Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Worst Year "Ever"? Here's Your Basket of Kisses.

I always think I've seen it all, and then Alaska goes ahead and surprises me with another spectacular force of nature, like the salmon pink sky we were greeted with this morning.

Oh, there is so much to be grateful for.

As I sit here on the last day of the year 2016, I can't help but feel... accomplished at what I've done this year. I graduated college, I studied abroad in London, and I am making steps towards pursuing my dream job.

And all the while, the internet bombards me with negative posts about the begging of 2016 to end, the mourning of all the celebrities we have lost this year, and the still sour taste of the presidential election lingering on article titles and upset statuses.

For those who have chosen to end such a fantastic year remembering all of the sour things that have happened, I am sorry for you. For those of you who have taken the blessing of another year lived and summed it up in lost celebrities, bitter resentment at the turnout of our election, and the dismissal of 2016 as "just not a good year", I am sorry for you.

Because you know what? You yourself have chosen to define this year in a negative way. You declared to the world that the bad things summarized your year instead of focusing on all the good.

Celebrities die every year. But you know what's even sadder? There are thousands of people who die every day. They have names, they have family, and yet the world instead sheds tears over those they don't even know personally. The election happened. The world will not end, destruction will not come, and if we chose to stand strong as united people, then all will be fine. And I'm sorry, but touting the whole year of 2016 as "just not a good year" is ridiculous. Says who?

For those who believed nothing good came of this year, here are a couple of bright accomplishments that I have found to be positive.

To start, the National Park Service turned 100! Happy birthday to you. The U.S. high school graduation rate reached a record high (83%, watch out world!). Patagonia raised over $10 million from Black Friday sales and donated it to grassroots organizations and local environmental charities. Talk about giving back! We had the Olympics in Rio this year, and shoutout to my fellow females, women won 27 out of the 46 gold medals won at the Olympics and we outnumbered men. Go estrogen! Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar for The Revenant. About time! Three states got rid of tampon taxes (Connecticut, New York, and Illinois), a step forward. We pay exorbitant amounts while Viagra gets off without paying taxes because it's "medically essential." Two brothers saw color for the first time, thanks to specially-designed glasses. Drinking coffee has been proved to help curtail suicide rates and cancer. In India, volunteers planted 50 million trees in 24 hours. A record 6 million homes now have solar power in California. The U.S. Army doubled the paid weeks for maternity leave to 12 weeks.

If you still chose to dub 2016 as "officially the worst year in the history of the universe" (how about all those years of war our nation went through??) and saying "2016 can end any time now", I hope you have a positive 2017.

Just remember, if you think positive thoughts, you will lead a positive life.

And if you made it alive to December 31st, then you definitely made it.

Our family chose to celebrate the close of another year at a dear friend's birthday, before enjoying the bubbly at home in front of the fireplace.

After racing home in the Tesla, we poured our glasses and cheersed to the new year. No better way to start than with some Veuve...

I had a glass of champagne in one hand, and a handful of kisses in the other. I may not have gotten a kiss under the mistletoe, or any New Year's kisses, but I did have a handful of Hersheys kisses and they were spectacular...

They were so good, in fact, that my dad and my cat tried to take them from me!

Happy New Year!

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