Friday, January 6, 2017

Not Looking Back on 2016, Looking to 2017

Like sand through the hourglass

I have this theory, that people in the south have the potential to be thinner in relation to the north. And it’s not just the heat. In fact, my theory runs counter to the idea that the south is flawed since the heat makes people slow. What is important is the light - when it is light out after work I want to do so many things. I go for walks or just sit in the yard with my feet in the grass while I read a book with my feet in the grass. But once that sun starts staying away longer and longer, the less and less I want to do. It gets dark and then cold and all I want to do is sit on the couch and eat chocolate.

This is my way of saying that this is a holiday letter. It’s just that the holiday may well be epiphany or MLK day before you get this. Sitting on the couch with a pile of cards that I will make nice individual notes to everyone, just not now, maybe this weekend.  So this part is impersonal.

In many ways, this year has been a blessing. I was able to visit family more this year than most years. I saw both my parents and siblings and my in-laws more than once. Mom and Dad came in for my graduation, cumulating several years of work and we threw our first big party at the house after three years as homeowners. The biggest blessing, of course, was being asked to perform the ceremony at Mandi and Matt’s wedding. Thinking of her face as I stood on that hill gives me great joy.

The year has been a time of loss as well. In the fall we lost my Grandma Mimi. I was lucky enough to be able to get to see her in her last weeks before her passing. But that small frail woman I said goodbye to was not how I’ll remember her. To me Mimi will always be a giant, me looking up to her from waist high as I stand in the kitchen, getting in her way while I try to help cook.

Other losses too. There was that election. That one, but I also volunteered this summer into fall trying to pass a referendum to get a bond passed to raise funds to build a new library. I went door to door advocating for the cause. It lost, but it was a new opportunity for me. I’m running for the library board in the spring. Here’s hoping that this election goes a bit differently.

So it has been a time for growth. I’ve been learning new things and meeting new people; taking on more challenges at work. I graduated school, and as much as I want to go back I’m holding off for now. Anita is the one that gets to back. She’s building human capital and gaining signaling value by going back to school for a certificate to bolster her job experience as a trainer. She’s still playing the guitar and banjo and learning new songs. She remains simply amazing and becomes only more so.

I’m not sure what 2017 will bring, but I look forward to more growth and meeting more new people. We’re planning on taking a trip to Canada to see the Northern Lights and some polar bears (fingers crossed I can get a passport). But I also can’t wait to see all my old friends again.