I'm not going to waste valuable time and digital real estate lamenting 2016.
On the national front, there can't be too many people who were happy with the way the year turned out. Terrorism reared its ugly head again. We lost beloved artists. We had a contentious election that crushed half of the country and (I would suspect) left even those who supported the winner feeling like they perhaps lost more than they gained (like their souls, ha ha, but I'm biased).
I won't lament the year, though, because I personally know of great things that happened. Great things personally. Great things with my family. There are blessings out there and things to be grateful for if you look for them.
The feeling I have at the end of this year isn't one of sorrow or grief, but that we're stuck in a rut and at the mercy of the stormy world around us. The political strife we have been experiencing for the past several years reared its ugly head more so in 2016 than in any year previously, and yet while it seems none of us wanted to experience it, somehow a lot of us wound up contributing to it. I think that there is a sense that all is not right with the economy, and that market forces and world affairs and technology may cause more uncertainty. Terrorism and changing alliances make the world seem less secure than it has in the past several years. News and information comes at us at a more constant pace than it ever has, yet we know much of it cannot be trusted.
So, what do we do? How do we fix it? I think part of the answer is to become more intentional in our own lives. I can't control Trump, or China, or the economy, but I can control me.
The questions I ask myself heading into the new year are what can I do emotionally, spiritually, physically, personally, professionally, and socially to benefit myself, my family, and my community?
The answers to those questions will mean nothing without changes to what I consume and what I do. A stop-doing list will be just as important as a list of action items.
For me, personally, that list includes all the regulars (work out, stop eating crap), but also new ones (be a better scheduler, be more firm with priorities, cut back on social media, devote time for learning).
The overall theme, however, isn't so much about any one of those tasks, but about more intentionality in daily affairs.
If this seems like a piece that is encouraging you to have among your New Year's goals, well, goals, I suppose it is. Part of our problem today seems to be that, while stuck in a rut, we're not entirely uncomfortable. That's made us feel restless and perhaps without purpose, and neither of those are healthy.
It's time to break out of that cycle and do big things in the year to come.
Blessings and here's to you having a great 2017.
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