Friday, 19 December 2014

What a Shit Year


2013 was a rather crappy year, but the headline says it all - 2014 has been worse. Quite bad, actually.
At the public level we had Tony Abbott destroying Australia and taking it back to the fifties, and the USA/UK partnership bent on destroying the global free minded society. I'll be honest: there's just so much I could take; it was easiest to simply switch off and disconnect. Let my Twitter go. The reality, however, is that the only way to get this world to improve is to remain switched on despite the emotional toll.

At the personal level, this has been the year my father had died. It did not come as complete surprise and it’s not like he died young, but it still hurts. Months later, it is obvious I am yet to truly digest his absence.
Perhaps this is because of what this death implies on me, personally. The reality is that with my father living in Israel and I in Australia, I missed out on his last years. I missed him when he was still alive. I wasn’t there to see him aging, thus when the bad news had arrived it was harder to swallow.
Naturally, this brings up thoughts of a nature that this immigrant would have preferred to forget: when I chose to move from Israel to Australia it did not occur to me that I would be missing out on my father’s last years. Sure, I knew that to be a certainty, but one does not tend to think such thoughts on such lines. What I discovered this year is that things along these lines, which I used to dismiss through some elusive practice of mental accounting, do matter more than they would seem. But still, life needs to go on, because – I will be completely honest – leaving for Australia was still the right move. Very clearly so.

Another torment brought by my father’s departure is the obvious reminder that our time here, on earth, is limited. And a very short time it is.
Memories are quite vivid. It feels as though just the other day my father used to lift me up with his strength, heft and all. Only yesterday he came to my rescue when I needed him. A brief moment ago he was young and powerful and we did stuff together, and now this can never happen again and I can never ask him any more questions.
If all that happened but a brief moment ago, then the implication is that in a brief moment from now all that I have will be gone just the same. If I look myself in the mirror and put on an honest face, it says that – if things go well! – I got a couple or so of decades worth living under my belt before life deteriorates into a festival of experiences I do not look forward to. What's a couple of decades in the grand scheme of things? Nothing. Everything.
I think the lesson is clear. There aren’t that many years for one to live one’s life, so I’d better make those upcoming years good. Better than the shit that 2014 has been.


Image by Andre Vandal, Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) licence

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