Sunday, December 19, 2010

Memo To 2010: "Fuck Off!"

The illustrious Miss Tessmacher and I were conversing the other week, trying to figure out why we'd been so enormously stressed out of late. Aside from the coming end-of-semester craziness (which has thankfully now passed), we came up with the feels-right notion that 2010 has, more or less, sucked.

Oh, there were some good things and great times, don't get me wrong. New nephew? (Check.) CD release? (Check.) Fabulous camping trip with great friends? (Drunkity check.) But mostly, 2010 was a year of lows, a lost year, a close-out-the-decade-with-a-fat-sucking-sound year. One to flush, and good goddamn riddance.

In no particular order: grandparents are slowly (or, in the case of my grandmother, NOT so slowly) losing their minds. Sure, I'm spoiled, in that at 42 my grandparents are even still ALIVE. But, Alzheimer's is a real bitch for those who DON'T have it, and the things it explicitly states about aging (not to mention genetics) is a bummer. It also spells out very solidly the concept of parental mortality. Okay, I know that, in spite of all the scientific and medical advances, the death rate is still an astonishing 100%. But, gee, you get to that point where you realize "Holy cow, Mom's had, like, seventeen bronchial infections this year…that's a lotta Z-Pacs!" Tess' parents too, between toe and back surgeries, heart mis-firings, and general slowing-downness, are demonstrating with terrible clarity the notion that they won't live forever.

The move was great, and we love the (now not-so-) new house. But moving IN was a chore, and there was a months-long low-grade stress as we slowly started to morph it into not just a new house, but HOME. There was a lotta painting, a shitty garden that gave up only a few cherry tomatoes and some papery tomatillos, and the realization that the windows are horrible and could really stand replacing. Love the new house. It's home now. But, would love to have the dough-re-mi necessary to do all that we'd like to.

The economy continued to feel like an abysmal black hole, in spite of the fact that the Recession "officially" ended over a year ago. We're fine here, but tighter wallets mean fewer private lessons, and constant reminders at work about "shrinkage" and "academic prioritization" provide a dull background of stress-y static that all the HD in the world won't quite clear away.

Our good friend Cancer made an unwelcome return for E. (a good friend) and D. (close family), and no one is sure what the final outcome will be. A generous co-worker had her head sawed open for (shall we say) interior problems, and the partner of my wonderful friend and mentor E. (different E.) suffered a massive, fatal heart attack. All told, health issues seemed common and constant, just one more reminder that life is short, and sometimes a lot shorter than you thought it'd be.

*sigh* Again: to look at the minutae, 2010 had a lot going for it. But to step back and really see the broad strokes makes me realize that the year was painted not in vibrant oils, but rather dull shades of shit. So heading into Christmas I look forward to the last ten days of the year with a heart gladdened for a beautiful daughter and presents under the tree…but also with a hopeful eye that 2011 will be significantly more calm and problem-free.

Happy holidays.