Reflections on 2016.

No question: this year sucked. There’s just no way around it. But let’s go back in time a bit to 1968.

Remember 1968? I don’t. I wasn’t there. But I know my history. 1968 was a rough year, folks. The horrors of the Viet Nam war. Protests here at home, some of which ended violently. The assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

Was 1968 worse than 2016? Thankfully, it’s not a contest.

Here’s the thing: the people of 1968 got am incredible gift at the end of the year. On Christmas Eve, 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders became the first humans to orbit our Moon.

nasa-apollo8-dec24-earthriseThe world watched as they did a television broadcast, during which the astronauts read from Genesis. Frank Borman ended it with “merry Christmas and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth.”

What must that have been like? Listening to your fellow man on the television as they looked down on us from 240,000 miles away. Ask the people who lived through it. They’ll tell you: “we needed that.”

We won’t get anything like that tonight. I doubt we’ll get anything of that scale for a long while. Still, I believe we need to find some positivity. We can’t let 2016 ONLY be the year that kicked our ass, and nothing else. We need something else, something about which we can say “2016 was the year…” and smile.

It’s gotta be something personal. For example: 2016 was the year I published my first novel. There were other, even more important things that happened to me in 2016, and 2016 will forever be the year I did those things.

I’m not suggesting we forget about all the crap that happened in 2016. I just think it’s better to greet 2017 with some positivity. Don’t you?

Smile and say “2016 was the year…” and fill in the blank.

Try it.

And may 2017 bring more success and fewer panic attacks.

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