There has been a lot of talk about how awful 2016 was. Certainly, we lost some amazing musicians and celebrities. But are we—am I—letting my ongoing grief, anger, and shock at the election color my sense of an entire year of my life? I decided to check in with myself.
For years, we have made calendars. Every month contains a photo or two from the children’s lives that month in the year prior. As I went through 2016’s photos, I saw other pictures, not including my family (though all about them), that reminded me of some of the good in the past year.
In 2016 I got to go to Austin, Texas and Doha, Qatar for the first time. I got to go home to Seattle for a long visit. I got back to L.A. and fell in love with California again. I joined the flower committee and in church and learned a little bit about arranging flowers. My uncle-by-marriage built raised beds for us and we grew abundant and gorgeous vegetables at our place on the St. Lawrence River. I drew a lot and got a lot better at drawing. I cooked and shared food—fancy and plain—with people I love.
As I think about my resolutions for 2017 (more words, less weight, as ever, but how to write that so it sticks—so the words stick and the pounds melt?), I see that I have to add travel to the list. Even just going to a neighboring village has the power to bring me joy. Kayaking is a big summer pleasure, but one of our best summer days of kayaking came when we drove upriver forty minutes and kayaked in a less familiar spot. Why, even a rotten day of jury duty in Newark was brightened by the sight of one of the gorgeous Victorian brickfronts in that tumbledown city.
In any case, following the “no babies, no pets” rule, here are a dozen of my favorite images and memories from the year just past.