Happy New Year!

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As I write this post, it’s still 2016 and I’m anxiously awaiting December 31st at midnight when one long year will become nothing but a memory and will hopefully yield to a happier new one.

I’m not the only one who has expressed the feeling that 2016 may have been one of the Nine Circles of Hell. If you’ve been on social media at all recently, or if you’ve even been conscious, you’ve no doubt noticed the numbers of people saying they can’t wait for 2016 to end. And it wasn’t just The Election. That may have sucked much of the joy out of 2016 (regardless of who you voted for), but it was other things, too. It seemed everywhere I turned 2016 held bad news. Bad news for friends, for family. Bad news for people’s health, both physical and mental. Bad news for people all over the world who despise terrorism, for people who loathe war and its atrocities, bad news for people who love freedom and the rights and responsibilities that go along with it.

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But was it all bad? I just can’t bring myself to believe that a whole year passed and nothing good happened. And so I’ve been giving that a lot of thought.

Turns out thereĀ were some good things that happened in 2016, despite all the bad news: a good friend was declared cancer-free. My eldest graduated from high school and loves (read: LOVES) college. My other daughter joined National Honor Society. My son may have broken six ribs on a camping trip in August, but he’s doing fine. My husband and I celebrated twenty-one years of marriage. Our family visited Scotland and experienced what must surely be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I had the opportunity to meet in person a formerly-online friend in Ocean City over the summer: we chatted and shared ideas about writing and marketing, but more importantly, we got to know each other better and I hope we can see each other again this summer.

What I wish for you in 2017 is more moments of joy and peace. The whole year doesn’t have to be a non-stop thrill ride of happiness and excitement to be considered “good.” I believe it’s the little things that add up to make joy, so I wish you lots and lots of those little things all year long.

Until next time,

Amy