Sure. Let’s remember there were some bad things that happened in the world. Terrorist attacks in Europe, a mass shooting in Orlando, a ridiculously divisive and negative election year, Aleppo and refugees fighting for survival, the Dakota Access Pipeline, shootings and violence on streets across the world and much more.
I keep seeing people say 2016 was bad because of all the celebrities who died. While I get that celebrities and musical artists made an impact on each of us in different ways. Maybe a particular song helped us through a hard time or just resonated with us. I have my own experience with that. Michael Franti was the first concert I could attend post-bombing and his music helped me a lot. While I believe it’s overly dramatic how people react when celebrities die, I do see how they feel important and sad to individuals. However, let the loss of people who you feel impacted you, be a reminder to you to pursue your dreams, to do what we love and to make an impact on other people. We have that opportunity and freedom and we shouldn’t take that for granted.
But, let’s also remember the good. For the world, let’s remember the good people that do beautiful work. The White Helmets saving people every single day. Organizations like the Red Cross and World Health Organization that continue to help those in need. The Water protectors who stood their ground for the Dakota Access Pipeline. And all of the people who do good every single day, quietly, whether it’s buying a stranger coffee, giving food to the homeless, donating to a worthy cause, or simply giving a smile or kind word to someone who needs it. We are all surrounded by this every day if only we look. And we can BE it.
We had the Olympics, the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 9 years, Harriet Tubman will be on the $20 bill, the teen birth rate will reach an all time low, crime all over the world, despite the high profile violence mentioned above, is DOWN, the Americas became measles free. 93% of children across the world learned to read and write (highest % in history), world hunger is at it’s lowest point in 25 years. Animals that were once endangered are not anymore, the world in general got more generous than ever in terms of aid and donations.
In my own life, yes, there were negative things. We lost some family members, our marathon family lost a beautiful soul way too young. Some things I had hoped for and goals I set weren’t accomplished. But, there was so much good. First, I went back to the marathon 100% anxiety free for the first time, even standing in my exact spot surrounded by a crowd. I connected with and befriended members of the Newtown, CT community, beautiful people who continue to both heal and make a difference in the world. I met a great guy who I’ve enjoyed spending time with including climbing the largest mountain I have to date. I was able to finally give back with my experience from the worst thing I’ve ever gone through and help others in Orlando. I continued to have an spend time with beautiful friends and family who I couldn’t imagine living without. I continued to re-grow my business and spent time with awesome clients, both old and new. While this business isn’t easy and I’m still not where I want to be (though, I’m at least a little ahead of where I was pre-bombing), it is amazing and I feel lucky and hopeful for more success as time goes on. I’m re-launching a project near and dear to my heart and hopeful for it’s future and the difference it can make. In 2016, I continued to learn, to grow, to make the life I want.
Thanks 2016 for the memories, both good and bad. They will help us learn and grow. 2017, let’s do this!