Like me, you might be hearing a lot of people saying that 2016 sucked. We lost what seems like countless artists, scientists, and icons. A lot of people are scared of what the future holds, and scary news articles are clogging our Facebook feeds. Heck, 2016 gave me my first broken bones and crazy medical bills.
BUT, because I think it’s good to see the silver lining whenever possible, let’s find some good. No matter what, our lives are going to be filled with ups and downs. If our lives were perfect 100% of the time, we wouldn't grow. So, in honor of a new year, here are a few things that I loved about 2016:
- I got to travel a lot, including a bunch of places I’ve never been. Not only did I go to New York and Chicago for the first time, I got to go on my belated honeymoon and spent 3 weeks in Europe. That’s amazing.
- I have a new cousin, and I got to visit with him in his first days. And thank goodness for technology, because I get to see pictures of him and his adorable brother all the time.
- I went to a few weddings, and several friends got engaged! What’s happier than love??
And then there’s the little things I know I take for granted each day - those mundane things that don’t seem like much, but make me among the luckiest on the planet. I have a house to call my own, there is food in my fridge, I have two sweet furry babies who love me (or at least recognize that I’m the bringer of food), and every day I get to wake up next to the man I love, the guy who makes me smile, the boy who knows how to make me feel special. 2016 was full of tiny, wonderful moments.
We also can’t just expect 2017 to be better purely because it’s a “New Year”. We need to work for our happiness - pursue goals to enrich our lives, and fight for what we believe in. We can't be complacent - we need to donate to organizations we are passionate about (when we have the means), we need to volunteer, and we need to show compassion for those less fortunate than us, and do what we can to show them that they are valued by society, that we want them to succeed.
2016 was also the year I was the most tired, I think. Maybe that's just part of being an adult, but I know that I don't sleep enough, and I often take on too many projects. But how lucky am I that I'm exhausted because I have so many people in my life I want to share my time with, and so many hobbies/passions that I would rather pursue than sleep?
I also know that more artists and actors and musicians will die in 2017. Unfortunately that’s life. So we need to appreciate it while we can, and celebrate the little things, the big things, and everything in between. Honor the legacy of those we've lost, whether we've known them personally or not. Take pride that you've gotten to live in the same world with them, and never, ever forget them.
Life is sweet (and often bittersweet, and sometimes downright sucky). We can’t forget that.