Time’s best friend is fear.

Two of the local radio stations started playing Christmas songs yesterday afternoon. Normally, this would put a big goofy grin on my face, but not this year.

Warning: God, man. You really might not want to read the rest of this because it’s full of yammers and whimpers. Normally I don’t say this stuff out loud to you, but it’s all I can think of today, and because it’s NaBloPoMo I need to put something out there, and maybe all you really need is a video of the song that has been in my head for the past week. How about this: I’ll stick that video down below and you can feel free to skip my words and go straight to the music. No harm done. I can’t see you. (I can see some of you.) ((No I can’t.))

Every time we hit the end of a year, I look to the new year with a bit of hesitation because I’ve been riding easy for so long. Because I am who I am, I tend to find myself in the shower on January 1st thinking, “Well, this is probably the year that something terrible happens.” (I know that’s ridiculous. I KNOW.)

2016 was a goat rodeo for so many people in my life. Lots of deaths. A few divorces. One friend’s house burned to the ground. Jeff’s position was eliminated.

More on the Jeff’s Job thing: Instead of crying on the couch and eating like a jerk (which is what I would have done in his situation and is actually what I HAVE been doing (more crap eating than crying, really) and that’s a topic for a different day), Jeff has put in at least eight hours each day (for the past four months) networking and diligently searching out new employment opportunities. Not much is available for people at his level, and not many companies are eager to hire at the end of the year.

We will be fine. We will be FINE. BUT, this experience has opened my eyes to all of the people out there who wouldn’t be fine. Who won’t be fine. Who aren’t fine.

A lot of things are tugging at my heart as we greet the end of the year. I’m already a little uneasy about 2017—not because I’m afraid something terrible will happen, but because so many terrible things are CURRENTLY happening to people I know, and so many potentially big things are on the horizon for our family. Meredith will start high school toward the end of 2017. Jeff will find a job and although we’re hoping whatever it is allows us to stay right where we are, we can’t rule anything out. (Let’s not talk about the presidential inauguration right now. Or maybe ever.)

Our family volunteers at a food pantry on the final Thursday of every month, and we come face to face with people who are not fine. People who don’t make eye contact as they thank us for filling their cars with bags of food. People who almost sound apologetic as they tell us WHY they need food this month. People who shake our hands and say “God bless you.” with tears in their eyes. I always dread going to the food pantry, but once I’m there I’m so GLAD that I’m there because it puts my ridiculous complaints into perspective.

(My tea maker broke earlier this week, leaving me without access to hot tea for nearly three days. I was a big whiny baby until Amazon shipped a new one to me. I’m an asshole.)

534 words have passed, and I’m really not making the world a better place with my sniffles, so I’ll leave you with a song. It’s lovely and it won’t bounce out of my brainpan, which is such a good thing. (Another good thing: This morning Tempe suggested that I pour a tiny bit of pomegranate balsamic vinegar into a cup with a tiny bit of blood orange olive oil and then swish it around in my oral opening for a few seconds before swallowing. Dear God, life is short. It was so amazing.) ((I’m not a fan of the word Mouth.))

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