The year is almost over. Cue panic. Just kidding. Instead of panic, here are seven things that were pretty good about 2017.
I didn’t die.
I know, it seems too obvious to mention, but at various points during the year, even thought it was clear that I wasn’t dying, I felt awful enough to wonder if maybe I was. Kicked off the year by falling ill on January 2, spent several months trying to figure out what was wrong, discovered my thyroid was a complete failure, got a nice pill prescribed to replace that necessary substance, began to climb slowly up the mountain to normal personhood, and finally felt totally and completely well on October 29, sitting in my mother’s kitchen in Nairobi. To go into the new year without the sense that something essential but indescribable is quirkily and irreparably ‘off’ is such an incredible blessing. That all that’s required for me to go on putting one foot in front of the other is popping back that little itty bitty pill every morning is amazing and I’m completely grateful.
Nobody close to me died either. Again, not to be doom and gloom but the absence of death isn’t exactly a given. I’m delighted and grateful that 2017 was a year in which nobody essential to my happiness died. That’s pretty great. It can’t be said about every year to this point, and it certainly won’t be true of the future, barring the return of our Lord, but for one golden year, death kept his wretched distance.
The world didn’t burn down. This one seems like a real treat and worth an extra sip of Prosecco. We didn’t have nuclear holocaust in 2017! I feel like pausing to rejoice in this reality will help me get through 2018.
I didn’t die of having too much stuff. I do have some serious sorting out to do, but 2017 wasn’t the year I accidentally became a hoarder. In spite of being sick and feeling awful, my beautiful house dwelt basically in order and beauty and light thanks to the incredible hard work of my husband and children, and some slowly rebuilt energy that allowed me to face down projects like the great Clothes Switch of 2017. I love this house and when it’s clean it lifts me out of myself and looming despair of anxiety each and every moment.
I began to rebuild my reading muscle. After years of slowly forgetting how to read, I began to reclaim the corners of my mind that couldn’t fathom putting one letter after another on a page into a sentence without falling back into a catatonic stupor. I probably plowed through thirty books this year, between good old fashioned reading and audible, after my previous all time high (post children) of five. Truly, this year was a renaissance of reading.
But the best thing about 2017 was audible. That single monthly listening credit hauled me through the long dark difficult days of this ridiculous year. It was the hope, the beacon in the darkness, the footprints that carried me along the beach. ‘You can make it to the 8th,’ I would tell myself, ‘just ten more days and then you can have a new book.’ I would wake up and remind myself, and go to sleep and remind myself that it was going to be ok, very very soon I could stop listening to my 36 hours of Bleak House and have another few golden moments of Alexander McCall Smith and Angela Thirkell.
And finally, of course, a good thing about 2017 was that we managed not to acquire another dog. This is a singular triumph and one we should look back on with fondness and joy.
So there you are–7 good things about 2017. Go check out more and better takes!