People often speak of superlatives. This is the best, that was the greatest, she was the prettiest, he was the most athletic, and on and on. We make top ten lists and have contests to determine who or what is better than someone or something else. We like to know the general consensus of which one comes out on top or which one is preferable. Wine connoisseurs use the standard of which year is best for certain wines.
That brings me to today's question:
Was 2009 your best year ever?
I've never been very good in making judgements about something being better than something else unless it's so obvious it just slaps me in the side of the head. I would probably have a hard time judging a beauty competition, an essay contest, or an art show where all the entrants were fairly equal. Even when they're not equal I can usually find something good where I know somebody has put in an honest effort.
So how can I judge a year. For some reason 1972 has always been one of my favorite years, but I couldn't tell you why. I don't even remember much of anything that happened in 1972. My 1980 started really bad, but turned really good, and ended pretty good, but with something bad thrown in. Generally speaking though, I've always been a pretty happy guy with a positive outlook so every year has seemed pretty good.
In 2009 I lost a job that I'd had for 18 years and remained unemployed in a year of bleak employment prospects and somewhat bad economy. At least I was able to collect unemployment which I've never had to do before in my entire life. So I guess economically I'm holding on unlike some people who have lost homes and other things. And so far my continued job search is not showing too much promise.
On the other hand, in 2009 two of my daughters have gotten married to some really fine young men. Their lives seem to going very well for them. And my other daughters are doing things in their lives that have made me feel really proud of them. My grand-daughter is beautiful, healthy and progressing well having passed the one year mark. I have been enjoying my life despite my decreased income.
I have come back to writing and have started blogging. I'm loving where this has been taking me and I see bright prospects for the future. I have a nice home, reasonable health, and I certainly never go hungry. Yes, 2009 has been a great year over all. But can I say 2009 has been my best? Perhaps too early to tell. Maybe ten years from now I can look back and say that this was my best year. Or maybe I'll say this is when my life really started getting better because every year since 2009 has been better than the last.
What about you? Was this your best year ever? Was it a bad year? What was your best year? What makes a year "the best year"? Are you a glass half-full or a glass half-empty sort of person? In other words, are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you think next year will be better than this year was?