Dear 2017

It would be easy to throw a match and walk away while you burn. But I won’t do that. I know it wouldn’t be entirely fair. Yes, too much death and hardship. Too many challenges on the health front. Too many loved ones in peril. Too much bad behaviour, bad choices, bad situations. Too much instability. Too much violence. Too much hurt. And not everyone and everything made it to the end.

But there were some good things in there. Or things I’ll choose to remember and take some pleasure and/or pride in any way. Here goes – all of these things took some measure of courage and effort. 

In 2017, I:

  • Started learning to drive.
  • Started learning to run.
  • Started learning to date.
  • Achieved a hell of a lot at work, often in difficult circumstances.
  • Went to Shanghai.
  • Took up journalling again – usually as the first thing of the day.
  • Took up meditation as a regular practice.
  • Tested my limits and learnt a little (a lot …) more about myself.
  • Attempted to address some health concerns and had my first experience of surgery. (i.e. didn’t stick head in sand.)
  • Faced first serious health issues for the kittens.*
  • Got much better at accepting offers of help or company.
  • Got a little better at occasionally asking for some help or company.
  • Made it to the Police Station.

Perhaps there are more. Of course, these are just the things where I feel like I made some kind of deliberate action or effort that was positive. They’re not all the highlights.

Major highlights that immediately come to mind:

  • That dinner in Melbourne with all of the small plates that was so much better than we’d expected. Playing in the park. The late-night time for conversations and silver tea. The mystery of the pistachio and apricot tarts.
  • The question: ‘do you want to go somewhere and make out?’. The first kiss in the elevator – so brief and sudden that I barely registered that it had happened. How very pleased I was that it had happened! The (discarded) envelopes. The question: ‘are you disappointed?’. And the answer(s).
  • Meeting Nellie! And the walnut paste. And the brownies. And the long, deep, interesting conversation in the foyer and the street. And all of the encouragement and commiseration and sharing of support via chat. And everything involving that dear, dear friend x

But there were also many more. Moments of friendship, kindness, competence, and connection.**

So, I guess you weren’t all bad 2017. Rarely have I felt as significantly changed by the events of a year. I described you to at least one person as a ‘crucible’ and hell yes, you really were. There’s quite a lot of you that I wish had turned out differently. There are people that should still be here. There are people that shouldn’t have suffered (or still be suffering) like they have. But, I won’t burn you to the ground. I’ll try to show you the same grace I hope the rest of the world will show me and say ‘let’s do better next year’.

So, 2017, lots of love as you and I both turn from this into whatever comes next.


*Haven’t really been kittens for some time.

** Remembering now that awesome spa. And that apartment and couple of days in its entirety actually. Even if it didn’t go exactly as I’d wished for there was still excellent bathing, music, teas, chocolate stout and an evening of sad but honest conversation that I cherished.

P.S. This is (some of) what was in my ears:

P.P.S. Very curious about what I’ll be doing as the clocks strike this year…

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