Good riddance 2016!
The last year that stunk as much as this year was 2010. That was the year my step-dad died. My work got really stressful for a few reasons I will not share here. There was a horrific earthquake in Haiti and a tragic disaster with the BP oil spill. My TV favorite actors from The Golden Girls, Different Strokes, Dynasty, and Designing Women died. I wasted two hours watching the astoundingly awful “Grown Ups” with Adam Sandler that I can never get back. And politics started getting really nasty in America.
Well, this year, lovely 2016, is going down in such a way as to make that year look like roses. Work was great albeit there were tons of challenges and complex problems. My family had a great year. We lost my aunt and had some health challenges but were able to celebrate a few weddings, births, and graduations and other fun events that made Family Life more joyful in 2016.
2016: Worst Year?
Outside of family and work life however, it was a true shitshow of a year. My idols started to drop: Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Alan Thicke, Natalie Cole, Mohammed Ali… Professor Snape. Come on!! I recently looked at the list of famous people who called it quits this year. Shocking. Like they were desperate to leave before ….
Which brings me to that other big thing that happened this year…. The election. What a season. Great for Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin as The Donald was almost as funny as Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. With SEVENTEEN candidates, it was bound to produce ample material. Sadly, 2016 also became the year where it seems the country stopped laughing. Hatred. Mistrust. Anger. So much Negativity.
There were multiple mass murders in 2016. Including ones that truly hurt me more than I would have imagined. Considering myself in my younger days traveling for work and occasionally visiting nightclubs or bars in the cities in which I worked. And pondering what if an insane, conflicted, homicidal man had come to one of those clubs and killed almost fifty innocent people. (#Pulse) Picturing walking the streets of Paris and the Christmas markets I experienced in Hamburg as I remember with horror hearing about the Nice and Berlin truck murders.
Zika! Brexit! Syria! Brangelina! Police shootings! Police ambushes! Yes, 2016, you sucked.
And Chicago…. I. Just. Can’t. So many young children dying from senseless gang violence. High taxes and troubled schools. Politicians in and out of jail. And so many closed minds!
To be honest, I’m not actually wanting to say goodbye to 2016 as much as I’m saying good riddance. Good riddance to the hate and the nastiness. Good riddance to the racism on all sides. Good riddance to feeling forced to choose sides between two outrageously flawed individuals, between rich and poor, black and white, LGBT or “straight”, Muslim and Christian. And good riddance to the hatred that resulted in so many deaths of innocent people. Good riddance to the steady stream of news of my favorite TV and music stars passing.
2017. I welcome you with renewed focus on showing love and compassion. I anxiously await more phone calls to and from friends. I pray that peace will prevail SOMEWHERE. I am hopeful that the worst is behind us and the best is yet to come. And regardless of whether I’m proven right or massively wrong, I will still never compromise my values. I will choose love over hate. And I will live each day as if it’s my last. That’s what really matters.
As always, I will not write a New Years Resolution, though I do hope to shed a few pounds and get more sleep in 2017 (most would say that is more of a necessity than a resolutional goal). However, I will suggest that we try to work together to make 2017 more forgiving, more loving, and more joyful than 2016. And I could find no one better (with the exception of Jesus) to give us the words to live by as we move into the New Year than the woman who was canonized into sainthood this year, Mother Theresa.
I love you each, specially, for whatever role you play in our world. You BE you and do it as GOOD as you can. Your life matters.
Be well. Lead On.
Is 2016 the worst year in history? Worse than 1919? 1836? 1348? via @slate
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