Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Year of Ups and Downs

It took a while to decide on a title for this post. Yes, there were ups in 2012, and plenty of downs to balance them out. Except nothing felt balanced. The goods and bads weren't always separate and distinct, so it all felt jumbled. Sometimes the bad stuff bled into the good and tainted it, and sometimes the good stuff took the sting out of the bad.

The economy has improved slightly; that's an up, right? I guess it's a question of perspective. Acknowledging the improvement without acknowledging that the nation's finances are still stuck in the dumps is a little like being grateful when the surgeon announces he'll be amputating a shorter length of your leg than originally anticipated.

My candidate won the presidential election. I was happy about that. Even more than happy, I felt relief. Now, just remembering that election campaign season unsettles me,  because I've never before seen so much hatred and anger spewed out over the airwaves, the Internet, and printed media. It's hard to be happy when "we the people" are screaming at one another. But we won. That's an up, I think.

Assault weapons rose in prominence in 2012, primarily for the death and destruction they caused in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, just to name the worst of the year's mass murders. This all falls under downs; not a single thing up about it.

The year brought ups and downs on a personal level, too:

Early in the year I lost my beloved Butch to melanoma. As heartbreaking as it was, that loss was put into perspective two months later when my nearest neighbor lost his beautiful, young wife to a different type of cancer. I still grieved for Butch, but I considered myself lucky.

Gimpy joined our family in April, bringing with him a steady supply of ups and, only occasionally, when he has experienced a behavioral lapse for which he has always been very sorry, a well-chewed down. He's not only Levi's brother, he's his best bud. Together, they keep me grinning.

I've had wonderful visits this year from Texas relatives, visits that have reminded me that the ties that bind are indeed blessed, and I've been fortunate to share big and small moments with generations of my family here in Louisiana. I love these people, and any one of them can turn a down moment into an up one with nothing more than a quick word and the flash of a smile.

You know, the more that I write today, the more that I think about it, some years are better than others, but all of them have their ups and their downs. All of us humans have them, too. Sometimes the distinction between ups and downs is a matter of luck or circumstances, sometimes it's a matter of attitude or perspective. Viewing 2012 through a wide angle lens, I see a lot that went wrong. Zooming in, though, everything and everyone close to me at the end of the year looks as good as ever.

Stay safe through the end of your New Year's Eve celebration, and I'll give the year a temperate "thumbs up."


As I typed the next-to-last paragraph above, a little snatch of a song lyric flitted through my mind, and I had to Google the words to see if I could find where they came from. The song at the end of the search turned out to be one I'd completely forgotten about, though I had enjoyed it very much back around 1969. I don't usually include music videos in back-to-back posts, but this one fits too well to pass up:


The song is "Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs" by Charlie Rich.
Thanks to 2much4mymirror for posting this video on YouTube.
Click here for the lyrics.


  1. "Viewing 2012 through a wide angle lens, I see a lot that went wrong. Zooming in, though, everything and everyone close to me at the end of the year looks as good as ever."

    Isn't that the truth!

  2. Sorry to hear of Butch's passing. He is/was inspirational and you too.

    Happy to see you're beginning 2013 in high spirits with a new dog and hope for the future. I was extremely relieved the President won his re-election as well and more relieved Mitt Romney lost BIG TIME. What a fright he gave my husband and I.

    Happy New Year!


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