So, 2016. That sure was a thing that happened, wasn't it, friends and neighbors?
Last year was weird. I write a blog and do some other social media stuff for the company I work for, which sells entertainment media (movies, CDs, audiobooks), so I'm pretty in tune with pop culture news, including celebrity deaths. Starting off the year with the loss of David Bowie seemed only like a tragedy at the time, when in fact, looking back, it was more like a signal for what was to come.
Nevertheless, it was only about the last 1/3 of the year that things got really surreal. It started at the very beginning of September, when Brandi and I moved into a new apartment. That was fine in itself, but it kicked off a really busy stretch of time that kind of threw me into a fog that I still haven't completely recovered from. The moving process took most of a week, during which I also had to travel for work; immediately thereafter I had a two-week stretch of jury service, which also saw me working well into the evenings to make up for the time I missed during the day.
Then there was the election, in which the campaign was infuriating and the result was dumbfounding. I have a lot of thoughts, but I honestly can't decide if writing them all will make me feel better or worse, so for now here's the Cliffs Notes version. Donald Trump was a joke in the '80s; I understood that then, although I wasn't even a teenager yet. Giving him the keys to the country now, thirty years later, after was endorsed by the KKK and almost literally no one else, is an event of such staggering stupidity that I still can't wrap my mind around it. The fact that a stone-dumb, humorless, thin-skinned sexual predator will take over the office following a thoughtful, measured, successful leader like President Obama is a sick joke of cosmic proportions.
So yeah, that has thrown me into kind of a tailspin the past couple of months, and if that makes me a precious little snowflake, well, so be it. Brandi and I even went on vacation, a few days in Florida right after Thanksgiving, and while that was undeniably nice, it didn't help to get my mind right as much as I had hoped. Then followed a bunch of work travel and the holidays....
...and just when I was starting to think we were going to escape 2016 with no further damage done, well, then Carrie Fisher died. I grew up a Star Wars fan above pretty much anything else, so Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia has been a constant in my life for all 39.5 years I've been around. That one hurt.
Brandi and I stayed home on New Year's Eve and watched the ball drop from the comfort of our own couch after a full day of watching bowl games on TV, eating chips with salsa and guacamole. Sometimes we just have to take care of ourselves, take a deep breath and just shut out all the noise and surround ourselves with people and things we love. If we can do that when necessary, and fight for things we believe in when we need to, then we can hope that the coming year will be less dark and weird, at least, than the one we just buried.