Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 In Review & 2017 Goals

What a difference a year makes. I was looking at my year wrap-up post from 2015/2016 and my year-in-a-word was "content". This year, on the other hand was tense. Not in personal terms, but I felt so wrapped up in the pains of the world. I know that's a huge burden to bare, but its one that I dwell on often, none the less.  This is the first New Years that I don't feel as if the future will probably be better than the past, but I don't see that as an ultimately hopeless situation.

I suspect that life in the US in 2017 may be a bit more tumultuous than it has been (and it has been) and it doesn't seem as if international woes are dying down either. I realized that assuming that the future will be brighter goes against my fundamental view of humanity, which is that we're circling the drain. In Biblical terms, humans don't age well in any sense, but also in Biblical terms, we're not left to our own devices forever. So that's my take on 2017 and beyond - it will probably get worse before it gets better. The war in Syria, the truck attack/massacre in Nice, France, and the Tennessee school bus crash stood out to me as irreconcilably sad in 2016, though the entire year felt like a string of tragedies and injustices. 

Destruction is certain, but there is every reason to hope and push toward peace and reconciliation in the mean time. If that makes zero sense, I... realize that, too. Sometimes it strikes me as a great act of courage that anyone in this life can resist substance abuse in light of tidal waves of pain and sorrow. I'm predicting that my word of the year for 2017 is going to be my "...interesting", which is a PC way of saying, "holy poo, what is happening?!"

In the midst of all this, it's humbling to have had a pretty fantastic year on a personal level. 

Some highlights from 2016 for our family: Ishmael started preschool, which has been great for everyone, and has aided my general sense of having hit my stride in parenting (as much as that is possible, which is questionable). I turned 25 on the 25th of August and had an amazing birthday party at which my best pals presented me with plane tickets to Thailand! We took several mini vacations within California this year, but our favorite was Santa Cruz. Last but not least, Jonas wrapped up nearly a decade at In N Out and started a new job at a dental lab called Denmat. Moving on up! 

{some of my favorites from my Instagram in the past year}

I've not kept very good track of my favorite entertainment this year, but I also consumed less than usual. I occasionally share favorites on my friend's blog, The Conversation Collective. A few things I enjoyed that I didn't mention on there are the TV show The Killing (Netflix), and the book (nonfiction) Revolutionary IranI also made a playlist of the songs that will most remind me of 2016. 

I didn't do that well on my 2016 goals, but I'm okay with that:

  • Begin collecting art
  • Begin investing money beyond my 401K/IRA
  • Submit writing to a publication I haven't submitted to before
  • Read the Koran, at least in part, as well as read the Bible 
  • Become involved in my local Muslim community  (slow, slow progress on this front, am definitely rolling this one over into 2017)
  • Visit the CRM plant in San Diego
  • Jonas apply to Otis
  • Figure out when/how to get Ishmael started in school
  • Have $10k in the bank by Jan 2017

I'm not feeling the resolutions thing as much as usual, but my main goal for 2017:
  • Finish college!!! After 9 years of studying on and off, I'm on track to graduate November of 2017 and I CAN'T WAIT!
We have some other fun things coming up as well - Jonas and I will be going to Thailand in February, my first time out of the country in 9 years! In other momentous news, our 5th wedding anniversary is coming up in less than 2 weeks. 

I may or may not go right on to get my masters when I graduate later this year. I'm also looking forward to cooking dinner with new and old friends throughout the year. And not to jinx myself, but I think this is finally the year I will finish the painting I started in 2012 - I'm so close to done! 

{not surprisingly, these 9 photos on the right were my most "popular" on Instagram ;)}

Another small and highly unlikely to be fulfilled resolution is to watch more good movies. I mostly watch shows, but I miss seeing good movies within the same year that they come out. Like I said, this is a completely impractical goal to work toward given my school and life schedule and other much more important priorities, but none the less, I desire it! 

What's been on your mind as we ease into 2017? 

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