Best of the season to you, and all that stuff. 'Tis the big day for much of America, and I suppose it will be a big day for our family. Although we're not Christians, this week is when my nephews are out from Connecticut to visit their Dad (my brother), so my parents and other brother are each up for the weekend. We'll have a "Christmas Dinner" and celebrate a late Hannakah, and it will be very nice.
It's the time of year for looking back and reviewing what we've done and what's been done to us, and I want nothing to do with it. The year has certainly had some high points, but it's had some rough patches as well, and each year-end review I open to in the magazines, or click past on the TV, just gets me depressed about 2004 all over again.
What's going on outside, beyond my control, is bad enough: the continuing quagmire of the war, the election, Bush's smug F-You attitude towards those who didn't vote for him, etc. In my own small life things are getting mixed reviews as well.
On Thursday the honeymoon period at my new job officially ended after just shy of two months as I had to fire somebody. Not what I wanted to do on the eve of Christmas Eve, but there really was no choice. He was on probation for previous screw-ups, had been written up several times, and knew he was on the thinnest of ice when he chose to screw up bigger than ever.
I enjoy my job, it's challenging work that I believe provides a community service and leaves the world a little better than if we didnt' exist. But it is extremely stressful and (so far) prevents me from persuing some personal fulfilment time (writing, music, etc.). Hopefully, after the New Year, that will get better.
The other thing that has me worried this morning is my father. They arrived in town yesterday afternoon, and checked into their hotel shortly after. We all met them there and hung out in the room for at least an hour before leaving for dinner. Towards the end of dinner he said to my mother, "We should call the hotel and let them know we're still coming for a late check-in."
Is forgetting that you already checked into the hotel an understandable lapse after a long day driving from LA to San Jose and relaxing with a Scotch over dinner? Or is this one of those signs of advancing age we're suppposed to be watching for? He'll be 76 in a couple of weeks, which is no longer young, but he truly doesn't usually seem that old either.
All of this, I suppose, is a way of saying that this has been a year of recognizing and accepting the limits of mortality. It's not the most hopeful note I could leave you on a holiday morning, but it's the best I can do at this moment. Here's looking forward to 2005...