Wrapping up 2012
You know, for a year toted as the “end of the world” this year actually turned out to be, overall, pretty good. Usually I join in the overall chorus of “good riddance” at the end of things but this time, for me, I don’t think I can do it. 2012 will be one of those years I look back at with a fond memory. I guess it’s because the year started out pretty rough for me and then sometime around late summer it started a slow, spiraling climb into the good stuff. It was hard to tell at first but it was certainly happening.
The downside to all of this is that 2012, as good as it was, really did NOT stick the landing. In the final days of the year my wife (and I) have been dealing with the loss of her father who passed last weekend after a long battle in the hospital. The final weeks of the year have proven to be a real test and a final, cold lesson about what is truly important in all of our lives.
This New Year’s Eve is being spent quietly at home, by holiday lights and in the warmth of a wood stove. We’re watching movies, eating chili and Christmas candy and simply being with the ones we love. We’re watching two movies tonight in my father-in-law’s honor which, funny enough, are also some of my favorites as well – The Quiet Man and the more recent True Grit. At midnight we will run out into the snow, scream at the sky and bang on pots and pans to scare any evil spirits away before the new year begins. We’ll also do it because it’s fun.
Even with the present sadness I’m having a hard time cursing the year. Even my wife said earlier this evening, “No, overall, it was a pretty good year.” Amazing words considering what she has been dealing with the last weeks of this year.
The year started out with me finally attaining my dream of getting my college diploma. I was still unemployed though and my family and I were in rough financial shape. It has ended with me employed because of that very diploma and hopefully, over the course of the next several years, being able to dig out of the financial hole we have found ourselves within. There were other things as well.
I started this blog. I carved out a short story. I got a larger piece outlined and ready to start. I managed to go to the NATF festival and meet some incredible people. I cheered my wife on as she too finally achieved her dream of a college degree. I also worked closely with her on an art exhibit, conducting interviews, and creating an audio landscape as a background to the art. We moved out of the apartment which was draining us financially and by the grace of the Universe found an amazing rental in the country. My children are healthy, intelligent and make me laugh every day. Right now, writing this, there is so much I’m deeply and truly thankful for it’s hard to stay too focused on the sadness. It’s been more than enough.
Life and family and friends are precious. Hold them close. Hold them dear. Ultimately, it is all you will ever truly own.
May your evening this evening be wonderful, amazing and filled with all the love and companionship your heart can hold.
2013, here we come.