End of 2016

Some things about 2016 I wanted to reflect upon. These do not necessarily relate to my writing life. But hey, this is my blog space so I’m allowed to break character if I want.

So, in no particular order:

1. Publishing another book – this task was accomplished early in the year. No small feat, for sure. One year and about 10 odd months to bring to completion. Accomplished in the small bits of time I made for myself. No pats on the back, please. Just telling it like it is. Now, to get that sequel done in 2017….

2. The 2016 Election – hey, we made it through. Now, to be hopeful in 2017. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. Since, well, everyone else under the sun has had an opinion about the election. What’s one more grenade tossed into the pit, anyway?

3. The Summer Olympics – Like the rest of America, I tuned in for Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Simone Biles (among a few others). However, what I ended up getting was news of how Ryan Lochte lied about a police report. Luckily, everyone piped down after he lost on Dancing with the Stars. Because hey, that’s poetic justice, is it not?

4. Fatherhood X 2 – pregnant in February (not me, my wife); a baby girl born in November. Not only was the gender of our 2nd child different from the first, but the entire birthing process was different too. Premie vs. full-term; epidural vs. no meds (my wife’s a champ); and Dad was awake the whole time vs. Dad nearly passed out and needed juice and crackers. That last part is something I won’t live down for many, many years. No explanation needed.

5. Cleveland sports won a lot… – … with the exception of the Browns. The “City of Champions”, where I reside, was given its first professional sports title in decades. All thanks to a guy named Lebron James. And to be fair, some other guys he plays with too.

6. Homeownership – My wife and I were blessed to finally land a home. After many years of searching, we found one. As much as I want to complain about the process. Or how much time we might have “wasted”, I think the entire process was meant for something bigger. Like, learning how to communicate with my wife. How to troubleshoot. How to compromise. And how to do things as a unit; not as individuals.

7. Mount Union, Beaten – My alma mater met its match this year and was handed its first defeat in a VERY long time. The longest in NCAA history, to be precise. 112 games or something like that. I think I hold a similar record when playing Scattergories at my parent’s house. #ComeGetMeBro

8. Cops, #BlackLivesMatter, and Actors / Athletes Making Headlines – Like the election, social media played a large role in garnering attention for various movements. And though steam may have been lost in some respects, there is no doubt Americans went to work – even sleep at night – thinking about hashtags that were meant to stir up emotions. And stir they did. Opinions, conspiracy theories, and fact-checkers flooded the Internet highways for months; in fact, they still do. And throughout this process, an even bigger question has been raised: is social media polarizing people’s thinking? Creating narrow-minded thinkers instead of informed ones? Well, that’s for another post altogether.

9. 2016 Is Over – And I’m glad it is. Because that means new graces, new opportunities, and new adventures waiting to be had in 2017. Nothing is promised, but so long as there is breath in our lungs, we have a chance to do the things God has pressed upon our hearts.

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