December 31st

2016 has been a dumpster fire of a year, or so the meme goes. It is a year that has been a bridge, certainly, between eras. The liberals are watching as a global authoritarian push for power occurs. How this all works out, only time will tell. But change is certainly brewing, coming in on the wind like an Alt-Right Mary Poppins.

In my personal life, however, this has been a hell of a good year. I hate to brag, but I also hate to let this year go out without singing a bit of praise for her kindness.

This year started with me waking up next to Adam. This year will end with me falling asleep next to Adam. There are no words for how lucky I am, and I wake up grateful every single day. This spring we got married. Just the two of us, our two witnesses, and our online-ordained-minister-friend. It was perfect. This year we have worked together to prepare for a young life, a shared hybrid human creation, to come join us. In just a few weeks we will meet them, this new part of our being.

Besides the huge blessings of Adam and our child, 2016 has been kind to me in many other ways.

  • I started the year working two beautiful jobs, both of which I adored. I was half time at the library, working a desk with primarily tween and teen patrons. I loved it. I also was (and am still) working half time as the Director of Religious Education at a Unitarian Universalist Church. Having the chance to spend my days working for causes I believed in was such a reinforcing way to use the sands of 2016.
  • Just days into the 2016 year I was able to go on a trip to visit my two distant sisters and their families. I was accompanied by my mother and my sister. There were moments on the trip that were not perfect, and that was complicated by my anxiety, but the trip was something I am so grateful I had the opportunity to experience.
  • I spent the first full year on this piece of land. From January seed orders to fall harvest, I saw this land sprout and turn green and grow and slowly go back to this, the dark and dormant time. The garden didn’t do nearly as well as I hoped, but it happened, and it will happen again next spring. It will happen every year. That is an amazing blessing, alone and by itself.
  • We installed a greenhouse, just a little 6 by 8 place to start seeds and let tomatoes get leggy. It is solid and warm and was rich and moist and damp and green all spring.
  • We welcomed spring with a peeping warm box of new chicks. Eight more laying hens, tiny Barred Rock babies, and two roosters. My first foray into a fully functional fertile flock. The babies, handfuls of fluff in March, are now laying and warm full sized chickens.
  • I was so lucky to spend a week during the summer running a camp teaching young kids about evolution. We looked at plaster casts of hominid skulls, learned about the way animals evolve over time, and generally spent a week laughing and being messy. I was especially lucky to have Adam spend the week working with me.
  • I sold my house in Springfield. As well as being a huge burden gone, this allowed me to use the birth center to welcome our coming child. I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am to have this women-friendly birth-friendly facility in my life.
  • I left my job at the library, ready to embrace this new stage in my life. I never could have imagined being happy to leave the library. I loved that job and that organization. And yet, leaving is a gift as it means more time to devote to this coming child.
  • I had what started 2016 as a nice and sociable friendship become something much deeper and stronger. I am leaving 2016 with one more close friend to care about and be cared for by. That is a good feeling.  
  • Adam and I finished a remodel (with help from friends) that allowed us to convert an unused unfinished corner of our small home into a computer and book nook. This leaves the rest of the house screen-free, ready to welcome a small person.
  • We had a giant baby shower where many people came to share a moment of joy at our new baby. With four weeks (theoretically) to spare we are as prepared as one can be for our coming child. We have been so supported by all of our friends and family, and I am so grateful for this patchwork community that I am surrounded by.

I know that 2016 treated many of my friends like shit. And globally, we might be in trouble, folks. But I am so grateful to be where I am at this particular moment of time. Here’s hoping that 2017 treats you all beautifully.

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