I wish I had something poignant (or happy) to say about 2017, the year that was. But I really cannot think of much that speaks kindly to the days that passed.
This year gave us Donald Trump (I still refuse to call him by the title he thinks he earned). He is an utter embarrassment to our nation every single day, and his GOP has proven to be as cruel and heartless as we all feared they would be if ever given the key to both houses and the White House.
I dread watching the daily news fearful of what he has done "this time."
One bright spot in our government has been the courts which have steadfastly provided a beacon of hope against many of the draconian exercises the Donald has attempted to foist upon us.
Earlier this year the Donald tried to forbid transgender people from serving in our military. The courts said, "now, just wait one damn minute,' and even better, the Pentagon demurred, basically telling Mr. Trump to go screw himself, and starting next week, the military will permit openly transgender citizens to enlist--much to the consternation of the bigot sitting in the Oval Office.
Robert Mueller has been another bright spot in this past year. He has been whittling away to make the case that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence--nay, steal the 2016 presidential election.
2018 brings us midterm elections and it is my hope that the Democrats will be able to capitalize on a number of incredibly unpopular legislative actions the GOP has unleashed upon the poor and the middle class. Karma, baby!
On a more personal note, this year has been equally brutal. My son's job ended two days ago and one of my closest, dearest friends lost her job earlier this month. I honestly do not understand why a company would fire someone within eyesight of the Christmas holiday.
Also earlier this month, some Grinch came to my home in the dark of night and cut down and stole a fir tree that my son and I planted 20 years ago. I don't understand how someone could do something so brazen, so wrong.
My neighborhood has had its share of ups and downs over the course of the 22 years (in May, that is) since I moved here.
I have long resisted the urge to escape. It irks me to no end that I am even considering this. I own my home outright, and to be faced with the prospect of having a house payment again, frankly, makes me ill. AND at this point in life, quite impossible.
The true bright spot for this year has been my family... my parents' health has been relatively good for someone in their mid-70s. My friends (who I find are more my family than blood) constantly give me the support and laughter needed to make life more than just existing. I honestly cannot imagine life without any of them.
This year was a milestone of sorts. For my birthday this year, I celebrated the last year of my fifth decade. I honestly don't know what 60 is supposed to feel like, but all I know is don't feel 60. I think the young'ns I work with on my job keeps me on my toes. My dearest and closest friends and my brother Bryan and sister-in-law attended a small celebration at one of my favorite downtown haunts and it was a blast.
So, with this year to be a mere bygone in a few more hours, I want to remain guardedly optimistic. I continue to hope for changes for our nation and also those of a more personal nature.
I bid 2017 a less than fond farewell. If I were a praying man--and I am not--I would wish that the year ahead smiles favorably on us all.
Instead, I believe the changes we need and that I want (and also need) require we all roll up our sleeves and get down to it.