People on social media are pretty damned pissed off at 2016. Between beloved icons dropping like flies, Brexit, Syria, an increase in terrorism, escalating global warming and escalating denial, and the unfathomable win of He Who Must Not Be President, it's been a long, hard ride. Still, it bears mentioning that we've seen far worse and survived, folks.
I can't really blame a year for sucking because so many beloved celebrities died, because the truth is people die every single day and most without much pomp or circumstance. Statistically speaking, 151, 600 people die every day, 6,316 die each hour, and 105 people die each minute. On the flip side of that equation, 360,000 people are born each day, 15,000 people are born each hour, and 250 are born each minute. That gives it all a little perspective, yes?
As for HWMNBP, the political pendulum swings back and forth, and we hold out hope that things find their way to center. I'm feeling more than a little uncertain about that this round. There seems to be a lot of hand rubbing, maniacal laughter, and knife sharpening going on in DC. The Ayn Rand crew is determined to hand over the keys to the castle and our hard earned tax dollars to their corporate overlords. One wonders what you get for selling your soul...is there a fabulous prize package or just the smug satisfaction of knowing you're destroying people's lives with the stroke of pen? Hmmm...
People die, political parties gain and lose power, natural disasters occur, stock markets rise and fall, wars and conflicts escalate and recede, disease, poverty, global warming, animal extinction continue...there's a lot of not so great even horrible shit that happens every single day. It's hard to stay on the sunny side if you think too deeply about how insignificant our little lives are in the big picture reality. It's hard to find hope when you stand in the face of so much sorrow.
Yet, we must strive to find hope or life loses all meaning.
For the most part, we choose where to place our focus and what to manifest in our lives. Every choice leads us in a new direction, every new direction offers us new challenges and choices. We are defined by our reactions to the consequences of our choices. That's a personal, day to day reality. That's what we can control. The bigger picture stuff is mostly beyond our control.
“It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.” J R R Tolkien-The Two TowersThat brings me back to 2016, which is preparing to slink off stage right. Cue the applause! I used to think that whatever I was doing on New Year's Eve set the tone for my year. I have no idea if that's true, but this year we'll be doing something completely different. I hope it does set the tone for the year. It's good to shake things up sometimes, take risks, go on adventures. It's good to shift perspective. I may not be able to control the big picture, but I do get to control my picture. So this year, I choose to focus on joy and to do everything in my power to make my little corner of the world a brighter place.
With that in mind, I bid 2016 a resolute farewell. You were not the best year, as far as years go, but surely not the worst. Even if there is a subtle hint of trepidation, I am opening my arms wide to the promise of a new year. The future has yet to be written, all hope is not lost, we're still here, and I, for one, plan on sticking around.
Our individual lives may seem insignificant, but what if we collectively choose to seek joy, shine light, and fight the good fight every day? I'm just saying, there's power in numbers.
Hello, 2017. I'm ready. Let's do this!
(We will be on hiatus until January 9th here at The Lady Party. We hope you have a most delightful New Year's Eve. Thank you for being part of our adventure.)