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31 December 2023

A Sine of the Times


I'm not sure where to start closing out 2023 but "welp".  Since I'd ended 2017 with a similar sentiment, I'd posit that maybe it has something to do with years ending on a Sunday — which does feel weird to me despite years beginning on a Monday feeling quite natural — except 2006 was pretty awesome, so it's probably just a periodic coincidence.

It being a Sunday, there are the usual distractions of football as I write this.  But I have to write this earlier than usual, because Mom is performing in tonight's New Year’s Eve Concert at the Erie Playhouse which, while it will surely be entertaining, will take up a bit of extra time this evening.

So despite the fact that it is still light out as I write this, there is still much of the familiar time pressure to distill the year into something digestible for this blog.  Since I hear that a picture is still worth about a thousand words (more or less, adjusted for inflation) and I'm still a math geek at heart, I think my 2023 can perhaps be most concisely described by this sinusoid:

Very rough and not quite to scale, of course, but still freakishly accurate in spite of its simplicity.

In short, while the first quarter of the year certainly wasn't perfect, most of my 23-based cautious optimism was ultimately panning out.  By March, I was feeling pretty good about most aspects of my life.  That lasted for most of the spring, but heading into May and June things got a little rougher, and then the setbacks truly began in July.  Just as April and May were a new apex, October and November were a new low.

Most people who are close to me know a few details of some of the setbacks that befell me in the second half of this year, and I'm sure those who don't can understand why I am not really going to say much about them here at this time.  Frankly, there are very few people with whom I feel comfortable talking about all of them.  Needless to say, each was significant in its own way and I've been working with those around me to move forward from each as I'm able.

And don't despair for me: I wouldn't have plotted the end of the graph as I did if I didn't truly feel that they're collectively moving toward resolution by this point.

Huh.  "Resolution."  A bit unorthodox, but I'll take it.  Such unbridled optimism is normally far too sanguine for my liking, but I really do need a good dose of it in the year ahead.

So anyway, much like the passing of the seasons are sinusoidal, so, too, has my year gone.  Sure, it's out of phase with the seasons by about 2½ months, but the extremes felt just as wide.

It's not like I'm hoping for a sigmoid in 2024.

And so for a math geek like me who still likes the number 23, all that's left to do is to celebrate one more numerological quirk as we waltz into the new year on 12/31/23, or 1,2,3; 1,2,3.

Ah! Ah! Aah!

Random tangent: NBC has Sunday Night Football tonight, but as hoped ABC and CBS are both breaking their New Year's Eve programming for news at 22:00 EST for a second year.


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