Monday, January 16, 2017

January Reflections

Deep into this month of auld lang syne, most of us are past wishing each other a Happy New Year and have plunged headlong into living it.

For me, January has always been an introspective month. Aside from the futuristic aura of a new year, this month marks both my birthday and my daughter's, exactly one week apart. It was also my husband's birthday month, as well as the month that he passed away, eleven years ago. So January always catches my attention on many levels.

In recent days, several unfolding events have underscored the forward march of time so tied to the month of January:
  1. The San Diego Chargers, our hometown football team, are moving to Los Angeles. We in San Diego have suffered through this ongoing sports drama for years, and last week it culminated in the dreaded announcement of the unwelcome move. As my son wistfully noted, he grew up watching the Chargers every Sunday. It's an era that will not pass without pain.
  2. Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding up the Big Top after 146 years. When the animal rights activists managed to shut down the elephants last year, the writing was on the wall. I only went to the circus once, at age eight, but I remember it vividly, in a positive way. It's too bad that so much of what made the circus fun and fascinating has become socially objectionable.
  3. Astronaut Eugene Cernan died today at age 82. He was on Apollo 17, the mission that earned his moniker, "the Last Man on the Moon." It's impossible to describe what rock stars the astronauts were to children when I was growing up. The space program represented the best of America--industrious, creative, exciting, full of brave endeavors and monumental achievements. Cernan's passing gives me the sense of a wonderful book thudding shut.
We're going to have a new president in a few days. It will be a very different presidency from the past eight years. If we're fortunate, it will be better. Many critics refuse to countenance any optimism about the 45th president, but I think we should all take a breath and see how it goes, just as we do every January. Start fresh, look forward, and hope for the best.