The facts: 2016 was actually a good year, and 2017 will be even better.
As we enter a new year, there is so much negativity surrounding 2016, that people are simply waiting for the year to die. It’s as if parts of society think that the universe owes them a ready-made happiness key. It is as if so many in the first world have simply forgotten that your happiness, your joy, your interaction with life, is up to you alone. How you handle the ups, the downs, the ins, and the outs of the vagaries of existence is what determines your world. It is an entitled preconceived notion that the universe owes you sustained joy without your input and your hard work.
Joy and happiness are what you make of it. The inability of so many to think outside the little box of what they thought their life was going to be like, is not a rational nor productive way to see the future. Plan A doesn’t necessarily work out, so make sure that there are alternative plans. This is not a B action movie where the hero says, “Plan A better work, I don’t have a Plan B,” and then in good John Wayne fashion it all comes to fruition along with rainbows, fairy dust and unicorns.
Life comes at you fast. Learn how to handle the unexpected. Learn how to find that silver lining. Learn to find that joy. Give yourself the right to embrace joy and push forward into the future.
Heck compared to 2015, my 2016 was a cake walk. Oh, the person I wanted to win the national election lost. Political discourse was at an all time low. Worldwide political upheaval is on the march, as is so much of our baser notions. The guard is changing, and the world is moving forward, and not necessarily for the better.
But in 2015, I chose hospice for my mother who had been traumatically injured in a car accident. I slowly watched her die over a week’s period. It was horrible, and cruel. I realized at that moment, that we as a society need to find a better way to help our loved ones pass on.
Then several months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This time last year I was laying in bed, recovering from a massive infection I had contracted from the lumpectomy. I was prepping myself for radiation therapy and an unknown future.
Meanwhile we had decided to put my oldest back into school for an additional masters degree because he had not been able to find a job. My younger son was on academic probation from his program, with no job prospects in sight. Now remember too, that both boys deal with autism spectrum disorders, and other health issues as well.
Now, I have been diagnosed as cancer free. I have recovered from my therapy. I have decided to start a new business reviewing books, and expanding my freelance writing. I am taking courses about business. My older son, has not only started his second degree, but he found a terrific internship, where they respect his issues, work with him to help him be productive and is embraced as a full member of his team.The internship has been extended. Plus his professors welcomed him back to a new program and are happy to see him.
My younger son has not only survived academic probation, but now has an A average, and he found an internship last summer. In fact he is doing so well, that his professors asked his classmates to applaud him on several occasions. He also was told by one professor that he has an amazing writing talent and to please use him as a reference.
Meanwhile, I have closed my mother’s estate, and have taken care of all that needs to be done. While, I can no longer Facetime with her, and discuss my day. I do talk to her almost daily. Mostly as argument, and I have no idea why that is, but I am sure a therapist could help me figure that one out, but she is still here giving me sage advice, and so is my father. We discuss ideas, thoughts, politics and the future.
I knew that they were my guardian angels as I went through my cancer treatment, and it is because of them, and my yearly mammogram, that I was lucky enough to find my cancer at stage 1, which give me almost 100% survival rate. I say almost, simply because nothing, no matter what the numbers say, is absolute. Remember you could also get hit by a bus crossing the street. The moral of the story, is that no matter what, nothing is guaranteed. So you learn and you appreciate what you have. You make sure that the true reason for life, the real aspects of happiness and joy are all around you.
So in the end 2016, was just so much better than 2015. I am actually looking forward to 2017, not to run away from 2016, but I am convinced that there is a good future in the offing.
Remember too that life is not always about what you don’t have, but what you do have.
So many are taking to heart the loss of celebrities who have defined parts of our lives. Perhaps because we all live our lives on social media, that these celebrities seem more a part of our lives than is realistic. They are markers in our lives for certain, reminding us of the important stages of our own life cycle, but they are not a part of our lives. Because too that celebrities are a dream, an unreality, we forget that they age, that they have foibles, that they may not live the best of lives. As we age, so do our heroes. As we age, what once was is no more. Realities change. New heroes are born and made. The world continues on.
Perhaps it’s because I have buried people that I love, that I do not depend upon the world at large for my happiness, or to define who I am. I am still amazed that after my parents deaths, that the sun came up and the birds still sing. I amazed that the world continues on as if they were never here. I remember them, but the world, mother nature, God, the Universe does not. That is fine.
We learn of our own insignificance in the greater scheme of things. Perhaps that is what is upsetting to most people. That no, you are not important to the future of humanity beyond those who are important in your lives. This becomes an understanding that helps propel us forward to take a broader look at our own existence. We learn to ask the simple questions. We learn to appreciate the little things.
Do you wake every morning?
Do you wake without pain?
Do you have medical care?
Do you have a roof over your head?
Do you have food to eat?
Do you have clothes to wear?
Do you live in a free country?
Do you have access to education?
Do you live in a nation at peace?
Do you have opportunity?
Do you have someone to talk to?
Does someone love you?
Do you have someone to love?
Can you see?
Can you smell?
Can you hear?
Can you taste?
Can you walk?
Can you touch?
Can you assert yourself without fear?
Do you wake every day with the right to make your own choices and to follow through on your greatest desires?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you are lucky. You are blessed. You should be happy. You need to embrace this as joy.
Life moves forward.
The world moves forward.
Science moves forward.
Everything is getting better.
It’s not wishful thinking.
It is the real world.
Embrace the future. Be ready for curveballs. You are owed nothing. But it is up to you what choices you make, and how you handle what life throws at you.
Now here is the truth of what is happening in the world today. It is a positive and good future….don’t let the doomsayers, the professional pessimists, get you down.