It is December 30th and I cannot wait for the year to end. And, when I say something like that, at this time of year, I imagine that most readers will nod and say to themselves, “I know what you mean.”
But it is not what you think.
Americans might say, of course, given the interminable presidential election process and its outcome anyone would want to forget 2016. Citizens in countries elsewhere, Rwanda, the DAR, Burundi, The Philippines might agree. Ugly politics has certainly discolored 2016. But, history is replete with political dyspepsia.
The end of every year also brings with it the obligatory family holiday reunions and the necessary accompanying chaos. Our house, or I should say my Mother-in-Law’s house was invaded by nine adults (all related) and three dogs (probably related in some convoluted way) for a week of frivolity, fun and the anticipated familial stress intensified by sharing close quarters more suitable for two or three. Family is always fun to be around, particularly when you don’t get to see them that often. But the stress and work required for it to be memorable (and I mean in a good way) is another reason to be happy that the year is almost over. Again, nothing has really changed.
The end of the year always causes everyone to reminisce. Ah, the good old days. Wasn’t life so much easier. Weren’t the fifties grand? I could go outside and play until dark without fear. I could eat a Twinkie without the risk of poisoning my offspring. I could crawl under my school desk and be safe from a nuclear event. Terrorism was the bully in the schoolyard. The world wasn’t about to end with the next major climate event. The news used to be news.
Famous and infamous people who were lauded and many who were not are added to the countdown list of who died in 2016. The closer to the end of the year someone of modest fame or infamy dies is inversely proportional to the outpouring of goodwill or scorn accorded to that person that no one really, ever though much about …ever, when they were alive.
The last gasp of the year from late November through January 2 is crammed with too much food, too many people often in spaces way too small, too much forced frivolity, too many remembrances of less than memorable merit and songs that people like but really do not want to hear more than once lest they prefer the obligatory seasonal torture. Like egg nog. You know egg nog is not meant for consumption when a dog known to eat inedible objects won’t touch it.
Yes, I am a little grouch-like when it comes to the “Holiday Season.” It is both too forced and worth it at the same time. It is enjoyable yet rife with much that we could do with and without. I always wonder what life would be like if we celebrated yearlong like we do when it is about to end. Goodwill to all, all year long, whether you like it or not. But, I am lucky, because that is why I am looking forward to next year.
Now I can now refocus my attention on the Greater Impact Foundation where measured goodwill throughout the year is the modus operandi. Yes, I do love the holidays despite all the excess baggage that comes with them and the time they consume, but for me being able to celebrate the opportunity to help others all year long is the greatest gift. Perhaps, this is why I truly feel addicted to the work, so when I am distracted by Bing Crosby’s White Christmas or one more end-of-year countdown I do think about how joyous it will be when the calendar rolls over to 2017 and I can really get back to doing what I love all of the time.