I have goals for 2017, certainly. There is a long list of things I want to accomplish. But I learned the hard way to stop putting arbitrary dates on a task list. It’s one of the best things having a chronic disease has taught me.

I relish putting 2016 in a time capsule and burying it deep in the ground. It was a year of disappointments.

Milo sent his minions after Leslie Jones, and they were so astonishingly racist and cruel, she left Twitter, and he was eventually banned from the site for life. I died a little inside as I watched my fellow human beings act so horribly, just for their own entertainment. Civility and humanity were left behind.

My state passed HB1523, the most anti-LGBTQ law in the country, in addition to allowing discrimination against single mothers and unmarried couples. It hurts me deeply to know Mississippi would use religion as a weapon to discriminate rather than to reach out and love her neighbors and her own citizens.

My former party nominated, then my country elected, a serial liar, misogynistic, racist, thin-skinned, bullying, morally bankrupt, nationalist, cheating, power hungry, reality television star as President of the United States. More people than I care to admit were willing to believe any story they read just because it was negative and about the opposing candidate. The truth lost. I mourned as the truth went on life support.

The new year is here, and it is an opportunity to start fresh. There are many things happening I cannot control; just like with my body, I can’t predict what each day will bring. My job is to accept that, then affect what surrounds it.

I spent far too many years attempting to control everything and everyone in my world. Age and circumstances have taught me how futile that is, what a great waste of time and energy. Once I let that go, I found freedom in the daily discovery of what I could do.

I will put 2016 to rest. I will celebrate 2017 and the endless possibilities it brings. But I will not list off arbitrary goals; I will seek my way each day as it happens.

My hope is we will find as a people a way to begin to overcome our differences and start communicating with each other again. We can begin to seek the civility and humanity we once had, and find a way to meet in the middle.

My desire is we choose to use what we have been given not as weapons but as tools that empower us to exact positive change in the world around us. Our hearts’ desire will be to reach out, not to close the door.

My wish is we all seek truth in everything, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. We will find power in that truth, and we will learn to accept what we cannot change and change what we can. The truth will set us free.

May we all have a brighter tomorrow. May the future be better than the past. May the new year bring you peace, love, and friendship.

Happy New Year, and Happy 2017.


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