Good Riddance 2016

Can we just agree that 2016 has been a freakin’ mess?

Let’s start with the good, shall we? I finally got fed up with where I was and found the strength to get up and out of two terrible situations I was in. I fled California and finally moved to Oregon, where I have wanted to live, in one way or another, since I was a kid. I’m happier here than I have been in a very long time and the future is ready to unfurl into a gorgeous flower.

Then there’s the bad. Trump was inexplicably elected president, despite most of the country not wanting him. The Electoral College makes people in Toothless Podunk have votes that count for more than other people. The College itself was designed because the founding fathers didn’t trust the masses to elect the right person, fearing that they would be swayed by snake oil salesmen and elect a dangerous lunatic. However, that system has given us George W Bush and now the angry orange lunatic, Trump. The whole system was designed to have prevented this latter and the members of the College failed miserably.

Then the deaths. We should have known when 2016 was only 13 days old and brought us the death of Alan Rickman, the one and only Professor Severus Snape. We should have buckled in and vetoed all the shit 2016 had to throw at us. Instead, we lost Prince, David Bowie, Donald Henderson (the man who directed the effort that eventually eradicated smallpox), Harper Lee, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Doris Roberts, Muhammad Ali, Elie Wiesel (which still hurts my heart to its core), Garry Marshall, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, George Michael, and, most recently Carrie Fisher (who will always be known as Princess Leia, though I hope she is known for more), and her mother, the legendary Debbie Reynolds. The list goes on and on, and I feel like I should be singing “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les Miserables instead of fondly thinking of those who have left us.

“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken,

There’s a pain goes on and on.

Empty chairs at empty tables,

Now my friends are dead and gone.”

We didn’t actually know them, but they enhanced our lives and gave us a light of happiness in an otherwise dark place.

Personally, 2016 has seen an amazing transition (despite my growing disillusionment with my job, being utterly broke from the move, leaving my friends, and my publisher shutting down), but external circumstances have pulled me down. You can’t live live in a bubble, and so those things will intrude unless you are a selfish hermit. So, it has been a terrible year, and one that we will be glad to put behind us. January 1st isn’t a magical date that will make it all better, but with is comes a certain amount of hope, as though we just picked out the good things, wrapped up a particularly foul package, and are ready to cart it out to the garbage.

May 2017 find us all happier, kinder, full of love, and reaching for our goals in new and exciting ways…and actually achieving them.

And preserve Betty White. Neither 2016 nor 2017 can have her.

~ by Darren Endymion on December 29, 2016.

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