Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

To borrow a phrase, "Bad choices make for great stories". 2009 must have been a stellar year for me in choice making because I have no good stories. Or, maybe 2009 was the year my mind finally began to fail and I just can't remember a damned thing. Either way, here I sit, twenty-six days into 2010 and all I can think of is how this so called, "New Year," feels suspiciously very much like the old one. *sigh*

2009 really stunk it up for most of the world in general and not a day went by that the headlines weren't filled with gloom and doom. The national unemployment rate was the highest since the Great Depression. Our country's families spent yet another year losing its daughters and sons in wars no one quite seems to understand. Banks that were "too big to fail" took billions of dollars from taxpayers in order to avoid "economic collapse" as we all stood by with empty pockets, watched them hand out multi-million dollar bonuses to each other and...watched our economy collapse. The stock market dipped and rose wildly while many of us watched our retirement plans and our homes lose half their value. The hope we so wildly clung to at the beginning of the year faded to a dull gray as the months of war between the Left and the Right raged on, oblivious to the ever-worsening plight of "We the People."

If I didn't regularly pay someone $85 to color my hair the shade of Denial, I'm sure I would have noticed that it all turned gray in 2009. It was a year of worrying, fretting, wringing my hands and trying to comprehend the unbelievable display of greedy, hateful, intolerant, dogmatic, partisan and downright ridiculous behavior of our nation's citizens.

It was a year during which millions of those who proclaimed themselves "Christians," donated a mind-blowing amount of money and worked tirelessly to squash a proposition which would have allowed millions of other Americans the right to marry the ones they loved. It was a year in which racism awoke from hibernation, rose up, and reared its ugly sleepy head to let the world know that it was indeed alive and well. It was a year which left our nation divided against itself, and a year which left many of us in fear that our nation could not stand.

2009 was also a year that saw Mr. Right holding firmly to his job. Yes, his wages were frozen and cutbacks were made, but he had a job to go to every day and brought home a paycheck without fail. Our health benefits stayed intact and his annual bonus survived the crisis. It was a year during which the cost of everything went up from groceries to credit card interest rates, but with a snip and a clip or three to the budget, we made it through just fine. It was a year we all stayed healthy minus a couple of mild cases of Swine Flu and some sneezes and wheezes here and there. It was a year in which we determined to bloom where we'd been planted and began the journey of discovering friends and making a life in this forsaken hellhole of a desert. (Okay, I admit it...I'm still working through the whole, "I hate Arizona," issue. Give me a break.) All in all, boring and mundane as it was, 2009 was a year we made it through relatively unscathed.

On the eve of 2010, I was gently nudged awake by Mr. Right who proceeded to plant a kiss on my lips and say, "Happy New Year!" And, that was that. (Try not to envy our wild and crazy life.)

The dawn of 2010 brought with it no fanfare, no bright and happy headlines and no new glimmer in the air that the winds of change might shortly begin to blow. No, it brought with it merely the rising of our same old warm and wonderful sun and later that evening, the remainder of a blue moon that looked familiar, peaceful and reassuring. In the following days as I heard the repeated refrains of, "Happy New Year," I smiled a little smile and whispered, "I hope...I hope...I hope."


ellen abbott said...

I was thinking about you today Amy, wondering where you were.

I agree with most of what you said, but the nation was already seriously divided by the time 2009 got here. I had hoped that someone interested in talking to and hearing all sides would be able to start to mend that but, alas, it takes more than one person willing to compromise. Nobody else has been interested. It's just more of the same ole same ole. There is no hope in or for American politics. Hate in all it's forms has taken over this country.

I'm glad Mr. Right managed to hang on to his job when so many didn't. Me? I'm just trying to get this move to the country completed where we will have a better chance of being more self sufficient.

lakeviewer said...

Boy, you gave us a great summary of the sucky 2009! Happy New Year to us all.

The Bug said...

I agree with your synopsis. We were fortunate that my husband got a job in the terrible economy & we were able to move to a place exactly between so that I could keep my job - but it's still been a scary year.

Linda Rae said...

Well, of course, I am delirious to report that we are both out of work...out of fixing hair, getting ready, putting on make-up (me only)...in short, out of going out even when we would rather not. Checks still coming in regularly.

Hallelujah, I'm a bum.


Amy said...

ellen: Well, of course you're right. The divide has been great for a long time now. I suppose I'm just more aware of it now that I've become involved and informed in the political process. And, I too am feeling a bit hopeless about the possibility of real change. The lyrics, "There's gonna be a revolution..." keep running through my head.

Rosaria: The pain of so many has been so real a feeling, hasn't it? That's what sucked the worst for me. Listening to all of the stories and watching the country implode. Hopeless I am on one hand, and hopeful on the other. I've been sighing a lot.

Bug: Yahoo! I'm so happy that you've had good fortune in finding and keeping work. It has been scary. Here's hoping that 2010is much less so!

Linda: You are certainly to be counted among the fortunate who didn't lose their pensions and/or retirement plans. Congratulations on being a bum.

Helen said...

Found your blog through a comment you left for Rosaria.

You're a Virgo, I'm a Virgo, you love good vodka, so do I, you have an involvement in non-profits, so do I, you see yourself as a hippie, I was one, I am old enough to be your mother too.

Glad to make your acquaintance....

Amy said...

Helen: So very happy you found me, Helen!! It sounds as though we're going to get along smashingly. Hippies...former and newly minted, are always welcome here! (Especially if they're carrying a bottle of Belvedere with them...) So glad you stopped by. I'm looking forward to getting to know you.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I hope your new year goes well. We're a month in and I'm pretty sure mine is going to be worse than last year. But I'll keep on keepin on, as always.

Reya Mellicker said...

I think 2010 is a better year, and is the beginning of a much better decade than the aughts. I'm liking the tweens. I think you'll warm up to them, too.

@eloh said...

I'd like to say 2010 can not possibly be as bad as 2009.... but I'm really old and I know better. Mine is already off to a stellar start.

Oh, and happy New Year...at least I made it in January. (I think?)

Angela said...

Come on over to my place, Amy, sit on our magic carpet, we might even find a glass of Vodka for you(our Russian neighbours certainly will), and then you can share stories and dreams with all our blog friends. The times, they will surely get better. Just think how hopeless Germany was 65 years ago,with EVERYTHING destroyed, and people deeply shameful and depressed. It recovered, and so will the US!

Hilarywho said...

Hi Amy, I just discovered your blog - like you're writing, and your attitude. Looking forward to your future posts.

Wendy said...

Did you give it up forever?

Lee Ryan said...

I suppose you're not really that into Easter - but have a great weekend anyway!!

I look forward to seeing you post something again soon!!