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Letting Go of 2016, Anticipating 2017

Adieu, 2016

“As we get ready for a new year, it’s always good to remember where we’ve been.”

Or maybe we need to say to ourselves, “Don’t look back. Let it go. Focus on the future.” I will say this: Like most years before it, 2016 has been unusual, challenging, crazy-making, and bittersweet, interspersed with moments of laughter and joy. Let’s not dwell on its failures and shortcomings as we bid it adieu; let’s simply do everything we can to ensure that 2017 has the resources it needs to be a better year. We are the most important of those resources, and as unimaginable as it sometimes seems, I still find reasons, each day, to have faith in us:

 


Karim Sulayman – I trust you from Meredith Kaufman Younger on Vimeo. November 19, 2016; Central Park West.

 

WE are the majority. WE must continue to speak truth to power. WE are not alone.

And 2017 approaches – will it reflect the best in us? Will it reflect our fears, or our courage? Our hate, or our love – and if not always feeling the love of our fellow man, can we at least strive for kindness and integrity?

My mother used to say that people tend to live up to – or down to – our expectations of them. Let’s all hold each other to high, but attainable, standards in the coming year. Let’s try to be our best selves, and be good to one another.

A Few Specific, Measurable Goals (NOT the Lofty, Aspirational, Touchy-Feely, Kumbaya Goals)

The Non-Negotiable, 100% Committed, Do or Die Trying Goal for 2017

As I said last year, this is “No touchy-feely, ‘love my neighbor as I love myself and show it in all I say and do’ nonsense – that’s a stretch goal for another day. But if you’re reading this, consider yourself hugged in a supportive, friendly, positive, upbeat way. And if my arm doesn’t quit circle your circumference, feel free to join me in this, the most clichéd but worthwhile of all New Year’s resolutions” – to lose 30 lbs. by May 1, and another 30 by the end of the year. I didn’t lose everything I set out to lose in 2016, but I did lose almost 30 lbs. since last August – and I have built up endurance to where walking five to eight miles in an hour or two is pleasant and running (as in “racing a dog on a leash,” not “training for a marathon”!) has happened – on purpose, more than once.

Finish Projects Already Started or Planned

The Owl Blanket. My First Cardigan sweater. The stuffed “punishment pig.” The silly story started in November for NaNoWriMo. The Great Blog Resurrection… There’s nothing wrong with letting go and moving on, but there’s everything wrong with abandoning a thing because it hit a snag, a snarl, or a great big wall of blah. In that same spirit, dust off the Fitbit and see previous section.

Declutter My Home, My Car, My Life

Putting “Let It Go” on endless loop. Pass the Hefty bags. I don’t need another “organizational aid” half as much as I need to part with the things my mother warned me not to let possess me.

Develop Good Habits

My only real “vices” are sarcasm, profanity (mostly while driving), and coffee, unless you count being unrepentant about all of the above. I sometimes think I ought to cultivate a vice, just to keep things interesting. But smoking smells awful; alcohol causes the skin on my eyeballs to slough off; and drugs melt my brain – I like my brain and prefer it springy to spongy. So, there’s really no vice out there that appeals to me. Laziness? Sleeping in till noon? Even that gets boring after a few hours. So if I have no habits I feel driven to break, I suppose there are a few I’d like to get into, such as:

Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2017

Top among the things I’m looking forward to are

  • Spending time with friends in San Antonio over MLK Day weekend;
  • Celebrating our son’s 21st birthday;
  • Welcoming a new person into our family with the wedding of our daughter and her fiancé this summer;
  • Happy surprises. Because 2017 is going to an excellent year.

My Most Engaged Blog Readers in 2016

Winners of this year’s Top Common Tater Award are:

If your name appears, above, thank you – and feel free to add this original (and very silly) award graphic to your site, if you’re not above doing such things:

common tater

The Lofty, Aspirational, Touchy-Feely, Kumbaya Goal

You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.

Let’s make 2017 a year in which kindness, honesty, and integrity lead – a year we’re sorry to see go, even as we welcome 2018 with open arms and hope.

There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.

–Plato

 

 

HollyJahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.

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10 Responses to “Letting Go of 2016, Anticipating 2017”

  1. Mia
    Twitter:
    says:

    Yes!! I took a more brief and immature post about 2016. But looking forward, this was a great post for me to see.
    I agree 100% with decluttering all aspects of my life and I’m about halfway there. I already read about two novels a week. The fun blog challenges are great. In the past few weeks, I’ve already made steps to finally finish several of the projects and goals I’ve started some time ago.
    It’s definitely better for me to look ahead then to look back.
    Good stuff as usual, Holly!

  2. Robin Khokhar
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Holly,
    Visiting your blog after a log time and there are many new posts which I must read but due to less time I read only this but will be returning soon to read more.
    Thanks for sharing.
    And have a blessed year ahead.
    Robin Khokhar recently posted…Domain Name Generator tools to find a Perfect Domain for your website?My Profile

  3. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    says:

    “Common Tater”; snicker! lol

    Good final 2016 post, and lots of good stuff to shoot for. I’m sorry if I went for the “ouchy-feely, ‘love my neighbor as I love myself and show it in all I say and do’ nonsense” stuff in my end of year post, but I still feel dirty from all of the 2016 stuff I want to leave behind.

    I guess I’ll end this with “let’s just be what we want to be” in 2017 and leave it there… for now… 😉
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…The Year End Blog Post; So Glad This Year Is Over!My Profile

  4. Holly, thank you for sharing the video. And I’ve missed hanging out over here. Sometimes, I get caught up in my own “stuff”, both in my personal life and with my writing. I have no idea about 2017 except that I plan to show up. I’m kind of at a crossroads. Or did I create the crossroad? Maybe it’s all in my mind:) I’m dabbling in freelance work at the moment and considering sewing again and selling my creations on my website. I would like to move – literally – to another town. I’ll need to figure out what my priorities are in order to make that happen. You have some exciting happenings headed your way, and I wish you all the best. Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding and your son’s 21st birthday.

    • Obviously, I’ve been “caught up in my own stuff” for over a month. What’s the alternative to “showing up” when it comes to a year? Death. I’m planning to show up, too. That’s something. Do you know where you’d like to move? Are you moving towards, or away from, something?

      Thanks – yes, this should be an exciting, interesting year, from a personal standpoint. Lots of good things happening, and I don’t want to let other things overshadow any of that.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Skating on Thin Ice: The Still Power of Water and WordsMy Profile

  5. I would like to move back to Davis, CA, where I raised my older three children. I don’t like living in the Bay Area with all the traffic and expensive housing. Davis has schooling options for my special needs son, too! So, I guess I’m moving both towards and away from something.

    I appreciated hearing about your reading goals for the year. I spend too much time dropping news articles into my funnel for later reading. I’m working on creating fewer choices so that I have more time to read actual books!
    Laura Routh recently posted…Surferbird News-Links, 44th EditionMy Profile

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