity that at the exact moment you were doing something as ordinary as buying bread, people were losing their lives to natural disasters. It's what I was doing when I first heard of an earthquake in Haiti.
And then there are the moments when a catastrophe is happening on a grand scale, yet you shrug dismissive shoulders at it because you naively assume it couldn't possibly affect little ol' you. That is until you learn that this catastrophe is an ash cloud causing unprecedented chaos in Europe, and leaving stranded passengers all over the world who can neither fly into or out of Europe's major airports. But to every ash cloud, there is a silver lining...and mine was an unexpected extra week in the motherland, clocking up precious moments with family and friends.
Maybe you considered a career change. You wanted to be an armchair commentator...and South Africa 2010 provided you with ample opportunity. From the hype, the passion, the novelty of a tournament of that scale on African soil, the uniting force of the game, right down to the vuvuzelas, SA 2010 was a veritable tour de force! And when Tshabalala scored that goal during the first match against Mexico, I'm pretty sure I teared up a little. Wow, what a MOMENT! Rob Green must rue the day he let the ball slip through his fingers and 'gifted' the USA with a goal; I hope Luis Suarez is still getting some sort of hate mail and/or death threats; Kaka's red card still seems unfair. Yes, I've taken this particularly personal. Like I said, armchair commentator. 2010 was a time for AFRICA.
It seems even Prince William knew Africa was the place to be, choosing Kenya as the romantic backdrop for his proposal to Kate Middleton. The naysayers bleating that William is not marrying someone with blue blood need to check their calendars...and when they have confirmed that it is NOT 1654, they can move with the rest of us who live in modern times. The wedding day next year has been declared a holiday after all, and really who doesn't need an extra day off in the year ;)
Whatever year you've had, life is the most precious gift of all..and as long as you have it, there is hope. Better a live dog than a dead lion.
So here's looking forward to a 2011 of joy, meaningful relationships, new opportunities and beautiful, blessed times.