It’s 12:00 am on January 1st, 2015 in your respective time zone. Chances are pretty high that you are kissing a loved one, raising an adult beverage, doling out hugs with little regard to how well you know the recipient and likely exclaiming “Happy New Year” because it’s what we do. Over the next hour or so your champagne drunken mind begins sharing your goals and resolutions with anyone who makes the mistake of looking you in the eyes. You probably talked about how you will stick to your diet or travel more or start that novel that you’ve talked about. You undoubtedly made the statement “This is going to be the best year yet.” at some point to this poor sap. They nodded their head at you while their eyes scanned the room looking for their out in this conversation that they wanted no part of.
We didn’t notice it then but now we can see that this person is you at the end of 2016 and you are 2016. You just don’t want anything to do with 2016 anymore.
It only took 10 days into 2016 for the first big name to check out of life permanently — 20 days prior to your likely abandonment of your diet or workout routine. David Bowie succumbed to his battle with cancer and the music world died a little bit inside too.
Over the course of the next 11 plus months it seemed like beloved celebrity after beloved celebrity left the world garnering more social media hoopla than the last. Pretty much, if you were moderately to insanely famous you had to be wary of 2016 — except Keith Richards, he’s never dying.
I do realize that saying that on December 30th does mean that I could be eating those words in the next 2 days.
We witnessed a bitter United States Presidential campaign between an orange skinned man child — who’s racial, sexist and xenophobic rants could make a klansman blushing visible under his hood — and an non-tech savvy woman — who’s smile gives me more nightmares than Pennywise the clown in a sewer. Social media was a near unbearable place for many. Friends took extended sabbaticals from their profiles. Others deactivated or even deleted accounts with hope that it wouldn’t lead to deleting friendships.
It took a lot out of us. We were exhausted from the marathon of the mindless.
Today we are not any better. Our country remains divided. But in more than one way. Many are bitter while others are ecstatic. We have those that feel helpless, with swatches more feeling angry. We have a long way to go to sew these holes.
At times it felt like 2016 met you at bar and the next thing you know you are waking up in a field with no idea how you got there. You’re missing your pants and left wondering where you are. You’re thinking, “I should have never left 2015. She was so good to me.”
Countless people lost their lives in mass shootings or acts of terror and cowardice throughout the world. Hell you can even throw in the mind boggling number of police related shootings too. I’m not trying to make a connection between terror, mentally unstable people and police. I’m just saying that this many lives should not be lost.
People started pouring beer like amateurs, on fucking purpose! Iceman is a lame superhero anyway.
Cleveland sports teams. The Indians blew a lead in the World Series to lose to the Cubs…the Cubs! The Browns are who we thought they were. Yeah the Cavs won a ring but Lebron had 2 of those already from his extended vacation in Miami.
Undoubtedly many of you succeeded in 2016 despite the world’s attempts at totally harshing your mellow.
Probably 2 of you stuck to your diet or workout regimen. Trust me, eating spinach and kale for lunch almost every day can suck but you can have results. Plus cut down on the drink…some.
You may have gotten a dream job and moved somewhere better than where you did live. Many of you certainly met or married the love of your life and began your first steps towards a wonderful life together. A metric shit ton of you brought life into this world by welcoming sons and daughters that have filled your lives with more joy than your dog when you drunk uncle dropped the entire bowl of stuffing on the floor during Thanksgiving dinner because the Cowboys scored a touchdown.
Let’s take those positives and use them as our starting blocks for 2017. Do positive things in the new year like donating to a charity you feel strongly for. Volunteer your time for a cause that moves you. Donate blood for those that will no doubt need it. Hold a door for a stranger. Say please, thank you and your welcome. Pour your beer with a finger to finger and half amount of foam on top of it. You know, all the simple things.
Negatives will come, we can’t stop them. Our president will likely mouth off on Twitter about some newspaper, TV network or megalomaniac foreign dictator. Some musician, actor/actress, public figure, hero that you admire is going to die. The Browns will be pitiful. A TV show will piss you off way more than a work of fiction should. Mistakes will be made and apologies will be slung. It’s just going to be about how we roll with the punches.
We should continue to look at the positives that came out of 2016 — as difficult as your racist former high school best friend might make it on Facebook — because that is what should drive us to get over 2016 and try to make 2017 “the best year yet.”