Any year in which I can say that my father dying – not unexpectedly, but of sudden and unexpected causes – wasn’t the most emotionally gut-wrenching thing to happen is, to put it mildly, a year I have no interest in revisiting.
That’s not to say it didn’t have good moments.
I’ve written a lot.Â For various reasons, little of that has seen publication (yet) but I can feel my skills readying to level up, and that’s always a positive.Â Scary, but a positive.
I started working at two new wineries, and have learned a huge amount about wine-making, winery-running, and yes, about beer, too.Â And I’ve done it in company of interesting people with utterly different backgrounds from my own.
I started dating again, after a self-imposed ‘figure my shit out’ moratorium. That’s been…interesting.
And life here in the Pacific Northwest continues to feel like home, in a way I’d hoped-for, but not entirely trusted, when I took the leap and moved out here two years ago. I’m not going to say this is where I’ll be henceforth and forever, but I can’t see myself budging any time soon.
So I guess I’m ending 2016 a little sadder, a little wiser, and a more than a little more tired.Â But I’m also surrounded by good people, faced with interesting challenges, and supported by a community both physical and virtual who are ready to march with me into the battles of 2017.
In the past,Â on this last day leading into First Night I have made a wish for us all, that the very best of this year past be the worst that we face in the new.Â Â This year, I leave you with a different wish: that in 2017 we find that we are better than we feared, stronger than we’d hoped, and more compassionate than we’d ever dreamed.
*raises glass* To our health and our well-being, physical, mental, emotional and financial, from this house to yours.