2016 was a shit year.
Let's just get that out there.
Personally, the year started with a bang and just kept going.
At this time last year, the first cracks were forming in my workplace. By the end of the first quarter, my office was in chaos. Bad decisions seemed to rule the day and people I worked with were moving on.
And as I attempted to do the same, I learned a bitter truth: that I am not really prepared to shine in a crowded labor market.
That was a goddamn hard lesson. When I used to take karate, we used to have a saying: "I will train with the spirit of humility." Martial arts did a lot to drum humility into parts of my life. As I look back on 2016, I see that the chaos of earlier in the year was simply more of the same. They were lessons in humility. Lessons, I'm sad to say, I haven't yet learned enough from. I know where my weaknesses lie, but have yet to take proper steps to address them.
I guess I have a goal in 2017.
2016 simultaneously hit me with a family crisis. There was a fair chance I was going to lose a parent. The thought of that terrified me.
Still does, honestly.
I realized I'm one day going to lose the people I care most about. And I'm really not ready.
Everything turned out okay. There will be a next time, though. And one of these days I'm going to have to deal with it.
In 2016, a number of my dearest friends lost someone close. I watched how they handled their loss and found myself humbled by how strong they all are. I sure as hell don't think I'll be able to handle it like they have.
2016 was a hellish year politically. Watching Trump get elected was like living through a reading of "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. I'm glad I don't have kids.
It was a year where I look back and realize a lot of things I thought mattered to me that really don't. It's sort of left me feeling a bit lost, like I'm just going through the motions of my life. I'm not sure what I want. I'm not sure what I want to do next. I'm kind of hearing a Vorlon asking me: "Who are you? What do you want?" and I don't have any answers. (Raise your hand if you got that reference. If you do, put a white star on your geek card.)
2016 wasn't all bad. My office did course-corrections that I have benefitted from.
I've made new friendships. I've read new books. I've enjoyed some travel, both to distant places I know and not-so-distant places that are new to me.
I've attended, and semi-officiated, a quasi-wedding.
It's an indicator of how odd my life is that I can make that last statement.
Earlier today I bought some groceries. I had a chat with the clerk about New Year's resolutions.
"I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore," I said.
I don't. They're a waste of time. Intentions are nice. Actions are better. I'm rubbish at follow-through. My goal for 2017 is to get better at follow-through and get shit actually done.
I'm not sure I'm ready for 2017. I'm not sure anyone is. Still, it's coming and there's not fuck-all anyone can do about it but suck it up and be ready to take it as it comes. Some of it will be good. Some of it will be bad. The only thing I will truly control is how I deal with what comes.
Pastry Chef Spends Three Days Trying To Make A Gourmet Version Of Cheetos - [image: gourmet-cheetos.jpg] Regular Cheeto, left, and gourmet Cheeto (or possible shrimp tempura), right. This is a video from Bon Appétit of senior food ...
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