For my last two years of high school, I attended a fundamentalist Christian boarding school that was run by a psychotic woman—and that is not hyperbole. I could go on for days recounting stories of everything we experienced, from the ridiculous to the horrific. But don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with all of that.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that whenever something particularly awful happened, a group of my friends would gather together and free associate tales about how things could be worse. The point being that eventually we’d find ourselves howling with laughter, which helped us cope. Humor is a powerful antidote in stressful situations.

But I don’t think that particular coping mechanism was just about the humor. What really helped us survive was the coming together. No matter how bad things got, we were never alone.

I suspect that is how most of us have managed to get through 2018 in the Trump era. We’ve survived by coming together and knowing that we’re not alone.

That is why I have the best job in the world—even though it can be stressful at times. Sharing everything from my rage at this administration to my relief at the results the midterm elections has meant that I don’t have to merely scream privately at my computer screen, I can share it with all of you. For that I am immensely grateful.

If I can now presume to ask one more thing of you, today is the last day of Washington Monthly’s fundraising drive. We’ll shut it all down when the clock strikes midnight tonight. So if you haven’t already, please take a moment to click on the banner below and make a contribution. Your support is critical to keeping this all going, so thank you!

As has become my tradition on New Years Eve, I’d like to thank you all for both your moral and financial support with a song by the incomparable Bette Midler to help us reflect on the past and prepare for the future. Happy New Year everyone!

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.