I have an undisciplined mind. Even eighteen years of school could not change that fact. My mind swings from idea to idea, like a monkey swinging from tree to tree. The connection between ideas may be paper-thin, but my mind leaps and soars without hesitation, in spite of the fact that often, that fragile connection actually snaps, leaving me with a string of virtually unconnected ideas that vie for my attention. When I write my blog, I pick one of them and try to ignore the rest, chattering in my ear.

So, my idea this morning is this: Goodbye to 2004.

It was a good year. I survived, as did most of my immediate family, in spite of a couple of scary health issues. However, we lost our beloved cat, Natasha, which was incredibly sad. We spent lots of time back East with Art’s family. That was wonderful. My younger sister was married. That’s a plus, since she falls into the category of “happily married”. My other sister got engaged. Hooray! Everyone is happy about that. My nephew started college, which is a bittersweet thing. Another nephew moved to New York City and launched his career. Spectacular, but we miss him, here in L.A.

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series – I consider that a plus. . There were no terrorist attacks on American soil. That’s a huge plus. S.U.V.s began to fall out of favor – that’s good – because gas prices soared – that’s bad. There are promising new treatments for cancer out there, the so-called “targeted therapies”. I think that’s good, but with the way health news has been shaking out lately, we won’t really know for a few years for sure. “Reality Shows” saved the networks bundles of money, but dropped the average national IQ by a couple of points. (No, I don’t know that for a fact, but I suspect it’s true).

George W. Bush won a second term. Saying that is like presenting an image on a Rorschach test. Some people will interpret it one way and some will interpret it another way. Some people will say, “It was the will of the people, so it’s a good thing”. Others might say, “It was the will of Karl Rove, so it’s a bad thing”.

The war in Iraq got stickier and trickier.

Colin Powell resigned, or was resigned to resign.

There was no shortage of natural disasters – There were multiple hurricanes in Florida and of course, the catastrophic tsunamis in Asia. There were huge winter storms in the Midwest.

And here we are, only a few days left in 2004. It feels like the dregs at the bottom of the cup. You just want to empty them out quickly so that you can get a fresh, clean cup and start all over again. You think that next year will be different, and better.

It’s kind of the attitude my husband has when the jelly jar is almost empty. He doesn’t want to bother with scraping the little bit at the bottom out. He just wants me to discard the old jar and crack open a new one. I have tried to reason with him, “But it’s exactly the same at the bottom as it is at the top!” Nothing I can say deters him. So I surreptitiously wait until I’m alone in the kitchen. I take the last of the old jelly and mix it into the new jelly, because I hate to waste anything. For a long time he played along and pretended he didn’t know, but then one day he looked up at me and smiled and said, “You put the old stuff in with the new stuff, didn’t you?” We both laughed.

Well, I think someone is going to put the old stuff in with the new stuff in 2005. I think we’ll have more than a few S.U.V.s on the road. I think the war in Iraq will still be sticky and tricky. I think we haven’t seen the last of so-called reality shows (sigh). The Bush administration will still be here.

But there will be surprises, too. As all new years are, this will be a blend of the old with the new. I hope it tastes more sweet than bitter.

© 2004, Robin Munson

 Category: Robin's Nest

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    A great blog. Greetings from New Zealand

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