Can it be the last column of 2013, already?
It doesn't seem like another year could have elapsed so quickly. And what a difference a year makes.
Last year at this time, my son was still shorter than me. I was drowning in a sea of doubt after having changed day jobs and struggling to find a bit of solid footing on which to stand.
Judging by my diluted maven and littered brush, I had more hair on my head. Then again, I had less cellulite much further southward on my person.
The IRS appeared to be objective. The average American did not recognize the name Edward Snowden. The Pittsburgh Steelers were poised to have a fairly successful NFL season and the Boston Red Sox, coming off a rough 2012, seemed a long shot to win the World Series.
Miley Cyrus and Amanda Bynes were child actresses branching out into Hollywood adulthood unfortunately, they both ended up falling off the squeaky-clean wagon and right into a pile of poo.
Several close family members and friends of mine had not yet been diagnosed with serious health issues. The Boston Marathon was unmarred by violent tragedy. My mother-in-law was still with us so were Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, James Gandolfini and Tom Clancy.
Indeed, a lot can change in a year.
The Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform), for instance. That's a bit of a sticky wicket that appears to be gathering gumminess with each passing day. Yikes, even Jon Stewart is now using it for a punch line on "The Daily Show."
The mayor of the city of Toronto in Canada, Rob Ford, thrust himself into the global spotlight and not in a good way. (See Miley Cyrus / Amanda Bynes reference above.)
The U.S. government, in a show of immature absurdity and utter disregard for the citizens paying its collective salary to, you know, guide the nation, temporarily shut itself down. Lots and lots of disappointed field trippers, vacationers and taxpayers later, I'm unsure what the move accomplished.
Then again, some things have remained remarkably unaffected by the passage of time.
Like my email passwords - I keep using the same ones over and over despite repeated warnings not to do so. Or my coffee habit. Though I was sidetracked by a wicked flu bug that temporarily wiped out my taste for java, the addiction has resumed. Let's not forget my penchant for worrying incessantly about my loved ones, their health and safety and pretty much the good of the Valley as a whole. So, there's some consistency for you.
Let's see what else hasn't changed: the debt crisis? Um, yep - it's still there. Sadly, Syria continues to be in turmoil. And, naturally, certain aspects about Iran and North Korea are both just this side of absolutely terrifying to date.
Sure, it'd be easy to look back on 2013 as kind of a bummer of a year.
Then, again, it also gave us many reasons to anticipate 2014 with promise because it also gave us great news such as:
* Locally, sales of the Lordstown-built Chevy Cruze remain high. Hurray!
* Across the pond, a new heir to the British throne was born; well done, William and Kate!
* Internationally, a new leader took over the reigns of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is reaching across many divides to try to bridge gaps, heal wounds, and spread a message of peace and kindness inspiration for people of all faith backgrounds and walks of life!
And, as I look at all the tremendous blessings in my own life - my son, husband and pup, my family, friends, health, job, home and so much more - I know that something other constants remain: faith, hope and love.
And what a difference we can make this year if we focus on these three.
Happy 2014, everyone!
---- Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and blithering optimist. Contact her with sunny thoughts for the New Year at firstname.lastname@example.org.