Happiness is This Damn Year Ending

So it’s New Year’s Eve eve, and I’m sure somewhere in the world there’s a country that didn’t have an tyrant in charge of it, cataclysmic weather conditions, an uprising of intolerance and bigotry, or rioting, repression, and regret, but it’s not my country. I’m sticking with the idea that this is an extinction burst, or as one dog training expert put it, “An extinction burst is when the unwanted behavior gets worse before it gets better . . . . The dog is saying this sentence to himself. “Hey, this always worked before. I must not be jumping high enough or biting hard enough.” This is the year the dogs of bigotry and intolerance jumped higher and bit harder, but so far, the courts and the sane members of the government have whacked them on the nose with a rolled-up Constitution.

I do believe that the arc of the universe bends toward justice. And that makes me happy.

What made you happy in 2019?

49 thoughts on “Happiness is This Damn Year Ending

  1. One thing that made me happy this year was your fiction. About which a tale:

    Neither my wife Kaye or I was ever much of a romance reader. But at some point one of us, I don’t remember which, read one of your books, probably Agnes and the Hitman. We went on to read some of your others, and enjoyed them.

    On September 28th of this year, Kaye died, aged 83. It has not been easy. But I’ve been working my way through the complete published fiction of Jennifer Crusie, and it has helped a lot. So I want to say thanks for that.

    Two other important points: 1) In Anyone But You, you wrote of a woman who found happiness with a man though she was ten years older than he. Well, my Kaye was seventeen years older than I, and she seemed pretty happy throughout our marriage. And she told me she was happy. So it does happen.

    2) I do want to say you’re a damn fine writer. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything of yours I’ve read. Hope you publish more.

    Hope you had a merry Christmas, and have a happy New Year.

    1. Thank you, Stephen, for that lovely post. I’m so sorry you lost your Kay, but it sounds as though you made the most of every minute of the time you had together. A real Crusie couple.

  2. Isn’t it New Year’s Eve eve eve? The 31st is Eve, 30th is Eve eve, and 29th is Eve eve eve (the triple!).

    Are you staying out of this RWA mess?

    All in all, 2019 was pretty good for me. I played a whole lot of great music. I did and learned interesting things at work, and got paid for it. Read some excellent books. Watched and rewatched some cool TV. Cooked exciting new things. I got rhythm. Who could ask for anything more?

    1. You’re right. It’s Eve eve eve. Sigh.

      Yes, I am staying out of the RWA mess. I want to slap both sides, so I’m better off keeping my mouth shut.

        1. I’m not even reading the PAN forums any more. Everybody is annoying the hell out of me.
          I’m just going to crochet and cook and read and watch movies until it’s 2020. Passive Aggressive R Us.

          1. The world would be a better place if we all just crocheted and cooked and read and watched movies, instead of all of the nonsense that’s happening instead.

  3. There’s some lovely tweets with deets on how time between the 25th of December and 1st of January are amorphous. Of course, I sunny remember which days they were posted on to find them.

    That said, Merry, Happy, what-you-will for 2020.

  4. Overall, 2019 was a good year – lots of travel, gardening and a new puppy. However, thanks to a bad flu and an opportunistic infection that required 2 rounds of antibiotics, plus a leaky hot water tank on Christmas Day, I’m glad to be saying goodbye to December. I’m taking the advantage of a few more days off work to do some clean up (prompted in part by the mess created by taking out and putting in a new hot water tank), including sorting through bags and boxes of yarn to be sent to a community in Northern Canada.

  5. Tis the Fifth Day of Christmas! We finally get to the Five Gold Rings. (Which are supposed to be bands on the neck of goldfinches, in keeping with the bird theme from partridge through the geese and swans.) It isn’t until the New Year that we start getting people – milkmaids, dancers, leapers, pipers and drummers.

    Yes, the rest of 2019 is for the birds. But you knew that.

  6. I guess the arc of the universe bends toward justice but I’m not sure if it does it all on it’s own. Just as so many of our Christian far right citizens seem to believe the Father needs their help bringing about the end of the world.

    I’d rather be working towards justice than Armageddon or the Apocalypse.

    So, onward!

  7. I’m happy to be at the end of 2019. I lost two dogs this year, Zoey in the spring, and Moose on Friday when an appointment on managing pain turned into a goodbye. He had very painful bone cancer that remained undiagnosed until x-rays on Friday. I won’t tell the whole story here. It’s long and sad and ends with guilt and more sadness. The house feels so empty without my big wonderful devoted idiot eating my favorite shoes.

    And the small dogs are acting clingy and skittish. There is no way to explain to them what happened.

