By Beck

“This year has been awful!” I said to my husband last night – mid-asthma attack – and he laughed in a sad sort of way.

We’ve had money problems.

One of our kids is worrisomely stressed out all the time.

We’ve lost friends.

Another one of our kids is a crabby pre-teen.

Elderly relatives have died.

Our beautiful new woodstove that we were so proud of caused a severe flare-up in my freaking, loathsome asthma. GRR.

The Boy was so sick in the summer that he had two chest x-rays in just one week, poor baby.

Someone very, very dear to me is severely mentally ill and it’s been so hard getting this person the necessary help that I’m almost crying writing that sentence. Sniff.

Our very, very old car is on its last legs and we cannot afford to replace it.

And our youngest child had a searingly terrifying medical event two weeks ago yesterday.

That’s the lot, I think.

So of course I’m very cheerful right now because this year is almost over and having had a really bad year means that YOU ARE OWED A REALLY GOOD ONE. 2010 is going to BE AMAZING! That’s the way it works, scientifically speaking – every five years or so, all of your bad stuff gets saved up for one year and it’s horrible but then PHEW it’s over and you’re good for a few more years. You may go about your business.

And intellectually I know full well that this isn’t true but emotionally I have been cheerier and cheerier the closer we get to the end of this year because once December 31st is over, it’s like I’ve crossed a finish line and WE ARE SAFE! Of course, I’ve probably broken the laws of superstition just writing about it.

It is the scientific balance of things, of course, the number of bad things that we are obligated to bear and then no more, and December 31st coming straight up. It is the heart’s own hopeful science, the science of honey after pain, the science of things ending and new things starting fresh and clean.

Or, you know, superstition.

But I’m still happier every day that we get closer to the end of this year, to the happy year that is surely waiting for us.


16 Responses to Science
  1. slouchy
    November 19, 2009 | 1:41 pm

    Here’s to a wonderful 2010 for you all.

  2. feefifoto
    November 19, 2009 | 2:00 pm

    I think you’ve paid your dues. Wishing you a very boring and uneventful 2010.

  3. Painted Maypole
    November 19, 2009 | 2:10 pm

    hope is a powerful weapon, no matter how logical or illogical the cause.

  4. Nicole
    November 19, 2009 | 2:17 pm

    It’s going to be a happy, happy new year for you. Positive thoughts are part of the battle and so I am going to send some positive thoughts and prayers your way. Go away 2009!

  5. Sandy
    November 19, 2009 | 2:30 pm

    I know what you mean about superstition! Lol. I do love the new year, and all the hope it brings. I think that’s why human beings need all of these life cycles, like holidays, seasons, and the new year, because it gives us a reason to “reset” or “reboot.”

    Here’s to a much better new year! 🙂

  6. Anita Jo
    November 19, 2009 | 2:53 pm

    This is exactly where I was at the end of last year–2008 was the worst year of my life, and I just couldn’t stop thinking that 2009 HAD to be better. And it has been, MUCH better. So I just know 2010 will be better for you! (How’s that for scientific?) Good luck to you. Sounds like you definitely need and deserve a break!

  7. suburbancorrespondent
    November 19, 2009 | 2:56 pm

    Superstition, science, whatever! So long as it works for you…

    Bad year here, too. Doesn’t look as though 31 December will bring a respite, though. Here’s to 2011!

  8. SSBeacon
    November 19, 2009 | 3:17 pm

    KNOCK ON WOOD. RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, BECK, KNOCK ON WOOD! Failue to knock on wood contravenes the principles of random, non-scientific coincidence. KNOCK ON WOOD!

    Not that I am at all superstitious.

  9. Kelly
    November 19, 2009 | 4:12 pm

    I’ve caught myself thinking all kinds of subliminal superstitious thoughts lately. “I think I’m feeling better. But I probably shouldn’t talk about it, or I’ll just feel sick again.”

    I mean, WHAT IS THAT?!? So weird.

    Either way, I’m sure 2010 will be better for you and your weary family. I mean, how much worse can it get, right? (Don’t answer that.)

  10. chrissy
    November 19, 2009 | 4:56 pm

    I’m with you, girl. 2009 can SUCK IT.

    I’m sorry about the friend with mental illness. I have walked down that road before and it is SO hard to know what to do for them.

  11. Hannah
    November 19, 2009 | 5:04 pm

    Onward and upward!! I’m sorry it’s been such a series of unfortunate events this year — only way to go is up, right?

    By the way, haven’t read anything about your homeschooling endeavor in a while. Where does that fall on the totem pole of stressors vs. bright spots?

  12. Omaha Mama
    November 19, 2009 | 7:23 pm

    I’m a total weirdo in that I PREFER even numbered years and believe that they are, in general, BETTER. Now, because we’ve both broken those laws of superstition…let’s both knock on wood. On the count of three…1…2…3…
    I feel much better.

  13. edj
    November 20, 2009 | 6:51 am

    OH I am just the same way! 2005 was the worst year (and 2009 has pretty much sucked too but I don’t blog about it really) and I was literally counting down the days of December and wondering what might or might not happen on the 28th, 29th, 30th… But we made it, and 2006 wasn’t nearly as bad while not perhaps being freakishly awesome.

    Here’s hoping for an incredibly wonderful 2010 for both our families!

  14. mimi
    November 21, 2009 | 9:40 pm

    2008 was my annus horribilis (forced house sale, spousal depression, job troubles, awful sicknesses, etc) and wow, has 2009 been a real treat by comparision! Woot!

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