You knew it had to end, right?

Good or bad, years always do.

Giving us the option, the opportunity, the hope that everything's going to get better. Because it can't get any worse than 2012? Can it?

(Don't answer that!)

Let's look at the bright side first. Unemployment is below 8 percent, compared with almost 10 percent two years ago. Jerry Seinfeld told The New York Times that he's going to die standing up -- in other words, he has no intention of quitting work. And the world is getting smaller. We now know from Indian television programs that getting married also means saying "I do" to the new mother-in-law, which is great news for boomers who will be mothers-in-law.

Then there's the dark side. Unemployment at 8 percent or 10 percent still means "no job" for thousands -- many of whom are boomers. Who really cares about Seinfeld's future if he's the only one working? And do we really need any more sullen, resentful sons- and daughters-in-law?

Yes, I sound like a curmudgeon. And with good reason. After all, I am one.

Anyone else spend Christmas Day -- 10 hours -- on the kitchen floor like I did?

No, I did not do it because I lost a bet. I did it because in my haste to fix the dog's food and move on to more important items, I rushed into the kitchen, tripped and fell head first, twisting my body to avoid clipping my face on the sink.

The maneuver didn't work. I whomped my face and right knee, then broke my left arm just above the elbow.

This could have ended up being an advertisement for my "Help, I've fallen" locator button. It sure could have been a smart ad, if only I were smart enough to put the button on when I got out of bed.

But I wasn't.

Instead, my left arm hung loose and weird, my head hurt and no one was around outside because of the holiday. I had the option of staying in place or attempting an extremely painful maneuver to get up -- an option I decided to discard because I knew a friend was coming over and we were going to an early dinner.

But I was truly alone.

Even the dog deserted me. He ran into the other room and spent the day under the bed, I'm told.

Now adding to my months of woe was the way 2012 began. With a total shoulder replacement on the right side -- a surgery that the orthopedist warned me would require months of recovery because it takes a long time and requires extensive anesthesia. He was right. It was several months before I would consider -- emphasize the word "consider" -- walking a marathon. (I forgot that "running" thing years ago.)

As I said, it wasn't my best year.

Or was it? Let's turn it around.

My children are all happily married and their children -- my gorgeous "grands" -- continue to amaze and inspire. I'm working. My house is warm, and my automobile is full of gas. There's food -- probably too much -- in the refrigerator and pantry, and I even have a little money in the bank.

Sound like Pollyanna? Hey, do you even know who she is?

Pollyanna was a children's literature character almost a century ago. She played the "glad game," always seeing sunshine in any situation. As a character, Pollyanna makes your teeth ache.

Still, the philosophy has truth to it.

Some of you have had worse years than I have. Most, I hope, had better.

Whatever, let's look 2013 square in the calendar and see 12 months of opportunity.

Meanwhile, I'm buying myself a great bottle of merlot because I earned it. (And no, I'm not driving.)

Jane Glenn Haas writes for The Orange County Register. Contact her at jghaas@cox.net.