2009 was an interesting year, not only on a personal front, but on a worldwide front as well. A recession hit our country, and like many other families across America and the world, our family was hit by hard times as well. Several members of our extended family passed away, a job was lost, medical diagnoses were made that through us for a loop, but we persevered, and are hoping for a better 2010.
For the first time in our nation's history, an African American was elected president. Barack Hussein Obama became our nation's 44th leader in January and has led our country through a year full of upheaval. While I personally don't care for the way the country has been going over the last year, nor do I care for some of the policies and such that he is trying to sign into law, I still support the President to a degree as the leader of our country. A leader, no matter what he or she is at the helm of, can't go anywhere without the support of his or her people, whether it is in a global situation (such as a country's leader) or a local situation (such as a manager at a place of employment.)
This year also saw a multitude of deaths that shook the political and entertainment world. From Ted Kennedy to Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze to Billy Mays, there seemed to be an inordinate number of celebrities that passed away this year. Two of the saddest, in my opinion, were Natasha Richardson and Brittany Murphy. Richardson died in a freak skiing accident in early 2009 and left behind a stunned and grieving family, as well as legions of fans. I thought she was a very talented actress and miss her shining example on the big screen.
Brittany Murphy was one of the last deaths of 2009 that I know of, and at the same age as I, it surprised me and saddened me that her flame has been extinguished. While I don't think she ever would have reached the ranks of say, Meryl Streep or Julia Roberts, I do think she was talented and was fun to watch. Her death is still being investigated.
The biggest shocker of the year came in the form of the death of The King of Pop, Michael Jackson. His death came out of nowhere and blindsided us all. I can remember listening to his music as a child and dancing and bebopping around. I have to honestly say, that his was the only death this year (high profile) that I cried over. His legacy will live on forever...he influenced music in such a way that will never be forgotten. As we all know, his latter life was characterized by messy court battles and allegations of, to put it nicely, misconduct with a minor. No matter what you may think of him as a person, he was a talented, vibrant performer who has left a void in the music world. Rest in peace, Michael. You deserve it.
One of the things that I think impacted me the most this year, however, was watching Susan Boyle dream a dream on Britain's Got Talent. When she sang Les Miserables' "I Dreamed a Dream" I literally got chills. I have heard it numerous times since then and get chills every time. I cried when I saw how people reacted to her coming out on stage at her initial audition. I cheered for her when she stunned them all with her beautiful voice. Even Simon Cowell, known for his harsh diatribes and insensitivity, was flummoxed by Susan Boyle. Susan burst onto the screen and into the hearts of people at a time when we all needed something to hope for, someone to cheer for. Her determination and perseverance taught me, and I think many people, a lesson in never giving up on yourself and your dreams. Her album was released in mid November, and reached Platinum status by mid-December.. Judged by her appearance, Susan stunned the world with her incredible voice and determination to show us all that no matter what you may look like, what people think of you, or your circumstances in life, that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. (For the record, I think Susan Boyle is a beautiful woman. Her generous, loving and humble spirit shines through and that is all I see when I look at her.)
Now, 2010 is upon us, and like many other people, I have resolutions to become a better person. One thing that I am going to do this year is get healthy. I tell myself every year that I will, and never do. This is the year that it is going to happen. I have already taken some steps to help me succeed in my endeavors, and my family is coming with me for the ride. No more excuses, no more justifying why I don't get healthy...this is it. I am 110% committed to making myself and my family a healthier family. I just had to get to a place mentally where it wasn't ok anymore. Other goals include becoming financially stable (another popular one) and serving my fellow man more.