Hey folks. I wanted to drop in and say hey, give you an update, talk about a few things. So grab your noisemakers and paper hats...
"What are you doing New Year's Eve?"
I hope you have better plans than I do. I'm still sick. I've been sick for a little over a week. It's gone back and forth, but it's now settling into my chest. I'm on antibiotics and all manner of allergy and sinus medications. My accomplishments so far today: I cooked turkey hash, watched about 5 episodes of The Office, and showered. Plan for the rest of the rockin' NYE: watch the rest of Season 3 of The Office (thanks again, Netflix!), eat more turkey hash, and continue to sniffle/wheeze/cough/etc. No kisses for me tonight. So all you who are getting kisses, snag an extra one in my memory, if you don't mind.
Plans for tomorrow are still shaky, but they include more Office, more turkey hash (if any remains), watching the Red Wings game on TV (they're playing outdoor hockey at my beloved Wrigley Field), and maybe slaying some mythical beasties. Oh, and the ubiquitous sniffling, wheezing, et cetera, ad nauseum. In fact, you may go ahead and add nausea too, just to be prepared.
I'm sorry I won't get to see any of you this year. Kelly and Jill, and Trev and Amanda, I'll definitely miss hanging out with you folks. I'll do my best to drive up sometime in the next year and hang out.
"A long December and it's easy to believe /Maybe this year will be better than the last..."
This has been a rough year, hasn't it? Personally, nationally. It's been a beast. My family's taken some hits: job losses, personal crises, struggling like the rest of our city to get by without power and available supplies for a while after a hurricane hit. Financial uncertainty, global uncertainty. The political changes that face our nation, which bring hope to some and concern to others. It's been a rough and tumble kind of year.
But I'm going to tell you two true things in response to all this: 1) God is faithful, He hasn't abandoned His people, and He will not ever do so. And I put my trust in that. 2) It's still hard to be excited to wake up in the morning sometimes. It's hard to have faith sometimes. And while I cognitively always believe in the faithfulness of God, it doesn't make some of our struggles any less harrowing. But the fact that God is and that He has compassion on us, keeps me from giving up. So should it keep you from giving up.
"So this is the new year / And I don't feel any different..."
If you're a regular reader of PBB, you may be very concernedly asking, "Wait, Dave, what about your usual end-of-the-year posts? What about the PBB Book List? What about the Slackies?!? I MUST HAVE MY SLACKIES!!!!"
Well, calm down, here's the explanation: I'm sick. (What, weren't you paying attention earlier?)
Kidding aside, it's coming: the PBB Reading List, the 2008 mix tape, the Slackies, the whole shebang. You'll see them in the next week or two. I hope.
In the meantime, a holdover from last year: the entirety of "It's a Wonderful Life" posted online, for you to watch at work, at home, wherever. If you've never seen it, do me a personal favor, and make the time to watch it today or tomorrow. You won't regret it. Consider it a belated Christmas present from me to you.
"Is this the New Year, or just another night?"
It didn't feel like the holidays this year. There were moments when it was nice, no doubt about that. But it just didn't feel special. I don't know what's going on with me lately. A combination of factors, I suppose. But this holiday season wasn't special, so much as survivable. And I hate that I feel that way sometimes, because I have so much that I'm thankful for. But something just felt...off. It still does.
Tonight's the end of a year, but it's still just the middle of a week. Tomorrow there's a Thursday and then a Friday, a weekend and then we're back to Monday. Nothing monumental. ...I'm missing something these days. Excitement. Hope. Verve. I'm going through the motions, but missing the abundance of life. Maybe my "resolution" for the new year is to find ways to restore the joy of life that seems to have been draining out of my days and weeks lately.
"Nothing changes on New Years Day..."
(I sometimes hear this as a song of hope...but this line always belies that. Thus, the topic below.)
All anyone is talking about on the news is the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Do I want to get into the ugliness here? Not really. This is the type of issue that fills up the comment box with anger and rhetoric.
But I feel compelled to comment, so here you go: War sucks. But terrorism sucks more. Hamas is a terrorist organization responsible for constant rocket attacks and suicide bombings that wound and kill Israeli civilians, and Israel needs to be able to defend itself. Are innocent civilians getting killed in the retaliation? Yes. I hate that. But I blame the cowards who are hiding amongst the civilians, hoping their deaths would provoke outrage against their enemies. Hamas is an army of cowards and scum. I hope the Israeli army and leadership can end this soon, but it should end with the defeat of Hamas, not with concessions and apologies.
There. Bring on the onslaught.
"We'll take a cup of kindness yet for auld lang syne..."
It's getting dark. We're approaching sunset. I'm sitting on the floor of my living room, typing this missive into the "work" laptop on my coffee-table. When I hit submit, I'll go back to laying down and watching TV--I mean, recouperating.
Happy New Year, friends and family. May this one be better than the last. May it bring you peace, rest, renewal, restoration, and life in Jesus Christ.