The grit, grime and all-out dirt and mud of 2012 is driving me crazy. And my family has banished me to the garage until midnight.
Who could blame them? The soon-to-pass calendar year has had its ups and downs, but it seems to be going out with a terrible, dirty bang.
I don’t know about you, but a lot of 2012 needs to be washed down the drain.
Don’t get me wrong. Many of us had lots of stuff to smile about.
People got married or engaged, found work, got accepted into college, finished their basements, beat cancer, ran the JFK (and finished!), started a college fund for their kids.
I had a pretty good year. We welcomed a son into our family and everyone I know is pretty healthy and mostly employed.
I am blessed with a good job and great co-workers and friends.
But many are not so fortunate. Many struggled with a lot in 2012.
Nationally, we had plenty of highs and lows in 2012, from the amazing spectacle of our athletes at the London Olympics to the gut-wrenching lows of what happened in Connecticut and New York state earlier this month.
We had a presidential election — of which the nation is pretty split on whether the outcome was a good or bad thing.
But even the long-awaited end of the negative ads and cheap shots has been ruined by the talks of the fiscal cliff and how we are all doomed and the country will fall back into an even deeper recession.
Locally, good news walked hand in hand with the bad. For every bit of good (recycling in Washington County), there was bad (the failure to reach any kind of stadium deal for the Hagerstown Suns).
The same could be said for the Tri-State area. Many of the stellar accomplishments by students and residents were overshadowed by an uptick in violent crimes and shootings such as the one that happened Friday in Martinsburg, W.Va., a triple homicide in Quincy, Pa., that left a young girl without a mother, and three devastating fires over the past several weeks in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
I know, I know. It’s life. News happens. Good and bad.
So here’s the thing: After I get cleaned up, I’m going to start a mini-revolution.
First things first, we’re going to drive to the edge of the cliff and throw everything we don’t need over the side: Democrats, Republicans, assault weapons, etc.
Next, we need to all get on the same page: Let’s make 2013 a year of the deal.
We all are sick of the inability for smart people to get in a room and finish things that need to be done.
And I’m not just talking about the ineffective leadership we are witnessing in Washington. I’m talking about state leaders, local contract negotiators, county and city and town officials.
Get in a room and work it out.
Perhaps if we come to an agreement on guns and school security, we would have fewer school shootings.
Perhaps if we make the deal the focus of the meeting, we get a deal done for a new multiuse stadium for the city AND the Hagerstown Suns.
Perhaps if we get in a room and concentrate on the kids, we don’t waste time on teacher-contract negotiations in Franklin and Fulton counties.
Perhaps if we make a deal to make 2013 a year of the deal, we will bicker less and we can devote more to moving forward, not back.
Perhaps if we go into a room with a glass half-full instead of half-empty, a resolution for the betterment of all can be reached sooner.
Think about it.
Bill Kohler is Tri-State editor of The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7281 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.