Now that we’ve firmly landed on the newer side of New Year, it’s probably safe to take a look at the raging garbage fire that was 2016. Why am I so concerned about safety? Well, that would be this cold that I’m nursing for the third week running. It’s started out an innocent sniffle before Christmas and now all I do is sleep and brush my teeth. I’ve had a fair few colds in my time, but I’m almost positive this should’ve been resolved already. So I wanted to wait until I was all clear over the finish line before celebrating surviving 2016.
Aside from the Flu From Hell how was 2016? I mean, really? Much like that song from Jim Carroll; lots of people died. People we knew from TV and movies, people we knew from music, people we didn’t know but who made things we hold dear, and friends and relatives. And there were bombings and shootings and refugee crises and hate crimes and plane crashes and then THAT election. I kanoodled with a man and then stopped when that relationship ended and then decided that my diabetes couldn’t possibly be THAT bad (it is) and threw caution to the wind on my diet for 6 months. I lost a few relatives. As in they died, not that I forgot them on the side of the road somewhere. The Great British Bake Off was sold and a grand tradition of friendly dick jokes was ended. And Mariah Carey got in the spirit of the year and IDGAFed Auld Lang Syne on Times Square, which frankly is the perfect end to the year in public terms. Can’t even be mad at that.
Privately though, behind the flaming turd sandwich that was 2016, there were brilliant things, things that were not reported in the news or just got overshadowed. Lots of people had personal revelation (myself included) and even experienced financial gains. And I’m not talking about politicians here. Chris Hadfield, the astronaut fellow, took to his twitter to remind us of stuff that happened in 2016 that was truly awesome, but didn’t get a lot of mentions… possibly because it wasn’t inflammatory nor could it be used to beat people over the head. The number of homeless US veterans dropped by 20% in 2016 alone, the giant panda is no longer endangered and the number of tigers is steadily increasing. There’s a Canadian developed Ebola vaccine that has a 100% efficacy. Both grizzlies and manatees are also increasing in numbers. World hunger has reached its lowest point in 25 years. Beyonce continued to be her excellent self. Loads of wanted and waited babies were born. BAFTAs announced works that didn’t sufficiently represent diversity, would no longer be eligible. Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green developed laser-activated nanoparticles for treating cancer with little to no side effects.
So in the end? I don’t know. I’m WAY too bunged up on flu medication to say one way or the other. It’s taken me 19 hours to write 450 words.
I can say though that I personally took from this a few things: eventually everyone older than us has died, which is why it’s important for everyone to be the idols they were to us, to the people coming after us. Be the Carrie Fishers and be the Bowies and do like George Michael and take care of the little ones. Be bold, be you, shine and be excellent. Because we’re most definitely going to need people being excellent in 2017.
Also, if you have diabetes that you’re controlling through diet, don’t fucking mess with it. I don’t care if Gerry says “Oh live a little!”. Yes, I damn well plan on living for a good while longer which is why I’m not taking part in Gerry’s harebrained beer-pizza-peeps fests! Damn it, Gerry, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Not everyone starts out on the same playing field. Go sit in the corner and shut up, you sad little mudflap.
2017 will be, as of January 28th, the year of the Fire Rooster. For me personally that means a lot of work. Nose to the grind, mostly, then starting studies in a new field in the Fall. I don’t make resolutions. My only resolution is to keep alive and stay alive if for nothing else than out of spite, which is what generally pulls me through the years. I do have To Do list though:
- Stop taking the phone with me to the bathroom. The risks are too high compared to the payout
- Get back on my normal diet so I can get my blood sugar under control and not go blind.
- Get over flu so can stay up for longer than a half an hour and get back to writing
- Write. Like write tons. My 2016 schedule was completely dive bombed by being sick, so everything basically got moved a few months forward. I got 40-something shorts (2 more centaur stories) planned for 2017 and at least 3 novellas. All before September.
- No more caffeine. It’s either caffeine or my colon and for now, I choose my colon.
- Contribute good and positive things to the world… which I know is a little vague, but hey, you never know exactly how you get a chance to contribute. For now it’s surviving flu, then it’s writing. Once we got those two things in a groove, then well see on expanding.
2016 was taxing and emotionally numbing for the general public. That’s probably the most I could sum it up. The hits kept on coming. 2017 we gotta do the work. Work hard for maybe not as much gain as we’d like, but for the long haul. For the well-being of not just ourselves but people we love. And people we don’t love. Fuck it, we just gotta make things good. Even Gerry deserves to have good things, the giant fucking towelette. I’ll be there, contributing my piece of smutty fun for you to rest your weary head on when the world gets too full of raging heads of state with big mouths and small words.