Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What if the World really did end in 2012, and this is hell?

2013 has not been our year. Warning: page-long kvetching impending.

I know we've been fortunate, when you look at the big picture. We haven't had any big tragedies. No matter how unlucky I feel in any given moment, I am one lucky girl. I try to remember that.

It's hard tonight, after five hours of cleaning up my garage because my washing machine flooded it, but I do try to remember how good I really have it.

2013 will be remembered in our household as the year of death by a thousand paper cuts. I've been a day late, a dollar short, and feeling the Charlie Browniest all damn year.
I'm a teacher in North Carolina. That's the beginning of tragedy by Theodore Dreiser right there. There are not a lot of external benefits in a teaching career, and North Carolina has been gutting all of them. This year especially. I've been a teacher in several other states. They weren't like this.

This was also the year that something was always broken. Cars. Lawnmower. Daughter's cellphone. Dishwasher. Cars again. Playstation. Glasses. Computer. Favorite Mug. Appointments. Fireplace. Getting a phone call back from a service or repair person, let alone actual reliable service, is as rare as finishing a sentence in a house with children.

Someone was always hurt or sick. Colds. Infections. Sprains. Cuts. Severe eczema breakouts. Dental surgery. Ridiculous medical procedures that make you question whether medicine can rightly be called a science.

Whatever I was looking for, I couldn't find it. It's a house that Jack built situation. Each thing I wished to do involved taking seven steps backwards to find a starting place to work my way towards the actual goal.

At some point, it occurred to me that maybe the world really did end in 2012.  It wasn't a spectacular, definite, splendid ending. Just a petering out.

And this is hell. It's not a tortuous hell, either. Not something I can build up a head of steam over and rally the other denizens to overthrow. 

Nope, it's a quiet and insidious hell, full of the promise that things will get better if you just hold on a little longer. Hope can be an instrument of torture, too. That seems far more evil to me than direct and easy to recognize hell with fire and brimstone.

So, here's to 2014. May it wash our papercuts clean and let them all finally heal.

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