Sitting here on the eve of a new year I have to breathe a sigh of relief that 2012 is finally over. No, it’s not the end of the world I was anxious about (in fact, that would have been quite an adventure to experience if you ask me), this was just a very, very tough year.
When I think of 2012 it would always stand out as a year of death. Sorry if that sounds very morbid, but it’s true. During this year I had to say goodbye to two former colleagues, an aunt and a neighbour. A very good friend lost her father, and my boss his, several colleagues had to take leave of parents and siblings, my cousin-by-marriage lost her twin brother and I lost count how many kids at school had to say goodbye to loved ones. To be honest, I stopped counting, but I will never forget that one period of about two weeks where we had daily moments-of-silence during assembly at school out of respect for the families.
And while some deaths were expected, and almost a relief, like my boss’s father who had been withering away with Alzheimer’s for so long, others were so sudden: my former-colleague who a year previously had been healthy as an ox, struck down by a brain tumour in a matter of months; my aunt, who woke up at three in the morning with a tummy ache and bled out from an abdominal aneurysm before my uncle could get her to a hospital; my neighbour who three weeks ago hanged himself (all three of them not yet sixty); and my cousin’s brother, my age, tragically snatched away in a motor vehicle accident.
Work was also tough, but not that much more than usual. What got to me this year was constantly feeling like a failure as my kids kept failing in exams for which I know I adequately prepared them, unable to answer questions that I had discussed with them only the previous day. The other thing that got to me was my colleagues’ seeming inability to figure things out for themselves, to find solutions for their problems, to read. The sheer number of times I had had to repeat myself in the staff room this year, and then the teachers complain that the kids don’t want to listen. I constantly had to keep myself back from shouting, ‘Go look in a bloody mirror, you idiot!’
That said, 2012 wasn’t all bad. I took an on-line writing course, making some wonderful new friends in the process, and finally got started on that novel I’d been threatening to write for so long. I decided to quit my job and to further my studies. I started this blog and at long last became a twitter-user. My little sister got married, as did my and my wife’s best friend.
Now a new year is lying in wait, along with so many new possibilities. I’m starting a new (old) career, I’m starting my master’s degree and I’m starting (at this stage) not one, but two novels. I’m taking some major risks and I can only hope they’ll pay off. I can easily become anxious about what’s lying ahead, but I’m choosing to rather anticipate what’s coming. 2013 is going to be…interesting. That can be either good or bad. We’ll just have to wait and see.