This is not the normal ‘End of the year’ post… after all, if you listen to the people that think the Mayan’s meant something by ending their calendar one week from now, you’d think it’s the end of everything! No, there’s a lot of endings in addition to the end of the year. This marks the end of M’s long journey to become a Physician Assistant. Two years ago, just before we met, M had started school. It can only be called an ordeal, as much of what they throw at students is strictly meant to rattle them. Masochists. But it’s the end. Tomorrow morning at just past 10:30 AM, she will receive her degree and be free from the shackles (sorry, we saw A Christmas Carol last night at the Clarence Brown Theatre), of school. I’m so proud of her journey to get here. She has much more patients in dealing with the bureocratic BS that she has had to deal with than I would ever have. I’ve never known M when she wasn’t a student. I’m sure life will be different. I’m very proud of her accomplishment.
As for the end of other things, of course, 2012 has had all kinds of endings. Many famous and not so famous people have died. Although it was in Dec 11, it’s been a year since one of my heroes, Christopher Hitchens died. It has been the end of a bitter election that has divided us even more as a country (I’m sure Hitchens would have been a riot to listen to throughout this campaign). A bright spot was the way Gov Chris Christie bonded with Pres Obama during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It was the end of war in Iraq (or at least as far as we are concerned). It will be the end of the Clinton’s in politics… oh no, I forgot about the 2016 election! It was the end of President Lincoln. Wait, wrong again, that was just a movie as real as it seemed. It was sorta the end of Twinkies! The end of powerful unions, like them or not (I do). It was the end of La Costa/31 Bistro where M and I had our first date. Now taken over by a crunchy granola outdoor store. It was the end of icons like, Eastman Kodak, Hostess, American Sukuki, Saab, Ritz Camera… at least there were fewer bankruptcies this year than the last few years.
It was the end of school of my younger (next year I will have an extra one so T won’t be the youngest anymore) niece’s school. Now she enters the workforce…not to say she hasn’t worked her butt off the last few years. She has and I’m very proud. It was the end of renting for my older niece and her husband and they bought a home.
All this makes me realize that endings aren’t always bad. Sure, the loss of life, property, relationships, and businesses can be painful and depressing. But many endings like the end of school, the end of journeys, the end of less fortunate situations, turns out to be happy occasions. I’m happy about most of the endings this year. 2013… well who knows where we will all be in life in 12 months. We have a wedding to plan which is well on it’s way. We have big life decisions to ponder. And where we will be physically and emotionally and whether we will be hanging off the fiscal cliff or at war with some known or unknown enemy, none of us know. I know it’s been a good year for me. And I’m looking forward to another one in 2013.