This was a particularly difficult year. I think we’d all agree to that statement, especially us Gen X’ers.
From David Bowie’s death as the year opened, to George Michael’s passing as it limped to a dreadful end, this year dealt us blow after shocking blow. We found ourselves saying, “It can’t get any worse, can it?” over and over, and then it did.
So for this last day of the year, I decided to tweet (and memorialize here — a space I neglect terribly) some of the good and great things that happened this year, in the hope that I will inspire some of you to do the same. Let’s remind each other that it wasn’t all bad. That there is good in the world, and it starts with each one of us.
I went to two weddings this year, both great couples who complete each other. One was my sister-in-law Amy and her long-time partner Mike. They’ve been through a lot together and the time was finally right for them to put a ring on it. Family and friends came together in Delaware and celebrated in a gorgeous gem of a restaurant owned by one of Amy’s oldest friends. And I got to put my feet in the ocean in October.
The other couple was Rick and Pam. Rick has been a friend since my college roommates moved to Connecticut in the early 90s; Pam is the old flame he reunited with after he moved out here to Colorado. Pam moved here late this summer, and she’s fit right in to what we all lovingly refer to as the “Colorado family.”
I saw a Shakespeare First Folio in person on the campus of CU Boulder this summer, and since I work there, I saw it several times. Several. Times. I couldn’t touch it, but oh boy, I devoured that thing with my eyes.
I saw Peter Gabriel and Sting together on the “Rock, Paper, Scissors” Tour and they were unbelievable. And they’re both still alive. Please, Universe, let us keep a few of our idols for just a little longer.
I finally met Katharine Owens, a writer and professor I’ve been friends with on line for several years and even Skyped with but had never met in person. She is as awesome as I knew she’d be! I’m looking forward to many more dinners together, Kat!
Teaching is getting easier and better for me (and hopefully better for my students as a result). I love the time in the classroom; I love getting to know the students and hearing their perspectives; I love the way we laugh. I also love knowing that for many of them, my class is the only opportunity they have to talk about issues in a classroom, whether it’s guns or the CU football team or on-campus sexual conduct or anything in the news that day.
My oldest child graduated from high school and went to college. I know that’s not at all an accomplishment of mine, but damn, there were days that I sweated and suffered through high school too, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of that kid. And now I get to watch her spread her wings and fly (while occasionally coming home to the nest), becoming the young adult she was always meant to be… it’s the most amazing experience a parent can have. Oh, and now her hair is blue, which is a kick too.
My dad is exactly 30 years older than me — almost to the day, as his birthday is June 6 and mine is June 8 — and we both hit some big numbers this year. So when he came to visit this summer, I booked us a table at one of the fanciest restaurants in Boulder, Frasca Food & Wine. I asked for the table in the kitchen so we could watch the chefs work and it was an experience I will never forget.
I could go on — road trips, time with family and friends, football games, and of course, Cinnamon Bun Oreos — but I think you get the point. Even when things are going badly, there is always good to counterbalance. You have to look for it, but it’s there.
What? You thought I wasn’t going to mention it? The biggest, best thing that happened to me this year?
Yup, that’s the moment. So I’m sorry, I can’t say that 2016 was the worst year ever because for me, it wasn’t. It was the year my dream FINALLY came true. And I can’t ever forget that.
What are your 2016 highlights? I hope you have some great ones to share, and I wish you a very happy new year and a wonderful 2017!