If 2016 were a person, he might go down in history as one of the most hated people of all time. Never have so many memes, posts and e-cards been dedicated to our collective disdain for a calendar year.
I have personally lost someone very dear to me this year and watched so many others suffer a similar tragedy. I’ve seen many couples I care about part ways. The political climate and the separation it has caused among families and friends has been a tragedy of its own. The Orlando shootings, France, Brussels, Zika, Hurricane Matthew, the fires in the Great Smokey Mountains, Aleppo... I’ll stop there, but you get the drift. It hasn’t been pretty, but there have been so many shiny spots this year as well.
I clumsily officiated the wedding of two people I adore. I found my dream camper, Clementine. I had the opportunity to travel and be peacefully still with my family. We welcomed our perfect new puppy, Hazel, into our home. Last but certainly not least, I read a fantastic book that changed how I look at myself. It helped me find the courage to start Your Home Girl.
We all stood with Standing Rock, Ebola was eradicated, The Cubs did sports things that made a lot of people really happy, the dang ol’ ice bucket challenge led to the discovery of the gene responsible for ALS, suicide rates are down along with child mortality and Harriet Tubman is going to be on the $20 bill!
As we look ahead a few days to January 1st, 2017, the 45th anniversary of my birth, as it happens (every year, thankfully) let us each claim our next trip around the sun as an amazing one. Find what makes you YOU - what makes you happy - and do that thing! Let us wake up every day determined to be a better version of ourselves than the day before. In order to be better, we need to ask ourselves the hard questions. Am I doing my best? What is my part in the conflict in my life? Am I giving my family and friends the best version of myself? What makes me whole? What’s fun to me? What the hell will I make for dinner?
Let us close our mouths and open our ears and hearts. Let’s be curios, adventurous, generous, confident, honest, especially with ourselves, and kind. Above all, let’s be kind. Remember, we rise by lifting others.
Cheers to you and to 2017.
Watch for love. It’s out there.