2015: The Thing That Will Finally Leave

On Saturday Night Live in 1978, John Belushi participated in a horror movie trailer spoof with Jane Curtin and Bill Murray called “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.” Christopher Lee hosted the show, so the spoof was appropriate, based on Lee’s earlier career. (Sorry about the video quality. If you show this video to your kids, you might have to field questions about the telephone Belushi dials and other items your kids might wonder about in this age of cell phones and song downloads.)

Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience with an acquaintance or relative who wouldn’t take the hint to leave, but instead made excuses to linger and annoy. This sketch came to mind, however, as I thought about the close of 2015. If I could sum up this entire year, I would say it often seemed like the annoying thing that wouldn’t leave, thanks to its many challenges. So I’m delighted to finally see the backend of 2015. I wouldn’t care to repeat one day of it.


Many people dear to me have had a hard year due to job loss, tornadoes, loved ones with cancer, health issues of their own, financial reversals, multiple rejections, and other disappointments. If you’ve read this blog this year, you know I can relate to all of those.

I know. I shouldn’t blame 2015 for the hard times I and others faced. Recently a friend sent a post to me that really hit home and caused me to see those hard times in a new light. If you have a minute, take a look at it. I won’t mind if you dash off to read it. Rachel, the writer of this post, makes a good point about the way trials test your resilience. Just as rough terrain tests the quality of a tire, you find out what you’re made of when life’s terrain grows rocky.

So many times I’ve felt like I was made of gelatin, thanks to my tendency to shake with fear or melt into a puddle when the heat was on. Yet by the grace of God I’m here still with dirt under my fingernails. And so are you.

Now I’m suddenly reminded of Metapod, a Pokémon with a skill called harden which always seemed useless to me whenever I played a Pokémon game. After all, it is a defensive skill, rather than offensive. Its skin hardens to help it defend against attacks. But now I see the usefulness of this skill. In the game of life, we could all use this skill to help us persist when the blows come. Yet, the temptation to grow harder in a cynical sense will beckon, however. We have to fight against that temptation in order to show compassion for those around us who are suffering.


So, good-bye, 2015. You’ve taught me that when life is tough, I must be tougher.


What has 2015 taught you?

“The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave” image from engineeringwellness.com. Year changing image from sageone.es. Metapod from memeaddicts.com.

55 thoughts on “2015: The Thing That Will Finally Leave

  1. My year has been about balance. I have had some challenging times, I have had some great moments. 2015 has taught me not take things for granted, nor not to write things off.

  2. This past year has taught me to take and appreciate the opportunities that are given me rather than holding out for the ideal thing or wishing that’s what I had. In other words, enjoy the carousel ride even if someone else grabs the shiny ring. I hope your 2016 brings you all good things, Linda, making this year’s trials a distant memory.

  3. Think I’m more cynical. I’ve learned not to get comfortable and never to start a year with too much enthusiasm. To be fair, I never liked Metapod and find him such a chore to get to Butterfree. So many battles where I ended up only having him left and that’s basically the end.

  4. I love the way that you always find the PERFECT pop culture reference to make your point. I can relate to Andy, seeking and working to achieve balance. I truly love what Lyn shared — about appreciating opportunities that are available rather than wishing for what is not and enjoying the ride even if someone else grabs the shiny ring. (That last part is the hardest!) Thank you for another year of posting, Linda!

    • Laura! Thank you! Yes, all wise advice. That’s why I often take social media breaks. In that way, I tend to business, rather than staring at what someone else is doing. But yes, life is a gift to enjoy!

  5. This year has taught me that life can change in an instant. We must embrace each moment, even the difficult ones because there is no guarantee we will have tomorrow. Everyone has problems, but wallowing in self-pity won’t change anything. God engineers our circumstances and we must trust Him.

  6. Perfect! My year in reflection, yet, here I sit, with my family around me, youngsters with all the optimism and enthusiasm that children seem to have.
    2015 has been a trying year for so many reasons, many of them on a national and an international scale. War, weather, worries . . . I bid it adieu with hope for some positive news – and a happy new year for you, L. Marie.

    • I’ve enjoyed getting to know you this year, Penny. Your blogs and your reflections are so wise and wonderful! I’m going to have to have you write a guest post in 2016.

  7. 2015 has probably been the most trying of my life. But like you, I’m still here. Laughing. Don’t forget to laugh. It really is the best medicine – apart from Nitrous Oxide.

  8. 2014 was the tough one for our family. My mother suffered a severe surgical complication. But 2015 brought healing and better health, so it was a nice chance to catch our breath.

    I like Metapod’s power. Comes in handy for writers, too. 😉

    Happy New Year to you!

  9. What a great SNL clip! Hah! I remember watching it when it first came on 😉 Seems so many people have had a rough year, and I’m trying to keep from complaining about my relatively minor annoyances. It’s easier to say than do, but I always try to consider what the worst could be and try to take comfort that the worst didn’t happen. Of course, if the worst is the death of a loved one, well then that blows my strategy. Except then to be grateful that person was in my life? I do hope 2016 is kinder to you and yours, Linda. You all deserve a break! Many hugs to you, and Happy New Year 🙂

    • Thank you, Marie. Happy New Year to you. I hope for a good year for you. Last year had its ups and downs, didn’t it?
      What are you knitting these days? How is your writing going?

      • Writing, not so much. I’m trying to catch up with reading (and by extension writing since I usually do a review) and I have been knitting odd sorts: wristlets and leggings at the moment. Stuff that doesn’t need to be seamed. Easy peasy to usher in the new year 😉

      • Ha! I know what you mean. I was on a crocheted tree kick for a while. Before that, I made several dishcloths. Have to find something new.

  10. Hi Linda! Haven’t been around much but wanted to know what you were up to. 🙂 CHEERS to the end of 2015!! Sorry to hear that you had a lot of heartache last year. 😦 I feel like things around the world are getting tougher and more frightful, so it will be a challenge to welcome in 2016 and focus on the positives but it’s what we must do, right? I love the SNL skit you referenced, it’s hilarious! I miss the old SNL with the classics. Well, we are on day 8 of 2016 and so far so good! LOL. xoxo

    • Hi, Maria! You’re right. It’s time to keep focused on what’s good, rather than what’s negative. Happy New Year to you! I love the classic SNL skits too. 🙂

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