“Time is a concept I don’t believe in…” text from my daughter to her Aunt
As I’ve said, I like lists.
I like rankings and top 10’s and best of’s.
You can probably find a ton of those kind of lists on the internet right now. It can be pretty interesting to look back.
I’ve been hearing that 2016 was not such a great year, and I can get on board with that I guess. Lots of your favorite celebrities passed away. The Orange Menace was elected President. Other stuff too.
But if I look back to 2016, from my own personal perspective, it was ok. Wasn’t horrible. Wasn’t spectacular either. It was like most years, a bunch of similar days where some minor stuff happened that made a particular day or time period almost memorable. So here are some.
Jan 5: Got a Facebook Message from an old college friend that I hadn’t talked to in 3 years and have not seen in 14.
March 2016: Begin painting the kitchen. It’s long overdue. We moved into our house in July of 2001 and it has not been painted since then. It is really gross and I can barely stand to be in it.
Mar 10: Got a voicemail from old college friend after avoiding his messages for 2 months.
End of June: I literally give a one handed, shirtless man the shirt off of my back.
July 3rd: I find out where the sidewalk ends.
July 9th-July 17th: Northern Wisconsin vacation with in-laws. I see a deer and a heron. It rains 10+ inches in one night. Major flooding and roads closed and collapsed. We still had fun though.
July 9th: Day of arrival up North – drunk woman breaks barrier of small bridge down the road and observable from our cabins back yard. Car tire hangs over bridge briefly but she is able to get away before car plunges into river. I am slightly disappointed.
Mid July after vacation: I begin to eat better and to walk every night. Eventually lose 10+ lbs.
Aug 6th-Aug13th: Northern Wisconsin vaca#2 with family. I see another deer. Lose every type of game we play, including getting crushed at Boggle for 4th consecutive year by various family members. Play a bunch of Shrek pinball and remember that I really like pinball.
Mid-Aug: On walks around the neighborhood I meet the “Pig Lady.” She sits on the lawn in front of her apartment building smoking cigarettes. I stop and say hello and she tells me she is not a pig, that all the pigs are at the state fair that is going on. I tell her it’s too bad for the pigs because it’s so hot it must suck for them. We talk a few more times into late summer.
Sept 10th: Meet up with guys from a band I hung out with in the ’90’s as they record their first songs in 20+ years. Band led by buddy who contacted me at beginning of March. We’ve been talking on and off all year. Band reunion coming in March 2017. It’s all pretty dope.
End of Sept: Stop walking and eating well. By end of year have gained back the 10lbs and then some.
Nov 2nd: Cubs win World Series. Secondary to the Cubs Hat cake I score by losing a bet that they would win. I said I would eat a Cubs hat if I did. The guy I bet with has an awesome cake made so I don’t have to eat a real hat.
Nov 13th: Attend NOFX show – punk rock band from early ’90’s. 1st music show of any kind by about 20 yrs.
Dec 13th: Attend 1st political protest as The Orange Menace is in town on his “victory” tour. Nearly get frostbite on my toes and don’t feel warm until halfway through the next day. Still though.
Dec 21st: Ice dams on roof in back of house results in water leaking into kitchen and kids bedroom. Paint job from earlier in year slightly ruined.
Dec 22nd: Hand homeless lady holding sign at intersection where highway ends on Lisbon Ave. 5$. Wish I had more.
Yeah, not much and not sure I would call them “highlights.” I’m sure a bunch of other stuff happened, good and bad. It’s just some stuff I’ve remembered.
I know all the other stuff is important, the celebrities and the politics and all of it. It’s important to me too.
I realize, though, that sometimes I forget that real life – the real life, my real life, is more important than all of that other stuff. I measure myself and my life and my worth against all of those other’s lives, and those other lists, and how it affects me, or how I think it affects me.
But looking back, 2016 wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t great, either.
All that other stuff, that happens to the tiny fraction of people who are famous enough to be on TV, or in the movies, or on the internet.
I’d like to have those kinds of lives – be famous, have power, have money, influence people.
But for me, and maybe people like me – all of us really – our years are measured by the little things we remember. We hope for the good – a child born, employment, sustainability, health. We – I hope we all make it through the year and that our – my bad days and sad days are outweighed by the good days or the happy days. I think most of the time a neutral day is victory enough.
I don’t mind if you have New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t make them. I don’t think they really work but whatever.
For me, it’s just one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, and hopefully a years worth of days will add up to something. Hope for the best, strive and try to achieve. That’s good stuff.
But if you’re reading this, you made it. And if you did, then 2016 was a good year.
Let’s go get it in 2017.