I think most of us are in agreement that 2016 was a rough year. Whether it be personal struggles or nationwide political division, this year has not been great. Most mornings I woke up avoiding the news knowing I wouldn’t hear anything positive…learning that the evil in humanity had struck again. I watched hate win, bigotry walk front and center, people die, and the world have no idea what to do with it.
However, I am a full believer that the world…and by default this year cannot be 100% all bad or good. I don’t live in a dichotomous world. So while things were hard, I had some great moments, good lessons, epic reads, and fulfilling days. So I hope you read my list and get inspired to try something on it. I hope it causes you to think about your year and how even the small good things…were still good things.
My top 3 books I read in 2016…because I am a true book nerd at heart.
- Rising Strong by Brene Brown if you hate being challenged…this is not the book for you. This book is a gut check in the best way. Wholehearted living at its finest.
- Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas 5th book in the Throne of Glass series. Fantasy, magic, love, battles, an evil lord…classic.
- Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein This book could not have been read at a better time in history. What better time to learn about and to better understand the transgender experience and history.
Top 3 Experiences of 2016:
- My husband and I hiked the Kalalau Trail and tried not to die. Kalalau: journey to another world.
- I got into therapy. It changed my life.
- Attending my dad’s retirement party at Rockmill Brewery. The whole family was there, we had good beer, and everyone was in a great mood (or at least acted like it)
Top 3 Movies of 2016:
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople Seriously though, I laughed so hard.
- Arrival This movie was what you hope a movie will be…and if for some crazy reason you hate it…I bet you’d still love the music.
- What can I say…in addition to being a book nerd, I am also a sci-fi nerd. Therefore movie number 3 is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
3 Things I checked off my 2016 bucket list:
- Went to Hawaii (as close as I got to another country)
- Hosted a murder mystery party…and I was not the murderer.
- Learned something new that I wasn’t that great at: needle felting.
3 TV shows that are a must see from 2016:
- Chef’s Table France on Netflix I just fell in love with food even more.
- Stranger Things on Netflix Okay who doesn’t love a good 80’s thriller? Yeah most people…but this one changed all our minds.
- This is Us on NBC and HULU its everything you want from a TV drama.
Sorry Gilmore Girls Revival. You didn’t make the cut. I had high hopes and then they died.
3 Bands/Artists/Songs I fell in love with this year:
- I re-fell in love with Alicia Keys. I don’t why…it’s just good stuff.
- Johnnyswim warms my mellow heart.
- I listened to “Road to Ensanada” by Lyle Lovett way more than I should have. It happened.
Lastly, 3 most important lessons from this year:
- I can be a giving, loving person and still have boundaries, self-care, say no, and personally not give a damn about other people’s drama.
- I am very capable of taking care of myself, asking for what I need, and keeping my world safe. I know I can find a way through. I don’t say that like God isn’t involved…more that he has equipped me and I will be okay.
- Reality, even if hard, is always better than my naive hopes and ideals. I can make decisions in reality.
- Bonus Lesson!!! Empathy does not have to equate to action. I am not here to solve the worlds problems. And that’s ok.
- Bonus Bonus Lesson: I only have to accept the feedback from people who are in the arena with me…who are doing their own work and dealing with their own problems. I have a list of people whose feedback matters to me…and most of the world is not on it. It’s freeing.
Smile!! We made it through 2016…even if barely. I hope you too found joyful moments in this chaos we call life. 2017 might not actually be better. But I hope, with naive, little girl hope, that we hold on to the small joys and people we love…that will pull us through.
Blessings in 2017.