At the dawn of this new year we don’t know what the future holds for us this year but I’m fairly certain we can all agree on one thing…we’re all hoping it’s not as shitty as 2016.
Now one can question (and many have) what made 2016 so awful. Was it all the deaths, the election or some personal decisions you made that were just bad or some other thing(s). Any way you shake a stick at it, it is almost universally agreed that 2016 was simply an awful year.
But that year is behind us.
How can I make this year better?
I don’t know. I don’t have the answer.
No one does and anyone that says they have the answer on how you can make the coming year better is lying. We’ve got some serious obstacles to overcome and the uncertainty of what to expect politically does not help matters much (did you see the Donald Trump and Don King video from a few days ago…Don King?! If this is the degree of expertise Trump is using to shape his cabinet…I, uhh, just don’t know. Don King?!)
We have history, both personal and otherwise, to reflect back on because if we know one thing about the future it’s that without looking back it’s impossible to look ahead.
All I can do to make this year better for me and those I care about is to reflect back and try not to make the same mistakes. You know, just try.
Perhaps a place we can all start is by doing two things. One, stop looking at a new year with blinders on like it will resolve all the shit that has taken place and that it will somehow change the crappy things that are currently in flux. A new year is just a new date and symbolically a new opportunity…what we do with the opportunity is on us.
And two, stop complaining about how shitty things are going to be. Oh, make no mistake there will be challenges (using business parlance) but no one has a crystal ball (and the magic 8 ball is probably a bad idea). And cynicism is the unthinking mans optimism. Being negative is easy, it’s being positive and really trying that are the mark of the person.
Pragmatism should be the name of the game for 2017.
So as I look back on 2016 there are changes I need to make in order to insure that 2017 is a better year for me. You can call them resolutions if you like, but that seems reductive. Resolutions are easy, change is extremely difficult.
Am I shooting to be a new person in 2017? Not really. I don’t mind who I am (but I know a few people who do however, ces’t la vie). I just know there are some things I need to do differently…and they won’t be easy.
Symbolically, a new year is a clean slate but make no mistake, nothing has really changed. The only thing that can change in order to make 2017 better is how we address the shit and how we deal with the shit. And that is no easy task and not something that can be resolved by promising to work out more and eat less sweets, or quit smoking, or quit pretending to hate Nickelback (just kidding, I still think Nickelback sucks).
All we can do is try. Just try.