2016 was a great year!
There, I said it. Likely one of the least popular statements I’ve made in a blog, but there it is. I refuse to give 2016 over to the Dark Side.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the desire for a fresh start. It has not been an easy 12 months. Loss, grief, change, and what can only be described as a tumultuous year for our country has left many people sad, angry, adrift. I have found myself there at times as well this year. It has been a challenging year.
I felt the loss of Carrie Fisher and then Debbie Reynolds in the last week. I’m a child of the 80s, the Star Wars Generation. Last week was rough. It was like a final blow to our culture when we were already down. And yes, I laughed as hard as anyone when I saw the Facebook post about the GoFund Me account to keep Betty White safe from 2016. Believe me, I understand the inclination to wish the year away.
But despite personal loss, despite disappointments, despite disillusionment, 2016 was a great year!
I started a new job. It was the fulfillment of a lifetime of work. I get to spend my days surrounded by amazing people doing important work for young people.
My daughter got married. So many family and friends, those there and those there in spirit, made the entire experience a joy! It was a day filled with overwhelming love.
But even if none of that had happened, 2016 would have been a great year!
Life is short. Each and every day is a gift. In 2016 the sun rose. In 2016 the moon shone. In 2016 babies were born and friendships were forged and memories were made.
Our children laughed and loved and learned new things. Our flowers bloomed, and our gardens grew. Talented people made music and art and dance and theatre. Academics debated the real issues in our society and reached for greater understanding. And strangers held doors open and offered helping hands and said “Good Morning” and “Have a nice day.”
It is in the small things that we make a life. It is in the routine of a morning kiss before leaving for work or a text from your daughter when she’s thinking of you during the day that we find real joy. 2016 was full of these moments.
I am in no way trying to say that we do not have real, significant, difficult things to address in our world. We do. I am in no way saying that we should not strive for greater connections to each other, greater tolerance for each other, and greater acceptance of each other. We should.
But I am saying that this life and this world is a gift! This day, this week, this year is a gift! Regardless of what 2017 brings, I will strive to remember that.