To put it mildly, 2016 has been a rough haul. It knocked the year of divorce and unemployment clean off the number one spot. While I realize the calendar is, for the most part, an imaginary construct, I have never looked forward to a new year so gleefully. I will enjoy the 2016 Home Stretch, happily waving goodbye to that particular combination of digits.
For the past several years, I have designed a Christmas card for my family. This year, we had multiple ideas, but, par for the course, making the pieces come together seemed impossible. Then, not long after I decided to give up and skip this year, something happened. An ill-fated attempt by my skate-boarding son to do an ollie over a pipe all but designed the card for us. Way to give one up for the team, Champ!
I cannot think of a more vivid and accurate representation of this year for our family. I am happy that I am still among the living. We have a warm home with plenty of food, I work a solid job, have a wonderful wife, son, and an ornery cat. Even at our worst, we our very, very fortunate. This year beat us up, but it has certainly not beat us down.
Whoever you are, whatever you circumstances, I hope that your worst days are behind you. I certainly hope that you find a way to turn things positive. It can be a very dark, lonely world. I feel blessed being able to laugh about what I’ve been through these past twelve months. I know some of you are going through far worse than I can imagine. You are not in a place where you can laugh at the bad times and, for some, you may never be. Please know that while my understanding of what a bad year looks like is on a completely different level, I am not oblivious. If it seems I do not care, please understand that it is more likely that I do not feel I have earned the right to pry. There are a variety of difficult, painful, and embarrassing situations from which I have been sheltered. You deserve someone far better equipped than I to even skim the surface of your dark days.
We are preparing to celebrate an artificial turning point in a decent life. We will continue to hope for something better. While I work towards a better life, I do not forget how good I have it. I will not forget.