Well here we are in the last week of another year, closer to another end and closer to another beginning. It’s been a tough year, and I think we are all hoping that 2017 will somehow be kinder.
I’ve been enjoying the numerous jokes and memes on social media about how everyone will be glad to see 2016 go. It’s days are numbered. We’ll be staying up on New Year’s Eve to watch it die! Then there are those with a more serious approach about no matter what year it is or what time it is, we are here in it now and that’s all that matters. Still, we measure everything with time, don’t we?
The many notable deaths we’ve experienced this year alone are enough for us to be glad that the days left in 2016 are numbered. George Michael on Christmas Day. Carrie Fisher and Richard Adams both today! Also Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and John Glenn this month. Janet Reno, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro and Leon Russell in November. Gene Wilder in August. Muhammad Ali and Anton Yelchin in June. Alan Young (and Harambe the Gorilla) in May. Prince in April. Gary Shandling and Patty Duke in March. Harper Lee in February. David Bowie and Alan Rickman in January. And so many others. The New York Times has a beautiful pictorial by month if you care for a look.
Death was not a stranger in my household either this holiday season. I lost one of my beloved dogs, Zander, in November. And December started off with the passing of my father. I also lost two dear pen pal friends earlier this year.
I think many of us, myself included, are also still recovering from the outcome of the election in September. It seems 2016 was earmarked to be a bad year from the start and many of us held our breath hoping for a positive outcome, but the bad news continued to stack up and we are still afraid to exhale.
While I do have my shiny new 2017 calendar waiting in the wings, personally I have to find a way to somehow make it count. There’s no doubt that the headlines will abound pointing a finger at the next Trump tweet or making us aware of the next celebrity death before 2017 is even a week old. And while emotionally affected, I have to separate myself from it and think about who I am and where my place is in all of this.
For 2016, I think my biggest accomplishment was my return to the stage as a stand-up comedian, a hobby started over 16 years ago but quickly abandoned and overshadowed by other less important and trivial things that I thought mattered more to me at the time. It has certainly helped me creatively and I plan to continue to pursue it and grown in 2017.
I was just looking at the “Shannon is funny” tab on my blog where I started keeping track of all of my performances and there have been 32 so far this year, almost 1 per week since I first started up again back in May. I have one more to close out the year this Friday which will be a musical performance, another accomplishment this year that came from my return to comedy. I started a musical comedic duo with a fellow comedian and we’ve written 4 songs to date and have already performed on stage 3 times this month.
My creative soul will always belong to writing in some form or another, which is why I think I’m ready to work on a book again. It’s never been an ongoing task that I felt the need to devote time to, even when I wanted to. I have sat down at times feeling the need to write only to discover the words won’t come. I always know when it’s time, or at least my muse does. And sometimes my best work comes from the necessity to heal. So that makes 2 projects I’d like to set my sights on for the new year.
After my father passed, my sister gave me a small table lamp from his bedroom. On the lamp shade are the words, “Live, Laugh, Love.” I think those are good words to live by next year.
I wish each of you a happy new year!