Maybe some more ‘firsts’ for 2017?

As we come to the end of another calendar year, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about how terrible 2016 was for many people.

In a way, I feel bad for having such a great one.

I mean, in 2016 I had my first solo art show, I started a side project making and selling handcrafted wooden drums, I booked and shot my first wedding as a semi-professional photographer, I got out onto the golf course fairly often, I took a couple of worthwhile chunks of time off – both accomplishing things and not accomplishing things, which is just as valuable – and oh yeah, I bought my first house.

At work, I continued to meet and talk to a ton of interesting people doing interesting things, and help them tell their stories to the community.

I met a man named Alfred back in February who was once a patron of the cold weather shelter – often having his friends bring him there in a shopping cart because he was too drunk to make it on his own – who now helps oversee its operation and is trying to get certified to help out in other capacities within the community.

I met a man named Hansi Zihlmann, who seems to have made it his own personal mission to outfit everyone everywhere with a wheelchair if they need one – and is doing a damn fine job of making that happen.

I met local teachers like Tyler Couture at Timberline and Brianne Gale at Phoenix, who are teaching practical skills to our kids, but also making sure they are becoming good people who care about others and making good global citizenship something worth celebrating.

I met a passionate group of citizens concerned about the proposed re-zoning and development of an area of their neighbourhood and were willing to fight it.

So how do I intend to keep this glorious momentum going forward into 2017?

Well, there’s no way that I can’t, in some respects.

My job is such that I will never stop meeting these interesting people doing interesting things. So at least I’ve got that part going in my favour.

But I’ll never again be able to buy my first house, have my first art show or shoot my first wedding.

I could, however, set some goals for other “firsts” to happen in 2017, I suppose.

Maybe I’ll build my first guitar. I’ve always wanted to build a guitar, and now I have a space in which I could do that. It will probably sound terrible, but maybe it won’t. And even if it does, it’ll still be of value in that I’ll have accomplished something I’ve always wanted to do.

Maybe I’ll finish writing my first novel or have a collection of short stories or poetry published. I’ve had drafts of a few manuscripts collecting dust on shelves in my house for some time now. Maybe it’s time to dig those out, find out how terrible they actually are, and turn them into something worth printing. Or maybe they’re not salvageable and I need to start a new writing project altogether.

I guess these things aren’t really goals, though. I keep saying “maybe.”

But maybe that’s okay. Maybe I can, as this past year showed, just continue to work hard at life, and let that hard work pay off whenever it will.

I’d be okay with that.

After all, I’ll always have 2016.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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