20 January 2006

25. 2005

Dear 2005,

I wasn't sure about writing you, what with having already done a year in review letter for your predecessor (and also I could whine on for pages better used in other letters about writer's block and how the dead of winter is generally a slow time for me to put it mildly but I will limit myself to this one parenthetical comment here). Then Merriam-Webster Online released their top ten most-searched words of the year:
integrity, refugee, contempt, filibuster, insipid, tsunami, pandemic, conclave, levee, inept.
I mean, damn. Even given the fact that the south Asian tsunami disaster was actually in 2004, and you didn't produce anywhere near that kind of nasty last-minute surprises, it was impressive enough to rock me for a day. (The taking weeks to finish writing about it, I did that part all on my own, along with plenty of whining about having no motivation to write.) Don't get me wrong --- it's not that the word lists for previous years haven't been sadly telling as well, in a "check out the state of U.S. news and especially politics" kind of way. But even discounting "tsunami" from your list, you've still got Hurricane Katrina and the abandonment of New Orleans, avian flu, a scary new Pope, and in general entirely too much political obnoxiousness of the sort that makes me say "no more stupid please, I am full." Now if only I could say something to undo the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor from the U.S. Supreme Court, maybe the 2006 word list wouldn't reflect quite so much of that last... but no, we've already had plenty during the Alito confirmation hearings. Dangit.

But of course, life keeps going on in any case, and I'm personally still glad I saw you through, 2005. I traded the best job I'd ever had for an even better one, successfully converted large chunks of my front yard from lawn to garden, and generally lived really well, to judge by the various scribblings on the calendar and Slingshot planner I used during you. I'm oddly fascinated by the contrast between those scribblings and my memories, but if I come up with anything more interesting or coherent to say about this phenomenon, it'll probably be fodder for at least another letter. Speaking of writing, I'm quite pleased with many of the open letters I've finished over the course of a year, and a little intimidated by the number of letters I started but have yet to finish. All of which is to say that it's about time I finished addressing you, 2005, and got on with a new year of living and writing.

Thanks for everything, and goodbye.


Title abridged 1 December 2011.
Started 29 December 2005, published 20 January 2006.