    I’m trying to remember what a wonderful Life Moose had. We took him from a horrible situation where he was locked in a horse stall every day. He escaped and came to my house, every day. When we found out what his situation was we insisted we be allowed to keep him. He had a wonderful life here with us in the country and could have lived many more years if it wasn’t for the cancer. My dogs run and run and run.

    Except for Oreo/Rolo who is a couch potato. But she could run if she wanted and that’s what counts.

    There is a Moose sized hole in my heart and I’m allowing myself to be unhappy this Sunday – and for as many Sundays as it takes.


    1. I’m sorry, Kate. Although he’ll leave a big furry hole in your life, I’m so glad you were able to allow him to run free and be loved as long as you had him.

    2. Pets give us so much love while they’re with us and take a part of us when they leave. I wish I could better emulate their great ability to live in the moment and find joy in so many small, but great, everyday things. I hope 2020 brings you and the small dogs peace and joy.

    3. I’m so sorry about your pups. Hugs. A few years back, I lost my two dogs within months of each other. They went through good and bad times with me, including a sudden divorce, a relocation and a start over. Losing them is not something you get over. We just endure. I plan on going to dog heaven and not regular Heaven because I just know it’s more fun and naps.

    4. I’m so sorry, Kate. He was well-loved and had a wonderful life, but that Moose-sized hole has to hurt so much.

      The only problem with dogs is those damn short life spans.

      1. I know. It’s so cruel. I keep telling myself that loss is a part of life and the love they give us is worth it, but it doesn’t stop the house from feeling really empty and my heart from hurting.

    5. What a gorgeous boy. We lost our 13 yo standard poodle to bone cancer about about 18 months ago. Like your Moose, it was sudden and sad. I love our new puppy but Jet will always have a special place in my heart. Sending good thoughts.

    6. They take up such a huge part of our heart that there is such an emptiness left when we loose them but to have never had that love is just not imaginable. Hugs

    1. God, this is me exactly. More scared than excited at the mo, but hoping it will all come out in the wash, as my sainted mother always said.
      All in all, happy to see the backend of 2019.
      Sorry, I guess this wasn’t about what made me happy but it’s where I’m at right now. And if anyone should understand that, it’s you Arghers.
      Actually your blog posts made me happy. There.

    2. You inspired me to claim “change” for the new year. I’m a little uncertain of the details, but a few are already established: a new (to me) publisher, a new experience self-publishing (a series I haven’t been able to sell to a publisher), and at least the beginning of a change in where I live (somewhere safer, smaller and in a different town, possibly state).

  8. I’m sorry, Kate. Although he’ll leave a big furry hole in your life, I’m so glad you were able to allow him to run free and be loved as long as you had him.

  9. Once again it was my niece, Emmy, who made me happy. Yesterday I received a package from her. She had been at a “wonderful” used bookstore when she saw a picture book by one of my all time favorite authors. Not knowing if I already had a copy, she sent it to me, knowing I could always find a good home for it if I already had one.

    Well, although I have read the book, I don’t own it and I’ll be happy to add it to the shelf. But the biggest happy was the card she sent with it. It was a postcard from the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore where my friend Ted has a store called Sideshow. The picture on the card is very similar to a toy I got from Ted for helping him run a garage sale. She bought the card when she and I went to visit Ted a few years ago. And the reason she went to the used bookstore was because it is near a place where she went to get her ears pierced. And she had to get her ears pierced again because I gave her a pair of earrings for her birthday.

    The whole thing reminded me of many happy trips together to see Ted at one of his stores and all the great picture books we shared over the years. And I am immensely flattered that she saved that postcard for several years so she could send it to me.

  10. Amen, sister! Please let this be an extinction burst. It’s exhausting and (I think) obligatory to pay attention; the assholes are not going to make me look away.

    On my 2019 happiness list was a new puppy in June, a new great-nephew in July, cardiologist said nothing got worse in September, and no family, friends or pets lost. A lot to be thankful for.

  11. Happiness this year includes seeing my dad situated in a great place where he has independence, and has made new friends, and has had good experiences. I also got to see him while he was east for Christmas, which made me happy.

    And, other than all the animals being overfed and chunky, all are happy and healthy.

  12. Getting to be in theater, FINALLY.

    New car.

    New supervisor, new office, nobody making me work the phones.

    Even if the ah, romance hasn’t panned out (yet….), it turns out that my heart isn’t totally dead after all. Because seriously, I figured I was asexual at this point after all this time. Maybe someday.

    I’m happy for my mom’s love life. And that we haven’t had any blowout fights yet.

  13. What year is this? Where am I? What happened in the last twelve month? To be honest, it is all kind of a blur. I actually wrote down one happy thing for each week on every Monday of the year and put it in a jar, but I haven’t sat down to reread them yet.

