2016 has been an unbelievably shitty year. I'm sure that at this time we always think that we've lost an enormous amount of famous and non famous people, but this year....It's not that I don't understand the life cycle, but these past 12 months have been peppered with too many gone too soon. My closest and dearest of all, John McMartin, was chronologically not too soon, but his spirit was always young at heart. I knew that I would lose him at some point, but still wasn't prepared for the deep personal loss. (Read my blog Too Many Mornings, July 7, 2016). And then there were all the celebrities. Too numerous to even count, but so many too young: David Bowie, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Gary Shandling, and the gut punch was losing Carrie Fisher and then her Mom, Debbie Reynolds. The In Memorium's on all the Awards shows could last an hour this season. There were far more losses than I ever remember before. It has felt like a sucker punch everyday.
On top of that, the non-stop rancor and discord of our Country has taken it's emotional toll. The far too long Presidential campaign and all the sordid ins and outs...it's worn away a part of me. I don't think I can ever express or forget the feeling I had on Tuesday night, November 8, 2016. I've never felt so sickened and disillusioned about anything like that before. The sick feeling in the pit of my stomach still hasn't gone away. I never saw this coming and, that night, hope faded to misery. I know people who said get over it, but I can't and many can't. Easy for white Christian males to say that. This PEOTUS is unlike any we've seen. We may have had ideological differences with President-Elects before, but nothing like this. The lessons we've taught our children is unfathomable. Seriously, if PEOTUS was a 6 year old in school, he would've been expelled for his behavior, but now he will be the leader of the most divided Country since the 60's. I don't think that he is up to the challenge. I am absolutely willing to be proven wrong. I'd be thrilled if all my fears and terrors aren't realized, but I've seen no sign of a grownup in the room.
I have always been an upbeat, happy-go-lucky person, but this year has knocked me over repeatedly. I know that I am not alone, but it doesn't mean I don't feel alone. I don't want to be or even feel comfortable being Debbie Downer, because I've always been an optimist, but I don't see the bright future I used to see. Our Millennial generation deserves so much more and I hope they fight for their future. I have been using a word in the past few months that never even passed my lips or written before, but have used repeatedly now...bereft. An old English word that has felt the most befitting.
I am deeply disappointed with President Obama in his waning weeks. I don't understand his motivations on so many issues, primarily the UN and Israel. Not going to argue about it here. It's a complex, layered issue. My only certainty is the UN always votes against Israel. There's a great video trending about the Middle East conflict by Dennis Prager, Jewish conservative, which is worth watching. Really wanted Obama to go out on a high note, but now....
Words matter. Feelings matter. Think twice in 2017 before knocking someone or mocking someone. One stone, one brick at a time. The schmaltzy "act of kindness" just may be the ticket, though with a PEOTUS tweeting all the time, it's hard to feel hopeful. We are treading in unchartered waters. We need to stand up. We need to keep raising our voices. We need to write letters. We need to remember who we really are.
People I am really trying, but I don't want to write all sad and depressed so my words may be fewer and farther apart. May we all make 2017 what we want it to be. Stay strong. Stay loud.
Sidebars: Things to look forward to in 2017...Awards season. Golden Globes are up first. I definitely need them. Distractions, talent, laughs, tears, and black ties. Football season is winding down, thankfully. Four months until the first pitch. Basketball season is heating up. Bruno Mars is going on tour. New Broadway shows, television, and movies. My 40th high school reunion!!! Go Vikings!!!!! You can let me know what you're looking forward to in 2017, maybe we can buoy each other. Health and love in 2017. Hold on tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
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