It seems like only yesterday that I was wishing everyone a Happy New Year at the dawning of 2013. Or is that just me, being a year older, and once again falling victim to the cognitive illusion that time speeds up as we age? Or, is it all the fun I’m having that’s making time fly?
Well, whether time does or doesn’t (speed up, that is), it’s certainly a sign of age that I’m even considering this as a topic for discussion. Young people have a very different sense of time. I’m sure my grandchildren aren’t sitting around, pondering this phenomenon. In fact, they’re probably complaining about how it feels like forever until they’re old enough to have their own I-phones.
In any event, whether it took twelve months (real time) or twelve days (perceived time) to get here, a new year is indeed imminent.
One of my favorite little rituals on the last day of the year is replacing the old, coffee-stained, scribbled –upon calendar with the new one. Although I realize that using a paper calendar instead of the Cloud places me somewhere in the Jurassic age, I find something inherently hopeful in the act of tearing the last page from the old year, and substituting the clean, blank pages of the new. All those empty little squares, just waiting to be filled with doctors’ appointments.
Another thing I look forward to during this season is reading all the lists. I’m not sure why, but every year’s end seems to bring with it a compulsion to rank things. “The 25 Best…;” “The 30 Worst…;” “The Top 100….” Of course, the best opinions match my own, and I move forward with a certain smug satisfaction knowing that, senior tickets notwithstanding, my year of movie-going has not been wasted.
Since this is my last essay of 2013, I feel an obligation to also present at least a smattering of highlights from the past year. So here is my list, in no special order.
As a nation, we continue to be strong. We survived fiscal cliffs, a government shutdown, moronic politicians, web site glitches, and the downfall of Paula Deen.
Also tumbled from grace (or in his case, a bicycle seat) was Lance Armstrong, the Duck man (unfortunately, only temporarily) and Anthony Weiner.
Losing his bid to return to politics was the least of Anthony’s problems. Now his wife is leaving him, and the real Carlos Danger is suing him for defamation of character.
The past year also saw noble efforts on the part of private citizens to ease global tensions. Edward Snowden has volunteered to be adopted by a deserving Russian family, and with Gulliver-like grace, Dennis Rodman played basketball with Kim Jong-un.
On other fronts, the word “selfie” has been officially added to the English lexicon. If you don’t know what it means, you will be able to look it up in the dictionary while you take your own picture looking it up in the dictionary to post on your Face Book page.
Speaking of words, the entire nation now knows the meaning of “glossophobia,” so Google, it’s time to pull that commercial. Please. Before I begin hating the adorable shy boy.
And finally, for the first time in recent history, turkeys were stuffed with latkes as Hanukkah collided with Thanksgiving.
So, whether you think that 2013 was one of the best or worst years, or simply “meh,” it’s time to look forward. For me, personally, 2013 wasn’t so bad. But I have a few suggestions to make 2 014 even better. I thought you would never ask!
- Abolish Computer Updates. Just when you think you have it all under control, bam! Those annoying messages start flashing on the screen, ordering you to download the latest version of Java or Adobe or Chrome or you will lose speed, efficiency, or even worse, you will lose your membership in Amazon Prime. At first you ignore them, putting your cursor on the “x” in the little square to make them disappear. No one is going to tell you what to do. But they are insistent and eventually wear you down by intimidation. But beware! Once you say OK, your computer, I-pad, or I-phone will be lost to you. You might as well plan on having oral surgery, and maybe by the time you recover, the download will be complete. Or not. And the aftermath? Nothing is the same again. While the speed of my internet access may have been enhanced, my printer is no longer speaking to AOL.
- Eliminate Sunday Night Football. Do this and you will have the gratitude of every DVR and other recording device in the country. Why is it that the networks air their best shows on Sunday night, and conspiratorially make it impossible to record them? The entire evening’s schedule is thrown off kilter. And all because of “f,,,,,ing” football!!! Saying that there are five minutes remaining in the last quarter may be the biggest lie ever perpetrated on the American public!
- I look forward to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine or some other prestigious scientific publication stating that over the age of 65, exercise is bad for you.
- And, lastly, another study in the next issue, entitled “Gluten Without The Guilt,” advising us to ignore all prior studies about diet and nutrition. After extensively researching the people of Russian Georgia, populations living in or around the Mediterranean, the 8 million inhabitants of a small village in rural China, and the survivors of Paula Deen’s cooking classes, scientists know without a doubt that we can and should eat whatever the hell we want! And stop taking vitamins. They’re bad for you!
So… what are you doing tonight? Whether you are out on the town, or home with friends and family, I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year. And to thank each of you for your readership and support, that, for better or worse, has kept me going for another year. You are way more than just clicks to me.
I also want to thank my technical guy, Steve White, without whom these blogs would never get posted.
And, in addition to the Academy, my parents, and my second grade teacher, I especially want to thank my husband, my heretofore unsung hero, for his valuable input, editorial assistance, promotional ideas, and for being such a good sport in allowing me to share our little family secrets. (There, Larry, are you happy now?)
Until next year……!