[From our mobile desk on the 5 en route from Encinitas to Petaluma]
In the spirit of the New Year traditions, let’s review. If that is not a tradition for you, it can be now. Or not.
Things I want to remember about this year:
1. Sometimes things are as good as they seem. And sometimes they aren’t. That is not so profound, but it turns out to be true. The trick appears to be the old “wisdom to know the difference” as the serenity prayer Pollyanna-ishly tells us. I found that the most challenging thing about this was that sometimes they are both. At the same time. This is difficult for someone like me with a natural inclination to compartmentalize. Anyhow, the good was really good, and that made the bad especially aggravating. I guess that is the wisdom to appreciate the contrast.
2. All is fleeting and the temporary nature of life is vey real. If all the world’s a stage and we are merely players, as the Bard suggests, I hope someday for the most epic of curtain calls.
3. Everyone has issues. Good thing to remember in those dark moments.
4. In spite of so much there seems to be hope for humanity. Not always, but you know, enough of the time to stave off true desperation.
And in keeping with my predilection for lists and compartmentalizing, here are my greatest hits for 2012, a year so many thought would bring the end of days, or maybe they just hoped… but ultimately it just came and went. Like they all seem to do at a deceptively consistent speed.
Categorically the longest month ever. Always. Pink slips arrive. Survival seems the most one can ask of March… But we went to the Magic Castle, and even in the rain that is always fun. Especially when you check in and they tell you they are comping the weekend for you.
I question everything because everything seems topsy-turvy. I am right about everything I suspect, but whether or not it matters in the way I think it does is confusing and unclear. I think my lack of travel contributes to much of this disequilibrium… Though I do go to Booneville for a wedding.
Usually my favorite month. But this year not so much. Plus, I mean, 42 is anticlimactic as anything. Regardless, this month challenged every expectation I had – or had tried to avoid. Faith in everything was tested. Junot Diaz articulated it all perfectly in This Is How You Lose Her, and I got to have him sign another one of my first editions.
The parentals are back and Thanks are given. I am especially grateful for the election returns as the entire world watches with held breath wondering if our country could possibly be as stupid as we sometimes appear. It turns out we are not. I am relieved and Nate Silver is not surprised at all. I buy his book.
Alcatraz, the Nutcracker, Newtown, missed Apocalypses, Vacations, missed weddings, San Diego, Family, Birthdays, Anniversaries. In a single month, December managed to encapsulate the heartbreaking highs and lows of the entire year.
And now it is over, with all of the hope a new year brings, whether a recipe for disaster based on overly ambitious expecatations, or maybe just another day.
I think it is somewhere in between.
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On Old long syne.