One of my all-time favorite books is Earth Abides, by George Stewart. In that book, the people have a Winter Solstice ceremony where they'll name the outgoing year.
One year might have been The Year of the Lions, another I think was The Year the House Fell. Things like that. Just a name, usually suggested by the children, that would be easier to remember than Year One or Year Sixteen would be.
Then one year the people in the community just couldn't decide what to name the year. There had been good times and very bad times, and they just couldn't decide.
So they just named it Year Twenty-Two and left it at that.
I don't make up names for the years but, like most people at this time of year I suppose, I will spend an amount of time remembering the year past. I've written before how I'll usually reserve some time for myself right around midnight for this purpose, and I'll usually end up saying "It was a good year overall" or something like that.
Well this year it looks like I may be busy as the new year arrives. I may not have the luxury of wandering off by myself. So I spent some time last night trying to decide what kind of year 2004 was for me.
Like the community in the book, I've been unable to reach a decision. It was a very good year and a very bad year, and if I choose one label over the other I lessen the importance of both.
Well I'm not going to do it. I wouldn't have one without the other.
So, this has been The Year 2004, and I'm not likely to forget it.