Friday, December 30, 2016

The Death of 2016 . . . or is it?

Many of us cannot wait for the violent and painful death of the year known as 2016. For some of us, this year will remain permanently etched in our psyche for one reason or another. For the world, this was the year that fate took our musical innovators and left us with a clown ready to assume the most important political office in the world. This was not a good year.

For me, 2016 was a double-edged sword. My family won a series of tremendous victories that we will be enjoying the benefits of for many years to come. For me, I am left wondering just how many of those years I have left to enjoy. Anyone battling a terminal disease knows the ups and downs that go with trying to beat something that has taken so many. But the battle is the only thing you live for. Sometimes you feel like you are winning, other times you feel like it is pointless. Then there are those times when you just know...

This was a holiday season I did not think I would see. This was a Christmas I did not think I would get to enjoy. I am thankful that I was here for this one. As I am reminded from time to time, there are no promises on the next one.

I recently told someone that I live with a sense of urgency I have never had before. I truly do live every day like it could be my last. His response was that everyone should live that way, and that made me pause and think. If you feel that this day could be your last, then the decisions you make will be much different than if you had long-term plans you wanted to stick to. Then again, life would never be boring if you lived that way. That is for certain.

I do what I do for a living because I cannot stand people telling me what to do. For the last decade or so, it has treated us pretty well. For the last three months or so, it has treated us better than it ever has. Maybe this is a foreshadowing of the future for my career, or it could be another cruel moment of optimism that eventually drifts away.

Life is like that. You live the best you can, do the best you can, and then enjoy those stretches of time when it feels like nothing could go wrong. But realists know that every good stretch comes to an end and nothing good lasts forever. That is just a fact of life. You take what you can get, you make your own mark in the world, and then you eventually come to an end.

My outlook for the beginning of 2016 was a disappointingly accurate precursor to what wound up happening. Things went wrong, people died, more things went wrong, and then the year will end with Ryan Seacrest's smiling stupid face. The difference is that the venom in 2016 was on steroids. It was unlike anything I have ever seen. I have never walked out of one year and into another with so much hope for something better, but a foreboding feeling of continuing doom.

You'll have to excuse my poor outlook on the future. It has been tempered by a poison that I know can be cured, but since I am a mere peon I am not allowed access to that cure. I do have hope for 2017, but I won't say that it cannot be worse than 2016. But David Gilmour help us if 2016 was just the calm before the real storm.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

(George N Root III is a miserable old man who gets by in Lockport, NY. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3 or send him a message at Niagara's Watercooler is not responsible for anyone who receives a response to an email that was sent.)