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Tue, Dec. 31st, 2013, 10:24 pm
Reflections on 2013, and a Hope for a Better 2014

To sum up: 2013 was a rough year. For just about everybody.

Here we are at the cusp of the calendar -- one of those times when the entire world celebrates an arbitrary time of the year as an opportunity to, basically, reboot our lives. Start doing things differently. Become the change you seek.

Thing is, the world changes around you as well. And you can't always tell how or when it's going to do so.

One of the oddities of social media like Facebook that can sustain conversations -- and it's a feature, not a bug -- is you end up being more intimately connected with the lives of people you don't necessarily know that well. This is, no question, a good thing -- one of the best things about FB, in fact. But people tend to be more open about all aspects of their lives online, especially to their Friends (or on their relatively private Walls)... which results in those friends getting the bad with the good, the lows with the highs, and usually with little or no warning.

A lot of us had a rough, rough year.

Illness and injury. Financial trouble. Friends and family and pets dying. Car trouble, expensive home repair, lost jobs, lost homes, political arguments breaking up friendships and families, bullying, racism, misogyny... and that's just the personal stuff. Not counting our screwed-up government, religious fervor causing turmoil across the nation and around the world, climate change generating insanely destructive weather, our news medias' obsession with the utterly frivolous rather than stuff we actually need to know....

There has been much good this year as well... but sometimes it doesn't feel like it. It's hard to see the rising tide over the recurring storms.

So: Those of you who have had bad things happen, or are currently going through sour times... we feel for you, and we care. And those of us who can, will help how we can. You are not alone. Never, never alone.

Those of you who have had good things happen... well, that's just about all of us. And I know it's tough to remember that. I like the idea that's been floating around FB, of keeping a jar or pinboard or somethin' with little notes reminding you of every good thing that happens, so you can go back and go Yeah. It's certainly possible to do it online as well -- that's one of the few things a hashtag is good for.

For myself... I'm doing okay. Not great, okay. I hope to be doing better. I do know that I'd be nowhere near as okay as I am right now without the help of a bunch of people, good and generous friends who lend their time and help in ways small and large. I love every single one of you; even if we occasionally carry on cranky at each other, it's only because we care.

We have to take care of each other. If we don't, what's the point?

May The Year of the Common Era 2014 be better for all of us.

This entry was originally posted at http://filkertom.dreamwidth.org/1645635.html. You may comment there or here, although LJ tends to have a livelier conversation at this time.

Wed, Jan. 1st, 2014 04:16 am (UTC)
alverant

For me every time I think about FB there's always some privacy policy change or other scandal that makes me change my mind and avoid it. I know how much some people love it and that's OK, but I think it's something I'd like to avoid.

Since I read "Earth Abides" I've been giving years nick-names. There's 2010 "Year of Bad Jobs", 2011 "Year of Consulting", 2012 "Year of Loss", and I think 2013 will be "Year of Frustration" because so much got under my skin (both due to my own mistakes and things I had no control over). I hope this coming year will have a more positive name.

ETA Happy New Year (15 min late in your timezone, 45 min early in mine).

Edited at 2014-01-01 05:12 am (UTC)

Wed, Jan. 1st, 2014 05:18 am (UTC)
palenoue

I could never carry on a conversation with FB. I'd post a comment or a reply, the next day it's buried under a hundred three word comments and status change alerts. Never get a response. LJ and other forums are the only places I can converse with people.

Also, Tom, will this be the Year of the Wrestling Song? (he asks hopefully)

Wed, Jan. 1st, 2014 02:17 pm (UTC)
catsittingstill

May 2014 be better for us all.

Wed, Jan. 1st, 2014 05:49 pm (UTC)
gorgeousgary

I thought about making a similar comment about how the social media world is both blessing and curse. But decided in my own post to largely stick with posting about the happy moments that came our way in 2013.

Wishing everyone a great 2014, and looking forward to seeing you at OVFF and Chessiecon, if not before.

Wed, Jan. 1st, 2014 08:24 pm (UTC)
skylarker

Very well-spoken post!

Wed, Jan. 1st, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
batyatoon

Amen, amen, amen.

*hugs*

Thu, Jan. 2nd, 2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
alverant

Well I already have our first celebrity death. James Avery passed away yesterday from complications of his open heart surgery. I would have loved to have an uncle like him. He'll be missed.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/01/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/james-avery-obit/index.html?hpt=hp_t2