2016 In The Rearview
2016 is drawing to a close, and boy was it a doozy.
- I got my CEBS certification in March.
- I went on a road trip through the rural Virginia, the Smokey Mountains, and ultimately Monticello in early June.
- I replaced some living room furniture that needed it several years ago.
- I had my apartment professionally cleaned. It was expensive, but worth it.
- My brother and his future fiance stopped by for a visit (under less than ideal circumstances after our mom passed).
- My mother passed away in a traffic accident in late July, necessitating a trip home to Florida.
- My apartment partially flooded due to a leaky AC unit for the second time in less than a year.
- I went on a vacation in Chicago as a way to celebrate turning 35.
- I had several of my best pictures from London pictures enlarged and framed; they now hang in my living room. Related to this, I got my GW degree properly framed and made a photobook of my other London pictures.
- Work involved a trip to Charlottesville and several major projects that required all-nighters at times. The biggest project involved a 2-week effort to add more than 18,000 beneficiaries to our health plans as a result of the Continuing Resolution that Congress passed in December.
- With my last paycheck of the year, I achieved my personal financial goal of a 6-month emergency fund, not counting 3 months of vacation leave I could cash-in if I wanted.
- I made a public admission that explains why my private social life is rather boring.
Still more things are in store for early 2017. My writing projects were stalled by all the energy and stress of grieving and having massive work projects to undertake. Hopefully, as things calm the f**k down, I can clear my head and finish my next book.
Now, I know 2016 was a s**t year for our country. Our presidential candidates divided us, ashamed us, and proved us all wrong. Celebrities of immense talent (among them, Prince, David Bowie, and Carrie Fisher) were whisked away into the multiverse. Some movies and television shows disappointed, while very few delighted. World leaders threw temper tantrums or tempted fate or both. Wildfires threatened national treasures and politicians watched as their constituents begged for help.
But don’t give up on 2017 before it has even had a chance. Maybe Trump will surprise us all again. Maybe the talent we have left (Beyonce, Tom Hanks, JJ Abrams, etc.) can continue to hold our attention. Maybe Episode 8 will prove to be the modern equivalent of Empire Strikes Back. Maybe the new Star Trek series will be distinct enough after all the challenges behind the scenes to merit the streaming-only plan for its roll out. And maybe, just maybe, my brother will be able to have his wedding next year.
After the year we’ve all had, the bar is set quite low. 2017 has every chance to clear it. Let’s not mess it up.
Let me just end the year with sharing this word bubble of things people typically say about the new year: