I make resolutions. Not to keep them, not to be perfect, not to engineer some better version of myself. Resolutions aren’t set in stone, they’re good intentions.
This year was terrible but I have to remind myself that it was, in most cases, terrible for other people. Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, they’re all people that touched my life at some point. But I’m not their wife, their daughter, I’m not their family, I’ve never met them, I haven’t even seen everything they’ve collectively produced. This is what is going to happen now. The learning to let go.
There was a lot of other shit too like remembering that nazis still exist and racism is alive and well and it’s okay to shoot someone who is different than you if you’re scared of them and a thing convinced of sexually assaulting women – among other things – being elected not–by–popular–vote into our highest office. To be a woman, to be black, to be gay or to be poor today means you’re just a little less safe. We know what that means, but we also don’t quite know the full scope of what it will mean next year.
A lot of bad things happened. But a lot of good things happened too.
Here are some of my favorites.
- For my Christmas present last year J got me a trip to Canada to visit one of my best friends. This February I flew out (much more pleasurable than driving) to visit with her and her now fiancé for a few days.
- I started taking more photos and shot two weddings this year. I found a reputable place to rent lenses from and started shooting with higher quality equipment.
- I started drawing, doodling, and journaling more this year. I’ve been slowly collecting a good standby of watercolors and pens that make drawing especially fun for me.
- We went to France for nearly three weeks and traveled to places I’d never seen before like Omaha Beach on a Normandy D-Day tour, the Loire Valley to tiptoe through tiny towns, Versailles to explore the never ending gardens, and back to my favorite place in the world, Giverny, to walk the streets Monet walked and to see his garden.
- We adopted our first kitty, a barely three month old kitten who we named Button. She is the cuddliest kitten. She is now about 8 months old and starting to look more cat than kitten.
- I got The Fireman signed by one of my favorite authors, Joe Hill. A high point for me because being anywhere near people I admire is terrifying.
- I worked a six month stint as a florist and learned how to care for plants and flowers, make arrangements and bouquets, craft boutonnieres, arrange terrariums, and more.
- I surprised J with a 30th birthday trip to the coast where about a dozen of us enjoyed a two night stay in a cozy air bnb. It might become a regular spot.
- I turned 28. An odd little year. Not quite thirty. Not quite twenty.
A reader remarked on how few people comment on my posts the other day. I believe that people tend to read my posts in their email, scanning for bits that look interesting to them. We don’t engage with what we read as much as it feels like we used to because there is so much material to consume. A goal of mine for 2017, among so many other goals, and good intentions, is to comment on all of your work more often. To think about what you’ve written and leave some thoughts.
In exchange, I hope that you will feel free to do the same here. More dialogue, more community, more thoughtful engagement with the things around us.
Off now. I’ve got a stack of books to read and a hot pot of coffee. I hope that this last night is kind to you and that you see good things in the new year. As always, thanks for being a reader.