Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

I’ve spent the last little bit reflecting on 2016 by reading through old blog posts. I’d like to share some of my favorites from the year with you here.

  • I started off the year with a sense of irony by being 12 hours early for my flight back home after the epic Paris/London trip. Probably a good way to start the year: a reminder that in the face of problems, laughing can help.
  • Later in January, my family suffered a tragic loss. I still can’t make sense of my cousin’s murder, and my heart goes out to my aunt who lost her only child (and in a way a grandchild) in such a horrible fashion. Shanna you are missed.
  • In March I said goodbye to Willow, my canine companion of 8 years. She was a good dog, if quirky and idiosyncratic, and I still miss her dearly.
  • The Listening Room Festival came around in April, and I volunteered at the opening and closing events. Such good music has been making its way to this festival. Can’t wait until 2017!
  • I turned 38 last year. I took it in good stride.
  • I suffered more dating disappointment, and I wrote a poem about it.
  • The mass shooting at Pulse happened.
  • I also moved again. To St. Pete! And Bubo joined the family. (Pre-move post. Post-move post, featuring Bubo.)
  • The blog has been going strong for three years!
  • I started volunteering with NOMAD Art Bus.
  • I started my Etsy site!
  • Bubo got spayed.
  • I got to experience another side of the teaching gig.
  • I got to be Wolverine.
  • I had a mini-existential crisis when I cut my thumb.
  • Trump was elected to be the next President
  • I got to be part of a great 10-year tradition of house concerts.

These posts don’t include much about the many celebrities that passed this year. A lot of the other atrocities that have occurred are also missing. My story is just one of the many that could be told, and sometimes there are no words.

But with that, looking back on my year, I see the good mingled with the bad. I see the healing that followed the wounds. I see people coming together to try to right the wrongs. I hope you see the same trend in your own life.

2017 isn’t going to be easy. It isn’t going to be hard either. At least no more so than every other year. Life is life. The good comes with the bad, and we get to decide how we’ll cope with both.

My wish for you is to choose to make the best of 2017, whatever it throws at you. Offer kindness when your first impulse is judgement. Fight the good fight when you have to, the one that puts you on the right side of history. Stand up for what you believe in with your body and/or your money. We need everyone involved to maintain our human rights over the next four years…

Tonight I’ll be ringing in the new year by volunteering for an organization that brings art to all, NOMAD Art Bus, at First Night St. Pete. I can’t think of a better way to start the year than by giving my time to this great organization and to the people of St. Pete.

I hope you ring in the new year in a way that feels good to you. Happy 2017!

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