Many people have said that 2016 was the worst year ever. Kind of harsh considering the years between 1347 to 1352 when 25 million people died of bubonic plague in Europe. Or 1918 -1920 when the Spanish Flu pandemic resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world's population at the time) while the world was still reeling from World War I.
But if your focus is fame, then yeah 2016 kinda sucked. From Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher to David Bowie and Prince a lot of the icons of my youth are gone. Click here to see a more complete list.
There was one death last year that caused a lot of fervor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was found dead on Saturday, February 13. There weren't piles of flowers and increased sales of his work, but his death did affect the election of our next president. Thanks to Donald Trump's school yard antics the election was nasty from the beginning, The vacant seat in the Supreme Court was a sticking point for the GOP to the point that they refused to follow protocol in filling the seat during Obama's time in office.
According to the Washington Post, 957 people have been shot and killed by police in 2016. According to CNN At least 64 law enforcement officers have been shot and killed in 2016, the most in five years, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The Chicago Tribune reported there were 762 homicides in the city in 2016.
States across the nation are adopting conceal carry laws for firearms, and it scares me. So many of the homicides this year were a result of disagreements, misinterpretation of the intent of the victim and revenge for other killings. Allowing everyone who wants a gun to have one seems dangerous, there are a lot of messed up people out there.
There were other big stories in 2016 that gave pause, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the bathroom bill in North Carolina, Zika virus, War in Syria, Russian influence on the US elections, and the poor judgment of US Olympians in Rio de Janeiro.
2016 wasn't all badIn January my family welcomed a new member when my niece was born.
I did the Whole 30 and discovered which foods made me feel icky and lost 25 pounds in the process. I will not be eating dairy or sugar, and I will be restricting my gluten intake, but I will feel better, look better and be healthier.
I've been taking improv classes at Laugh out Loud, and I went to a conference for work this year where I met some wonderful people. The members of each of these groups who thought I was at least 17 years younger than I am. Gotta love that.
We watched the long-suffering Chicago Cubs win the World Series in spectacular fashion. Watching the last catch, all these months later still gives me goosebumps.
Everyone reading this survived 2016.
It's all about focusMy father was always a happy guy, no matter the circumstances. In the last months of his life, as he struggled with lung cancer and emphysema, I asked why he was so happy, and he said that his nightly prayers were all about counting his blessings. From a safe home to a strangers smile he counted it.
As I looked back on 2016, I realized that I was focusing on the maybes of tomorrow instead of the blessings of today. I was obsessing about the negative of what may happen instead of the many positives of the day. So I have decided to change my focus.
My planner will not only be a record of what I need to do, or what I did but what I am grateful for that day. The gratitude need not be for something grandiose or life changing and I know me pretty well, there will be days when it will be hard to find that one thing, but I am determined to find it.
This week's theme is Thank You. All cards I post this week will be thank you cards because it's time to say thanks for those Christmas gifts and I don't think people don't say thank you nearly enough.