Beginning (-ish) a new year

{Editor’s note: I wrote this entry in the first few days of January, but am only just now posting it a few days before the end of the month. Fortunately, I was not so silly as to have made a “be more prompt with my blog entries” resolution or anything like that.}

So we made it through 2017. What a year of extremes!

On the one hand, I have spent much of the year dreading doing things like opening the news in the morning or going onto social media, because inevitably I end up actually nauseated by what I see. 2017 has had far too much of the feelings of rage, dread, helplessness, and horror for my preference. On many occasions, I have almost given up, almost lost the will to fight anymore. When my nation is ostensibly led by an egomaniac with a raging inferiority complex, no filter between brain and mouth (or Twitter fingers), and, seemingly, the urge to wreck anything good – and then stand proudly in the ruins proclaiming himself the king of the playground – well, it’s hard to keep up optimism and energy.

On the other hand, I have also been happier this year than I have for a while. I accomplished some big things – climbed my first mountain! walked Wildwood Trail end-to-end! learned to ski! learned to lead climb! – that I can be proud of. And I got to go back to France and to the UK for the first time in years, and thrill to having my French be as good as it ever was. But it’s the personal things, more than any accomplishments, that have made me happy.

I am very, very lucky in my friends and family. And 2017 was an especially good year on that front. (2018 arrived at the end of an evening that started with a viewing of “The Great Muppet Caper” and continued with conversations about opera, musicals, and Shakespeare, for goodness’ sake! How awesome is that?) I went climbing in Leavenworth with B, E, P, and T multiple times – and P and T were there when I hauled myself to the top of Mt. Adams, and flopped onto Newberry Road at the end of the Wildwood Trail. I didn’t see my family as much as I would have liked, but boy was there some special stuff – my cousin’s wedding and some quality conversations with my granddad in particular. During the trip to Europe, I got to visit friends I haven’t seen in years, and meet new friends, like A’s partner C, and different-A and J’s new daughter. And there have been myriad little, daily interactions that separately and collectively have reminded me that I am a very fortunate girl.

One last-but-not-least thing has been very good about 2017. I’ve started dating someone (B). It’s exciting and scary at the same time, since we’ve been friends for so long and therefore worry about what might happen with our friendship if the romance doesn’t work out. But thus far (and we’re only about eight months in) it seems to be working and makes me deeply happy. And for this – and all of the things in the last two paragraphs – I am thankful for 2017.

So, on to 2018! I don’t have any specific “resolutions,” particularly. I feel like 2018 might be a year of change – there are certainly things I want to work on changing! – but I also am going to do my best just to relax and appreciate what I have when I have it. I have some projects in mind, but I think that focusing on (and nurturing) the good will be my overarching goal for the year.

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