“What a difference a year makes.”

By Jason Tanamor

As a year passes by, the saying, “What a difference a year makes,” is often used when describing changes in an individual’s life. Whether the prior year consisted of a wedding, a well deserved promotion, or a sting that eventually lands a person in prison for life, one can be sure that this catch phrase will be stated.

But what about the people who really don’t have anything going on in their lives? Like me for example. It’s very difficult for me to say, “What a difference a year makes.”

Because I look back over the last year and find that my life has progressed slower than a snail traveling uphill. I’m not complaining about it, because I’m perfectly content with my pathetic, useless, and... am I forgetting something? Oh yeah, miserable life.

I mean let’s face it, every now and then, when it’s last expected, someone will evaluate his/her life, and often adding tears, which will ultimately include this wonderful saying, “What a difference a year makes.”

So after deliberating for an hour or so (yes, it did take that long), I came up with a way that every person, whether boring, lazy or just plain worthless, can join in on this hoopla. But it must be done this way.

Let’s dissect the phrase, “What a difference a year makes.” If we pinpoint the word “difference,” we know that a difference is also the amount by which one quantity is less than another, as in a subtraction problem. So, if we compare one year to another by using the subtraction method to receive the difference, we would get something like this: January 1, 2009 - January 1, 2008 = 1.

When looking at it like this, every person in the world can find at least one thing that was completed during the prior year. It could be something as simple as finishing a crossword puzzle, or something as major as finishing a crossword puzzle without the help of others.

For all those individuals out there who constantly think, “I hope no one starts a conversation with me using the phrase, ‘What a difference a year makes,’” think about my way. The way of using the word “difference” in a manner similar to a subtraction problem.

That way, you can concentrate on other issues that seem to bother you, like doing something with your life. You see, I did. I wrote a column for my one thing.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous."

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