I feel that should be much angrier with you than I am. First and foremost, you took my Mom. Thing is, I have to acknowledge that doing so was a mercy. She'd been in a lot of pain, and having a lot of health problems. There comes a time when you're being swarmed by piranhas that all of those little bites add up to just too many to come back from. I wish I could have seen her more and that I had shared more with her. But the distance and the difficulty and being busy and distracted was just more than I was prepared to deal with. The lack of more Mom in my life was as much on me as on anything else. But you could have been a better year to her nonetheless, and for that, I will NOT forgive you.
You took other folks out of my life too this year. It is to be expected as we all age, but too many of these were kind of out of nowhere. I should perhaps be angrier about that, but there was a sly lesson and a bit of important introspection that showed up when one of the people you took out of my life had been pretty toxic to me when they were in it. I'm not too happy to find that I have it in me to actually be glad that someone is gone. But there it is. I'm not possessed of as much nobility as I thought, and my "high ground" was more for my personal security than any higher calling. I suppose I can and will be a better person than that, but I'm not there yet.
I also spent a lot of time (still) being someThing's punching bag, but 2018 was a year where I found ways around the places where that tended to happen and to extricate myself from some of those circumstances. I found more ways than usual to turn my status of being a "fugitive from the law of averages" to my advantage. I also played to my strengths and that worked too. There is a grim satisfaction that comes of outstubborning Trouble. But there is a tangible joy to avoiding it outright. And where some things/beings bide their time to wait for the opportunity to smack me, I can also bide *my* time and exploit opportunities to not be there for it.
There are people I miss who are not gone, and 2018, that happened on your watch. I hate that. It makes me sad and angry. But under your watch I was also able to focus on people who've come *into* my life who seem to have a mission to make me happy. I can't be too mad or sad for too long when around random corners I kept finding distractions from my distractions.
My work has come closer to an edge of advancing my fortunes. Under your watch, there keep being things that hold me back, but I can also quantify some goals that I *am* inching closer to, some which are innovations that I've implemented in... 2018.
And a good measure of that progress was simply deciding to just not put up with obstacles that, on reflection, were neither permanent nor insurmountable. That remains to be the case now.
Unfortunately you didn't really see fit to help manifest many solutions to some of the Larger Problems Of The World. But I suspect that those solutions to the World will be the same solutions *I* found, which is: "If you don't like it, make it stop!"
All in all, 2018 for all of the grief and pain I've had from you, I've also had opportunity, and gritty epiphanies that involved me simply not putting up with bullshit, much of which existed long before you came around, even though you sometimes didn't help. But here's a kind of new thing: when I stood up for myself, you backed down. You may not have been kinder to me than some years, but I've got to acknowledge that when the chips were down YOU knew when to quit, unlike other antagonists I've faced (and outlived).
So, goodbye 2018. I must confess that I'm better off for you having been here, but know this: much of that improvement was because I stopped putting up with shit that you had no inclination to stop unprompted, and unresisted. Ultimately, that makes you not my friend, and it makes me glad to see you go.