Dear 2017

Dear 2017,

Perhaps this is a little too soon seeing as you haven’t quite arrived, but I feel the need to get a headstart in light of the last, or should I say current, calendar year. 2016 has lost it’s dadgum mind. Honestly, it’s bizarre how quickly things got out of hand, so we’re really looking forward to January 1 and all it brings: a clean slate and a new year. 

You see this past year we did a lot of weird things. For starters, we gave the American people the choice of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the highest elected office in our beloved country. And after months of yelling and screaming and lots of wine, we elected the reality tv star for president. 

We got really angry about a lot of things. People on twitter and Facebook lost their minds over disagreements from sports, to politics, to religion, to starbucks cups (again). Meanwhile, black lives were lost and half of our country was devastated while the other half was yelling “IT’S NOT OUR FAULT YOU DIDN’T FOLLOW A POLICE OFFICER’S ORDERS.” And then a few angry people decided to go and shoot Police Officers to avenge these deaths to make a point. (I mean… WHAT IS HAPPENING?)! Some of us peacefully protested, while some of us violently rioted. And yet we saw more social outrage about the peaceful protest of a man taking a knee during a national anthem than we did when violent protests were raging our streets or when actual lives were lost. 

Then there were the horrific events going on outside the USA, the refugee crisis, Aleppo, the many terrorist attacks. Some of us cared, some of us lived in fear, others used these attacks on humanity to fuel their political game. 

Brangelina broke up. Taylor Swift had a boyfriend. Then she didn’t. Then she had a boyfriend again… then she… Well, you get the cycle (which I guess isn’t so odd now that I think about it). I refuse to write anything about the Kardashians, but I’ll just say that I think their crazy years started long ago and 2016 wasn’t much of an outlier for them. 

There were a few good things 2016 gave us, like the tv show This Is Us (THANK YOU JESUS!), the Chewbacca lady, and personally our family grew through the amazing gift of adoption. Plus Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon helped us cope with our crazy (God bless them) and a guy driving around in a car doing karaoke with celebrities stole our hearts. Star Wars made a BIG comeback, as did Full House and Gilmore Girls. And my husband and I who had NEVER HEARD of Harvey Specter were introduced to Suits and have successfully watched 5 whole seasons (thank you Amazon Prime... speaking of Amazon Prime... 2016 also gave us AMAZON PRIME NOW... YES LORD!). 

So there definitely was some good amongst the insanity.

Maybe it was because it was a leap year, or maybe it was something else all together, but I don’t think we can handle another 2016. So 2017, we are REALLY looking forward to you. Now, don’t be nervous, you don’t have huge shoes to fill. All you really have to do is just not implode. That’s it. Just don’t be as bad as 2016 and we'll all be eternally thankful. But if you’re feeling up to a challenge, wanting to go above and beyond, I do have a few additional hopes for 2017 if it's not too much to ask.

So here we go, my above and beyond hopes for ALL of us in 2017:

I’m hoping that we, as a society, will stop acting as individuals and start taking responsibility as one nation, one society, built from many peoples. 

I’m hoping that 2017 will be a year that we listen more, yell less, and attempt to see the best in people… especially the ones with whom we disagree. 

I’m hoping that black lives will matter and blue lives will feel supported and loved. 

I’m hoping and praying that 2017 will be a year that justice and equality are held high. 

I’m hoping that military families and veterans feel honored and valued. 

I’m hoping that refugees and people from other religions experience the same safety, equality, and rights that I, a Christian, enjoy in this great land. 

I’m hoping that holidays and the ordinary days in between will be spent with family and/or friends, enjoying the love and comfort of true community.

I’m hoping that we as a society care for our poor, sick, wounded, and broken. I’m hoping we don’t continue to turn a blind eye and that we get creative in our efforts to dignify our fellow man.

I’m also hoping for better laws, systems, jobs, innovations for our country, but honestly… all those things don’t matter if we as a people, a society, if we lack character and resilience and hope. So ultimately, that’s what I’m hoping for. That we will all strive to be a bit kinder, a bit less selfish, a bit more empathetic. That we will fight for what’s right, but realize that fighting for something doesn’t always have to look like we’re fighting against something. That this year we’ll reach across the room and link arms with someone we wouldn’t typically partner with… and that we’d do something grand. 

2017, those are my hopes for you (well that and that I'd be able to eat more carbs, cheese, and chocolate without gaining a pound... but I get that's asking a bit much). So mostly… please… 2017, I'm begging you, JUST DON’T BE LIKE 2016 and I think we'll all be so incredibly thankful. 

Much Love & Happy New Year,

Posted on December 28, 2016 and filed under Current Events, Culture.