New Year on the way! Brace for impact!

Most years, I like. Most December 31st’s, I’m all excited about the prospects that come with the advent of a new orbit, thrilled to be a passenger on this quaint little planet for a new revolution. I get all hyped about what the next 365 might bring, all the contingencies that might befall, and I welcome in the new year, along with Dick Clark, happily.

This year, not so. This year, I dread.

This year could suck.

It’s not just the state of our planet, either; not the suddenly mobile geography that’s left tens of thousands dead in Iran and tens dead in California. Not just the war, and the bloody-minded election, and the fuckers trying to make sure I never become a real citizen after all. I mean, it’s those things, sure, with the accompaniment of gunship rotors and fighter planes keeping our New Year’s Rockin’ Eve from rocking too hard, but it’s more.

On all sides of the family, elderly relatives are moving slowly into position to shuffle off this mortal coil, in painful and drawn-out ways. My boyfriend’s beloved grandfather, and one of his grandmothers on his mom’s side, aren’t doing too well. They’re the glue that holds the massive clan together, and nobody knows how that’s going to affect life for their fifteen kids, or dozens of grandkids. Except that I know it will be a devastating blow to my boyfriend, and his family.

On my side of things, it looks like the power of Satan has finally deserted my grandmother, and the evil old harridan is circling the drain. Of course, she’s doing so in as spectacular a fashion as possible. As her faculties fail, she’s decided that she’s being persecuted by the FBI, and the family is kept amused, during her frequent visits to fantasyland, by trying to reassure her that her care staff isn’t rearranging the furniture to try and kill her, that nobody is lurking under beds or outside windows, and that no, she can’t have a gun. The police have decided that her frequent panicked calls are no longer amusing.

So now my mother, who has painful arthritis that only the warm, pleasant Arizona weather seems to cure, has to go out to that frigid Midwestern wasteland to try and talk this hateful, spiteful, narrow, mean old woman into going to a nursing home, which she steadfastly refuses to do. Home care is not a possibility, as none of the children can stand the nasty old bat, and deservedly so. (Note to parents: if you want your kids to look after you in your old age, you might want to consider being nice to them. Constant belittling, scathing critcism, endless demands and devious political chicanery will see you wind up your life in the Unpleasant End Rest Home and Mortuarium, mark my words.)

So, I’ll be spending a whole big chunk of the upcoming year trying to help my boyfriend and my mother deal with relatives dying. The Visiboyfriend is going to be in rough shape because he loves his grandparents dearly, and his family means a lot to him. My mom is going to be in rough shape because of unresolved guilt at despising someone who is ultimately despicable. I have no idea how to help with either situation.

Meanwhile, it looks like just a matter of weeks before I’m in the market for a job yet again. And the job market looks so… plush right now. Especially for computer geeks.

Sometime tonight, I’m going to remember all the good things that happened in 2003. I’m going to realize that next year is just a year; that I’ve gotten through things as bad, or worse, that what I anticipate any number of times. I’m going to look forward to all the good things that next year will bring. I’m going to appreciate all the good things in my life, all the people who love me and all the stuff I love to do.

But for now, the next year is approaching. It’s a dark line on the horizon, a menacing rumble of thunder. It’s a wall of water, bearing down on a tiny little village on the coast. A green sky and strange stillness at the trailer park, just before the freight-train roar of wind.


This will not do.

MrVisible, I can’t help with the imminence of death nor the pains of old age. My boyfriend’s paternal grandparents both passed in 2003, the grandfather in February and then the grandmother in July. Although their deaths were a terrible blow for his family (especially his father), the family ultimately recognized that it was a release from suffering for both of them. Your boyfriend will grieve, but he is also fortunate to have you to love and support him.

Yes, the job market blows, but your are a skilled worker. As competitive as the computer geek market is, be grateful that you are not a retail worker or stuck in a low-paid peon job with no portable skills. Your intelligence and adaptability will be your best tools and are far more valuable in helping you find a rewarding position.

The future is going to happen no matter what. All you can do is meet it prepared to bend it to your will.

And consider this–even if 2004 turns out to bring horrors and disasters, then you have even more reason to open a bottle of champagne, kiss your boyfriend, and hold on to each other.

Even if we’re stuck in the dark and the cold, we can still hold hands.

Happy New Year, and hug the bf for me

This brought tears to my eyes, gobear. What a way you have with words, and what a profound sentiment.