Thursday, December 29, 2016

Annus Horribilus

And it goes like it goes and the river flows
And time it rolls right on
And maybe what's good gets a little bit better
And maybe what's bad gets gone

This is how I am summing up 2016.  This is the chorus of "It Goes Like It Goes", the slightly eerie Oscar-winning theme song to Norma Rae.  Because if 2016 taught me anything, it's to continue to expect disappointment while constantly hoping for better. 

No doubt, 2016 will go down as one of the worst years at least in my lifetime.  Not before in my 50 years on Earth has a 365-day period produced such challenging and disappointing loss.  I've never been so glad to see a year come to an end.  If the last 8 years has taught me anything, it's that there is always hope.  And I look to 2017 to provide and fulfill that hope to a reasonable degree.

This year started off with such promise.  We celebrated New Year's Eve in NYC with our friend, Tim - a person who embodies hope and wonder.  We saw a few Broadway shows and I reconnected with Kathy, a dear college friend and former housemate.  I vowed then to reconnect with all my lost college mates, but I didn't follow through.  And I think that pretty much sums up 2016 - full of promises that were not fulfilled, both individually and collectively.

2016 could have been one of the greatest years in our country's history.  But instead, it showed us and the world how backward we still are as a country while we laid out plans to not only stop social growth, but to roll it back by decades.  Again, I'll look to 2017 to hopefully prove that wrong.

Since January 1, 2016, I gained and lost 2 jobs, and my current one is on shaky ground thanks to the policies of the incoming presidential administration.

I fought (and continue to fight) a long health struggle.  Nothing major like dealing with heart surgery or fighting back from a stroke or dealing with cancer.  Thank God.  Most of my year was fighting something as mundane as a sinus infection that simply would not go away.  For the last 7 months of the year, it's been headaches, malaise, horrific odors, and the constant battle between stuffy or runny nose.

I missed a few planned vacations with my husband because I was too sick to travel.  My entire summer was spent at home, save for forcing myself to attend a cookout now and then so that Kevin wasn't doing everything without me.

It was another year of my Dad slowly progressing into his own world due to dimentia.  Another year of him living in the nursing home and Mom visiting him two times a day every day.  Another year of their lives stagnating, living apart, and feeling helpless and hopeless.  Again, I call on 2017 to provide clarity.

2016 took many wonderful people from us.  On a personal note, the loss of Judy, my mother's best friend, continues to resonate with so many people.  My posting about her ended up being the 3rd most read post of my entire blog, following the two posts about Carol Burnett.  And rightly so.  Judy was an amazing woman full of love.  Her absence made this past Christmas that much more bleak.

There were certainly rays of sunshine during this year: the marriages of family and friends help lighten the levity of the rest of the year, doing their parts in keeping hope alive; our trip to the Baltic Sea and the wonders that brought; seeing family when we could and friends as often as possible.  There were certainly simple joys throughout the year.  And certainly another year of life is enough to be grateful for.