As the year winds down we’ll start to see the social network posts about being thankful, and being blessed, and how we’re all one and everything is swell. For a short time we’re willing to overlook the madness of the world and pretend we can see above it all.
We shouldn’t have to fake it, ever, and I don’t want to say that this is faking it. That seeing the silver lining is faking that ‘things are A-OK’. No. I see this as a willingness to see beyond the pain, the despair, and the confusion of the times. If we lose the ability to see beyond the darkness then we’re doomed, aren’t we?
Sure, we can grind our teeth and stamp our feet at people’s platitudes but the fact is that we all do the best we can and if it takes the holidays to see the good in the world then well, it’s a start.
And I’ll take it.
For me, I look to this time of year as a time to stand back and look at what went down over the past few months and to be thankful for the good, and sometimes even the bad, because there are lessons in both.
2017 was, as every year is, trying.
But then too it was rewarding.
Watching your family age and decline is hard. Harder than you imagine when you are younger, but to have them at all is a blessing.
Losing friends never gets easier. Losing them as friends alone is hard but at least you know they are in the world, laughing and loving still. Losing them to death though isn’t something you ever quite get over. Their absence is a shadow over you that never leaves.
But over the course of the year some of us got to help out three friends in need and showed them some love and helped raise some money for them.
The convention group did another year of shows, culminating in a film festival. This marked our sixth year of operation. Six years that almost never were. Among the great decisions I have ever made was the one where I decided to stick with doing the con and to see what happened.
What happened was pretty amazing and still is.
I released another kid’s book, with the help of an artist friend.
I did some conventions and had a revelation at one that maybe I need to stop doing them. As much as I love them my head isn’t in it and I need to really figure out how I can most effectively promote and sell my books.
I finished my movie. That, that’s a heck of a thing.
I am still not sure how I feel about the finished product but I wrote it, I shot it, I directed it, I edited it, and I helped score it.
I love the film I am just not sure how well it works.
I wrote three songs.
I mean, they aren’t good songs, but they’re fun. They are ridiculous. I kinda love them.
I can’t get anyone to do anything with them so I figure I’ll have to sing them acappella and record it and see if I can figure out music.
Should be interesting.
I laughed a lot. I spent time with friends and loved ones. I got to know our dog better.
I lived as well as I allowed myself to.
I didn’t do as much as I wanted but I did a lot more than I imagined.
It’s been a year.
I am lucky to have had it, all of it.
I hope that you find the moments in your life that you can celebrate. The moments you can mourn.
Take a moment to celebrate yourself because in the end this is your journey and your story and without you then there is no story at all.
Thanks for being there.