    Most of my happiness came from being with people I love. My group and I got to take our first vacation this summer together in 8 years (long ago, we used to take a long weekend every year and go to the Ren Faire, but life got in the way). We rented some cabins, went back to the Sterling Ren Faire, cooked outside, and generally had a wonderful time. Back in February I flew out to California to see my parents in San Diego and then went on to PantheaCon, a big Pagan convention in San Jose where I got to hang with one of my best friends who lives in CA and so I rarely see her (plus my Llewellyn editor, ditto). There were a few other visits with friends and families that brought me great joy (and some aggravation, but that’s family for you).

    I fostered kittens for ten weeks, which was mostly joy (and some aggravation, when they all got sick). And only kept one, which I still count as a win. Little Diana is now almost five months old and still more joy than aggravation…by a small margin. Unless it is Tuesday and the moon is full, in which case I wonder what the hell I was thinking.

    My Everyday Witch Oracle deck came out from Llewellyn and everyone loved it as much as we did, which always makes me happy. And I signed another book contract with them, so yay, much rejoicing.

    There were lots of little joys in the midst of a bunch of not so joyful–I read a lot of really good books, drank some good wine, ate marginally too much very good chocolate (I lie–there is no such thing as too much very good chocolate), and lived to fight another day.

    I’ll take it.

    1. After losing Aubrey this year, I kept reading your posts on the kittens because we really would love having another kitten. But your cats seemed a little dubious about the situation and Lindy is 11 and I really don’t think he would view a kitten with joy ( MOM. What is that… Is it a rat.. Can I kill it.). So we have decided not to get one until he is so old he is oblivious. So add another happiness to your list of keeping a spoiled siamese cat who you have never met happy as an only cat.

      1. Actually, Jesse, all my cats have adjusted just fine. Harry Dresden’s tail is the kitten’s favorite play toy. I’ve seen her sleeping next to and being licked by all of them, although it took Angus a bit longer to come around.

      2. To echo Deborah, my adult cats have accepted the (three) kittens reasonably well. One adult and one kitten (well, 20 months now, so not exactly a kitten) have dominance issues occasionally, but even they respect each other’s space more often than not. The last time I added kittens before this, one of my older cats was absolutely thrilled — she considered them her babies, and cuddled/groomed/etc. as much as they wanted (which was a lot). She’d always wanted to be a cuddler, but the other older cats I had weren’t interested, and then she finally had her own little family!

        I would recommend adopting two though, rather than one, so if the older cat isn’t interested in the kittens, they at least have each other to play with each other and are less likely to pester the older one. Some shelters offer a two-fer adoption fee, especially when the pair is strongly bonded (more reason to not pester the older one).

  14. Got rid of a bunch of dread by waving around accomplishment. Obtained replacement Social Security card, renewed (test!) drivers license with the little bear stamp that allows me to fly domestically, finally had the colonoscopy my g.p. has been urging for, oh, twenty years, and, yes, I’m good. Heavy weights rolled off my shoulders. Found a contractor to refurbish the house after a year-long search. Sixth guy signed on because – this is the secret – we hired a designer who had everything figured out, with measurements. Both are dreams to work with, and thus so is the process. We’d been warned otherwise. Threw most everything out, thirty years’ worth, moved the rest with us down the block to the rental. Did you know premium rates are charged when you have dogs? Our doggies, rental agency should pay US. I’m sure 2020 has something in store, but I’ll meet eventualities with shoulders lightened.

    1. What made me happy in 2019 was the birth of our first two grandchildren…a little girl in May and a little boy in November. And watching my son and daughter fall in love with their babies and care for them with their spouses. S’wonderful! Happiest New Year to all Arghers!

  15. Looking at the happies within my control:

    Daily walks. I am grateful to be mobile.

    February daily index-card collages. I’ve done other art throughout the year, but that was the most satisfying.

    Fading away from Facebook. While I occasionally miss family news, staying off has improved my mental health.

    Getting more comfortable with new ways of working (looking at you, Excel).

    And after almost five months, my closet is still clean!

  16. I needed this post Jenny, thank you. So many things fill me with despair right now.
    Is there anyone out there capable of freeing all those poor children in cages. Anyone? Please anyone.

  17. I’m happy it’s over and for more good days than bad. And for my family and cats and kindness. I suppose I should be a greeting card, but I’m okay with that.

  18. My happiness came when my kitchen renovation was complete. I love how it turned out and my marriage is still happy despite us doing much of the work together.

    I’m happy for a relatively healthy year.

    My kitteh is becoming more snuggly, which is lovely, except at 3 am.

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