I was thinking about this whole 2016-perspective-thing last night as a small spat broke out between my kids. We had been sitting outside on our porch, chatting around a little fire-table we got for Christmas (it doesn't put out much heat, so it was a little chilly, but it's neat to have one!) The conversation had been good, everything was pleasant... and then suddenly it wasn't. The evening ended on a sour note, and everyone left. When something like that happens, do you still feel like you had a good evening, or does the sour note sort of ruin all the good that came before and make you feel like you shouldn't have bothered in the first place?
My husband is the type of person who thinks that a great evening cannot be ruined by a bad ending. He immediately said it was a great evening with good conversation, and not to let the ending ruin it. My perspective is that if the evening ends with everyone feeling bad, it wasn't a good evening even if it started out well. That doesn't mean I won't try again, just that this time we missed the mark. I can see the good, but it's more of a lesson about how to maybe get it right next time (because ending bad is just bad, period. It was a bad evening.)
My husband finds my perspective disappointing because I'm not all chipper about how it went well until it went into the ditch and ended up with everyone mad at each other. I find his perspective frustrating because how on earth can you expect me to be all positive about the evening ending in a ditch?
I think we both have valid points, and likely neither one of us is right or wrong. Put them together, that's probably the most healthy viewpoint one can have. The good parts are worth building on, the bad are worth noting and maybe changing things for. I'm trying, hard, to find a way to adopt a hybrid view in general. Not only with last night, but also with 2016. Because to be honest, 2016 has pretty much just flat out ticked me off.
On the positive;
- We finally got furniture and sorta settled into the house, including finally getting my studio organized and stocked.
- We went to Paris, something I have wanted to do since I was a little girl!
- My daughter graduated High School and started college.
- My son passed his exam and got his driving learning permit, turned 16, and now *gasp* has his first girlfriend. (side note: both positives about my kids have also been hard for me, too.)
- I made a new friend, a real not just an acquaintance friend.
On the negative;
- I have struggled a great deal with depression. It got in the way of my art and other goals, and I guess I "let it" although I look back and I can see that I did try. Failed, but I didn't give up entirely either. I'm not going to share more on that.
- I don't think I like North Carolina, and now I'm going to be stuck here for a good many years.
- Trump. I don't care what your political leanings are, this is my opinion. I normally wouldn't mention political topics on here, but this is unbelievably far-reaching and has had a major impact and will continue to do so.
- I gained a significant amount of weight.
- Health-scares galore in my family, especially with the kids. Add medical bills to this one, too.
Actually, I'm going to stop there. That's enough. Without going into further detail, 2016 has been miserable for me for 90% of it. Whether it's my fault or completely out of my control, it hasn't felt like a good year.
|This is the last painting of mine for 2016. "Wilted" (sold) 6x6 inches, oil on loose canvas.|
This last painting, I did it as an assignment for Thrice Fiction Magazine. It's not really illustrative, it's just what sort of popped into my head. The more I have looked at it this past week, the more I realize that this is pretty much my 2016. How I felt, and maybe still feel.
So, OK. I can say it. For me, regardless of the good things that happened, 2016 sucked.
But you know what? Even so, I have a choice. You either have move forward and try to do better, or decide that 2017 is going to suck too. Even with my negative viewpoints, I'm not willing to just toss the towel in on 2017 and give it up. It's MY year, it's not even here yet, and I want to do better.
So, I'm working on goals. I'm working on things that are under my control, at least from my perspective at the moment (who knows what will happen) and setting goals for improvement and accomplishment. Not New Year's Resolutions, because those always seemed a bit silly to me. No, just personal goals that I can make mistakes on but keep on trying without having to say I failed at nailing them perfectly (which is how I view resolutions. They have always seemed like all or nothing.)
I want to be better, do better in 2017. I need to, especially as it feels a lot like we're going to head into the year with the world falling apart and it's unlikely to get better. If the world is a mess, it's important to pull back and strengthen your base, your core, your safe space and self.
(part two, tomorrow with my goals)
(part two, tomorrow with my goals)