Good Riddance, 2012: An Open Letter To One Of The Worst Years Yet

A parishioner pays her respect at makeshift altar to the victims of an elementary school shooting after attending Sunday's Ma
A parishioner pays her respect at makeshift altar to the victims of an elementary school shooting after attending Sunday's Mass at St Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, Connecticut, December 16, 2012. A young gunman slaughtered 20 small children and six teachers on December 14,2012 after walking into a school in an idyllic Connecticut town wielding at least two sophisticated firearms. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Dear 2012,

I had high hopes for you. After the economic mess 2007 and 2008 left us in, I had heard you'd set things right, bring us back to the normal we citizens all across the globe had grown to know and love -- even though we didn't know how much we did indeed love that normal.

Instead, you brought us not enough jobs, lower home values, followed by drained retirement accounts and higher credit card debt as we scrambled and sputtered, doing all that we could to ride out the seemingly endless storm.

All the while, our leaders and leader wannabes spewed blame and hate and divisive dithering. We struggled. They stewed. Nothing changed -- except that song lyrics of "There ain't gonna be any middle any more" gained further relevance.

Political posturing and financial calamity far and wide were merely two of the travesties of your term. For you hooked up with Mother Nature and the fallout of that toxic relationship reigned upon the innocents. Floods, hurricanes, snowstorms, wildfires, crazy extreme events and temps like Ms. Nature has never before cast upon us.

Natural tragedies were not the only shock from you, 2012, nor the only irreparable damage to innocents -- and innocence -- across our land. No, unnatural, unimaginable tragedies of a human sort rocked us worse than any hurricane you treated us to. Wars in faraway places hurt our hearts as we watched footage, read reports, yet it was the unexpected gunfire in our own states, cities, neighborhoods that shook our souls, shattered our hearts. And here we are, still trying to pick up the pieces, still trying to make sense where there is none. Here we are, hoping to figure out a new normal that will limit -- for we know we can, unfortunately, never fully stop -- the collateral damage and fallout of the wars that rage in many a young man's heart.

You gave us pain and sorrow and heaps of horror even Nostradamus and the Mayans failed to predict. Erroneous as those predictions of our end, of you being the last to rule the calendar, turned out to be, like a bad screenwriter, you threw in every last shocker you could imagine; you made our world seem stranger than fiction simply to get our attention.

Shame on you for such sloppy work, 2012. Yet I must admit that you did get our attention. And at least we learned much from your shark jumping.

At least we learned we can survive, sometimes even thrive, by spending less, accumulating less and depending on our creativity and one another more.

At least we learned negativity and hatefulness -- and billions of dollars wasted on campaign ads folks muted or changed or completely ignored despite hearing -- should go down in history, to (hopefully) never return.

At least we learned to share our hearts, hugs, material matters with those who have lost all in natural disasters. And to share our hearts, hugs, tears with those for whom material matters matter not one whit when it's loved ones lost, tragically taken.

And at least we've learned the importance, the necessity of discussing the matters affecting, encouraging, exacerbating and ultimately allowing such tragedies.

I'm not satisfied with at leasts, though. I, along with everyone else subject to your rule, deserve much more than consolation. We deserve consideration, opportunity, positivity. And no more tears. We deserve hope for a brighter tomorrow as we give thanks for a peaceful and productive yesterday, a safe and secure today.

In light of that, I'm more than ready for you to pack your bags and get on your way, 2012. Don't let the door -- or the disappointment in you -- hit you on the way out, prevent you from an expedient exit. I need you gone for good so I can move on. My hopes and the hopes of many are now pinned on 2013.

So go on, 2012, skedaddle. And please don't even consider sharing knucks or high fives or any other sort of celebratory connecting to 2013 as you pass the bright and shiny New Year on your way out. I'd prefer you not taint the promise of good things to come with your toxic touch.

Farewell, 2012. Thank you in advance for graciously making way for 2013 -- my new favorite year.

Cheers and good riddance!