2013 – A Retrospective Look

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Just as we are sweeping up the leftover tinsel and bits of wrapping paper that have gone astray from our Christmas celebration, we are getting ready for New Year’s Eve. It seems like the same thoughts enter my brain every year at this time. How did yet another year pass by in the blink of an eye?

 

Every year is filled with daring feats, crazy triumphs, debilitating losses and huge surprises. As always, we’ve pressed forward during the year, taking the good with the bad, never really pausing to let it all sink in. Well, now we take a look back over 2013, the year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac.

 

Apparently, “selfie” was the word of the year, made popular by actors James Franco and Russell Brand, among many others. Of course, it seems we’ve all fallen victim to the “selfie in the bathroom mirror” shot. Don’t lie – we know you’ve done it, too. We are as equally ashamed. Fads take off and then we all copy and cringe. It’s the nature of the beast.

 

Facebook has continued its imperial reign, yet Instagram (or IG as it’s known) has decided to give social media stalwarts a run for their money as Generation Y has latched onto the photo memorabilia app. Of course, Vine and Snapchat were just as popular with boatloads of new members signing up to transmit video or picture messages to one another or the public.

 

The inevitable crazy celebrity of this year ends in a tie: Miley Cyrus and Amanda Bynes.  Miley for every insane performance she gave that ended in her signature tongue-wagging style. She shed the Hannah Montana image overnight. Poor Amanda Bynes seems to have literally lost it as she has had plastic surgery, blown tons of money, been arrested several times, and had to have her parents take guardianship of her and be placed in an involuntary psychiatric ward.

 

Of course, we’ve lost several celebrities this year, too. The untimely deaths of Glee star Cory Monteith and superstar actor Paul Walker of The Fast and Furious franchise are some of the first that come to mind. Along with James Gandolfini, Mindy McCready, Lee Thompson Young and Roger Ebert.

 

More important news from this year, Alabama won the BCS National Championship, Pope Francis was selected as Pope Benedict XVI’s successor, the royal family welcomed baby Prince George, and ObamaCare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) was enacted.

 

Other disheartening news from this year includes: the Boston bombing that happened at the 117th Boston Marathon, the NSA spying scandal, and the Oklahoma tornadoes, just to name a few. Also, our government briefly shutdown for a short period of time. Scary.

 

Wrapping up the year, we have 18 states that have legalized same sex marriage, with 32 states banning the act. Equality and tolerance are still important practices that seem to be garnering more support than ever.

 

The teens still love One Direction. And somehow, American Idol is still on the air. The adoration of glistening vampires (Twilight) has given way to The Hunger Games trilogy. And Duck Dynasty is still popular.

 

Conclusively, 2013 has brought several surprises, both good and bad. Everyone has an opinion about everything, and we still live in the greatest nation in the world. Goodbye, 2013. It’s been real. 2014, please bring on the success and smiles. We’ve been waiting all year for you.