December Writing Challenge Day 31: What’s the Plural of Apocalypse?

(This week’s post originally appeared on as a comment during the 2020 December Writing Challenge.)

“When I saw you stop the world from, you know, ending, I just assumed that was a big week for you. It turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse.”
– Riley Finn, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, S04E12


“Fulchum, you think you know everything, but you don’t know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire–then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. Learn to separate the inconveniences from the real problems. You will live longer. And will not annoy people like me so much. Good night.” – Sigmund Wollman, “Uh-Oh”, by Robert Fulghum


I didn’t think this comment could handle 3 quotes in a row, so I’ll merely paraphrase the old adage that a smart person knows you can only believe half of what you read, but the truly wise person knows which half.

In between the knee-slapping irreverent humor of a conversation between a teenage world-defending vampire slayer and her soon-to-be-love interest; and the no-nonsense wisdom of a survivor of Auschwitz lies… life.

As @grace.gilker implied, it would be easy to lump everything over the last 12 months into the “bad” column. Satisfyingly concise to say “2020 was a complete waste.”. But even the most cursory examination shows us this isn’t true. Babies were born. Lifelong loves consecrated and consummated. New, exciting, good jobs and relationships and endeavors begun; bad ones ended.

For all the struggles, and in some cases BECAUSE of the struggles, there were sweet and joyful and bright moments this year. If nothing else, each day of this challenge offered us examples of this.

My wish is for you, those you love, and those who love you to find unexpected joy, unplanned fulfillment, and uncomplicated comfort in the coming year.

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