Tuesday, December 27, 2016

355. Death and 2016

This has been a brutal year when it comes to a lot of things. There was the enduring crap show of the election that seemed to hit a new low every week. There were a trove of celebrity deaths. And there were horrific acts of violence all over the world. Other than the collective grieving of your favorite artists, musicians, and actors, social media didn't seem to help much. It really seemed to ratchet everything up worse, not make it better.

Last night, as part of our annual "Christmas retreat" my college friends and reminisced and sipped scotch in the Abbey Guesthouse. We brought up our annual tradition of "Highs and Lows" where we each share a reflection of our year, both the good and the bad. During the last two years I had a lot to say at this part. In 2014, I talked about leaving Boston and the life I had built up there. In 2015, I spoke about the stresses and pressures related to my job. But this year? Life was pretty good.

I have a job that pays well that I enjoy. I have strong friendships and connections with people I care about. I've been in good health, and I didn't lose anyone close to me. I've set down roots in the community here. That's been wonderful. That's the weird thing about these days. Everyone and everything else can tell you that the world is going to shit and you should be upset, but in your own little corner of the world, things can be OK.

I mentioned two things from this year. First, I hated seeing my friends go through some tough times. Whether that was offshoots from the election, or personal adversity, I really didn't know what to do. I realized this year that I can't be the hero all the time. You're not meant to be a savior to everyone. All you can do is offer up your gift. My gift this year was a bit of kindness and the ability to listen. I'm glad people took me up on that.

My second thing I mentioned was my repeated failures in the love department. I went on a lot of dates. A LOT of dates. I didn't remember names. That's no where near as a maddening as a divorce or anything of that nature. It has its own pain though. I suppose the good that has come out of that is that I've gotten to know myself a little bit better. I know what I want and what I need in relationships. Not compromising on certain things is OK as well.  I think I'm a better person for that instead of going around blindly wondering where I'm supposed to be or worry that I'm not doing something right. No, you're ok. Not everything has to be governed by the swirling vortex of crap that seems to be going around the world these days. Some days are dumb, others are great. You just got to figure out how to persevere.

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