Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on 2011

And I thought 2010 was a bad year.

Well, it was, in a number of ways that I've documented elsewhere. But this year was worse. I certainly won't be sorry to turn over a new leaf and have the opportunity to start fresh, because, in the words of my dear departed grandmother, this year was a bitch. I've spent too much time in hospitals. I've attended too many funerals. I've been forced a few too many times to confront the bleakness of the world situation, to question my self-worth, to doubt my life choices. I suppose my grandmother would add that such things make one stronger, but let me tell you, if I have been made stronger, it's been no great pleasure getting here.

And so I end this year with a great sense of loss. It's not fair, I suppose, to let that color the many happy things that happened this year, but it does. What's more, that makes it difficult to look to the future with hope. But I'm going to try to hope anyway, because what other choice do I have? I don't want to let that sense of loss define me or to deny me the ability to meet the future with resolve --- and so I won't. In the words of the balladeer: "All you to whom adversity has dealt the final blow / With smilin’ bastards lyin’ to you everywhere you go / Turn to and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain / And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again."

Happy new year, and may 2012 be the year in which we all can rise again.

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