Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017

As I puttered around the house yesterday, putting away Christmas decorations and saying goodbye to yet another year, I listened to the radio as commentator after commentator remarked how glad they are to see the end of 2016, listing all the sadness that the year had brought -  deaths of stars, deaths from fentanyl, deaths from war and terrorism.  I find myself asking "Was this year really any worse than others, or was it just made to seem worse through the advances of social media?" I am so tired of depressing news.

Sigh.  I turned off the radio and put on some CDs - gentle music to soothe, lyrical music I can sing with, rousing music to lift the spirits.

For me, 2016 was a good year.  Oh sure, my body feels ten years older with ten times the aches and pains, especially since tearing my meniscus this summer.  And I worry about money as costs keep rising. And I could have done without both the washer AND the printer needing repairs right at Christmastime.   And I often miss the family and friends of Christmases past.

But all-in-all, it was a good year.  On December 31, 2015, I wrote that I hoped my 2016 would include "more time with animals, more hikes, more photography, more time with family and friends."

And it did.

I spent lots of time with animals.  Lots and lots of time with lots and lots of animals - here's just a few of them:

Farm animals at RASTA and Hearts on Noses

The Little Dog Walking Group
(and Chrissy!)

And still more dogs
of friends and family

And more animals - wild and domestic

And more and more and more

I hiked so many places I hadn't hiked before!  Cabot Bay Trail and Dodd Narrows, Buttertubs Marsh, Morrell Nature Preserve, East Sooke Park, Hemer Park and several other ones in the Cedar-Yellowpoint area, Stoney Hill Regional Park, Heart Lake and Stocking Lake, and so many others:

And I took photographs galore.

My daughter and son-in-law came for a visit, my oldest nephew and family came for a visit, my sister-in-law and I went for a vacation at Saratoga Beach, and I visited friends and family on the mainland.  For someone with as small a family as I have, that's really pretty awesome!

It was a good year.  For me.

And now, as we usher in 2017, I do what I always do at this time of year.  I get an urge to declutter and organize.  Although I declutter all year round (I keep a box in the bedroom into which I put stuff I don't need, and when it is full - off to the thrift store it goes), there is always more to be done - old files to be cleaned out, knick knacks to be reconsidered, closets to be divested of the clothes that are too uncomfortable, too stained, or two small to make it to centre stage. Many items get held, put in the box, pulled out, held again, as my resolve to minimize fluctuates back and forth on the wings of nostalgia.

But if these are the most difficult decisions I have to make, then I am fortunate - for so many have to make decisions about whether to flee their war-torn country or stay, whether to spend their last few quarters on some real food or check out the dumpster once again, whether to go for that risky or unpleasant medical procedure or take a chance that they will survive.

If dealing with a sore back or bum knee or wonky hip is the most discomfort I have to deal with, then I am fortunate - for so many are dealing with far worse ailments, far more pain, far greater disability.

If missing my daughter who now lives far away is the greatest sorrow I feel, then I am fortunate.  For so many are watching their children struggle with illnesses that may one day take their lives - children with cancer, children with rare diseases, children with terrible injuries from accidents.  What those parents would give to have a healthy child again.

If tightening the belt and adjusting the budget is the most difficult financial challenge I have to face, then I am fortunate - for so many have no income, no home, no budget to manage.

As we travel into the new year, may your decisions be easy ones, your joys be many, your hardships be few, your loved ones be well.

What adventures will 2017 bring?


spackminder said...

Happy trails to you in 2017! I imagine it will be quite a year as you implement your change in priorities and I look forward to reading all about it ( and seeing the pics too) .

ruth said...

Happy New Year, Jean!
So happy you are writing here again, since I don't do Facebook.
I love your musings and pictures.
May 2017 be filled with love and peace for you and us all.

Janice Gillett said...

Happy New Year Jean!

Marie said...

Happy New Year, Jean, a very moving and thought-filled posting. May 2017 bring us all full-filling lives and peace. said...

I am also so glad you are writing here again, Jean, as I do not do facebook either! Thanks.
Aileen Pickrd

CarolineA said...

Happy New Year Jean, Mitzi and Allie! Can't wait to see what adventures you will be having this year!

Laura Carson said...

Happy New Year, Jean!

Sheryl said...

Happy New Year to you, Mitzi and Allie! said...

Yappy New Year, Jean!