Weighing-in: Reflections on 2016

celebrating-new-year-hd-9952-1920x1080-ymku-comWhen I was in my twenties, I used to keep a running account of what were good and bad years for me. Call it an exercise in ego, or whatever, I still like to weigh each year at its end. On balance, was it a good one? Or one I’d rather not repeat?

And here we are, the last day of 2016. We’re all different, yet I surmise it’s been a year a good many of us would like to toss in the dumpster.

To begin with, am I exaggerating to say it’s ending with a good many people I adored, no longer with us. The list is long, but among the losses was Leonard Cohen, poet-bard who sang life honestly. I loved his music and, thankfully, it will endure like all good art.

It’s also been an unusually volatile year politically, filled with surprises, spilling over into unprecedented acrimony and enduring anxiety as we enter the new year.

For me personally, another surgery, my third in six years after a bout with excruciating sciatica.

But there were good things that happened for me too. We got to be with our children for a week in Maine last June; then again at Thanksgiving in WA and CA.

I also discovered the tranquility of mindfulness meditation.

And then there were the three online courses I completed, two of them in mindfulness; the other, a stimulating Stanford course in modern women poets.

I somehow managed to keep up with this blog, now entering into its sixth year. I had begun Brimmings initially as a diversion from physical distress.

Finally, my surgery was successful.

For a lot of folks, New Year’s Eve calls for celebration. I always view it as a time of sober reflection, assessing the assets vs liabilities of the waning year, trusting I’m still in the black.

To each of you, I hope on the whole you’ve escaped with a balance and that next year will, indeed, prove a Happy New Year!

–rj

About RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.
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