January 5, 2016

2015

As each year ends, I always stand at the end of it and try to sum up what sort of year it was. I have this pathological need to label. Was it a good year? Was it bad?  I don’t spend a lot of times looking at it in terms of what I accomplished and my good and bad label is usually given based on arbitrary happenings that I don’t have control over.

Was everyone healthy?  That’s good.

Did someone die?  That’s bad.

I look back over the year and drop the good and bad into their own pile and then count them up to see who comes out ahead.

My last few years have been complicated and it’s been more and more difficult to make two neat piles of good and bad as I look back.  Is a bad thing really bad if it comes with a good thing in tow?  Is a good thing really good if it wasn’t earned or longed for or at least tried for?  Is it fair label to happenstance as anything but happenstance?

Big Daddy and I are getting older.  Yes, so are we all, but that’s not what I mean.  Big Daddy and I crossing the bridge from being young to being middle aged and it’s weird, man.  The  last several years have just sort of highlighted that we’re moving to a time with more complications.   The sliding bar of success has moved.  Things that used to be enough aren’t enough anymore. Things we thought about in the abstract are becoming real.  Things that once made up huge parts of our life, have ended or faded.   This sounds melancholy, but please don’t take it as being nothing but sadness and longing because it isn’t.   We are changing.   We are aging.  All five of us.  We are growing up.

The past few years have been neither good nor bad though there has been good and bad in each, but as we grow it’s becoming more and more difficult to look back on the body of time and label it as one thing or another.  It’s not as easy or as obvious and the black and white is fading into a muddy, but less stark, blend of gray.

2015, you were fine and maybe I’ve grown up to a point where something doesn’t have to be all good or all bad to have a label.  Maybe I’ve grown up to a point where fine is all right.

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