Not so fast with this whole good-riddance-to-2016 business.
Yeah, sure, a carnival barker-slash-snake oil salesman became president.
And, yeah, a bunch of celebrities died. They tend to do that. So do non-celebrities.
This past annum was chock full of atrocities, baffling turnabouts, terrifying developments, and enough grief-inducing stimuli to keep Kimberly-Clark Worldwide — the maker of Kleenex™ — on the hot stock buy list for decades to come. Which means at least the shareholders of that multinational thought 2016 was boffo.
The rest of us, though, went back and forth through a wringer for the most part last year.
Hell, I did.
Nevertheless, I’m not quite thrilled to pieces that 2016 is gone. Why? Because, well…, I’m now a full year closer to the end.
Despite what I endured — and, trust me, the election of L’il Duce was the nadir — and despite the fact that I, at nearly regular intervals, quibble w/ self about whether my continuing existence is worth having to deal with the impazzata, the ultimate series-ending episode scares the poo out of me.
I actually think about what’ll be going through my coconut as I lay in my death bed, surrounded by family and friends and an army of collection agency process servers waving subpoenas at my executor.
Every time that moment flashes into my imagination, the hairs on my arms stand on end. Death, as far as I can figure, is loneliness — unrelieved loneliness.
I dig solitude, sure. But I dig, just as much, saying Okay, that’s enough of that after any period of self-imposed alone-ness.
I also like getting older. As I hit my 60s, I realize I’m smarter, I’m less frenzied, I’m less frustrated, I’m less desperate, and — to be frank — I’m less of a jerk than I was when I was 40 and 30 and especially when I was 20. True growth, though, brings the realization that with every great thing comes an attendant mud-splatter. In this case, that’s the ever-shorter downward arc of my personal storyline.
So, I’m feeling hopeful for 2017 but also weepy for the constantly accelerating passage of time. Jeez, 2016, you sure you couldn’t have hung around for a few decades more?
Time Has Come…