Always forward

2016 has been a year of rough stuff. That election and the resulting loss of human rights and even human lives. Celebrity deaths that crippled all kinds of people emotionally. 2016, a year people went into hating – the number of “is this year over yet” posts I saw in January was cray – remained that way. In fact, it felt like the negativity grew as the year went on. But for me 2016 was also a year of personal triumphs, exciting adventures, and also saw the rise of the female led films.

Reminds me a bit of my childhood: viewed in one light I had a magical childhood roaming a 200 acre farm. Viewed from another it was a dark hell. The dichotomy of my youth astounds people, when I talk about it, leaving them to wonder which version is real. They both are. It’s all about what you focus on.

2017 isn’t going to be any better, globally, than this past year. For some people it might be everything they wished for, for others it will come with things like loss of health insurance due to law changes and preexisting conditions which will possibly lead to death. There will be success and adventures and love. There will also be pain and suffering and loss. Most likely we’ll all experience some of all of it, in unexpected ways.

If I have learned anything from my aforementioned childhood it’s that what you focus on matters. How you face each day, how you talk to others around you, how you interact with the world effects how you view it. Try to live with hope and love and joy and gratitude in the coming year. There will be moments where you’ll say FML or “can this year quit already?” but if you acknowledge the good moments (even if it’s as simple a plus as having a clean spoon for breakfast this morning – win!), the bad ones will stay in perspective. And if you’re gonna make a resolution this calendar year, maybe try one of these:

• Say “Thank you” instead of sorry (eg: Thank you for being patient with me instead of sorry I’m pms’ing).
• Make a gratitude box or jar or list and write down things that make you happy throughout the year.
• Volunteer. Seriously. Do something for someone else for no other reason than it’s kind.
• Engage in random conversation with strangers (I answer strangers questions to other people – yes, this IS literally a whole cafe where everything edible is chocolate and yes that IS amazing). Yes, really. Yes, they do tend to think you’re crazy but it often makes the world more intimate and kind. We could all use a kinder, more connected world.

May we see more love, more kindness, more joy as we travel through this next year because we chose to make it so.