For various reasons, 2016 has felt intense for a lot of people. I chose the word “intense” because it did not always feel harsh or bad. Just intense. Lots of ups and downs, hopes and disappointments, and hopes again. This pervasive feeling may be due to an intense (that word again!) international series of news.
As for me, this year has been intense personally too. In January, I took a leave of absence and roamed North America for months side by side with my wife. It started with a spectacular back flip from a sled and a broken vertebra. Then we slept in our Ford for 5 months out of 8, met amazing people on the way (you know who you are), hiked every trail we could from New Mexico to Northern Yukon. And now we’re trying to make a baby.
For the first time in my life, 3 days away from 2017, a month and a half after my 36th birthday, I am going to take New Year’s Resolutions.
I’m going to call it my “Take-No-Shit Resolutions”.
I hereby make a vow to live every remaining days of my life just as intensely as I lived every day of 2016. This is what 2016 taught me, and now I know how to, there is no coming back.
I make a vow to hold on to what I think is right, to live in perfect harmony with what I find out about life and with what people teach me about it.
Politically, I believe in equality. Race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, you name it. This is me. This is what I believe. This is not going to change. I was born a homosexual. I made a choice to be a feminist. I made a choice to be a vegetarian. I made a choice to make my life exactly what it is right now. I am sincerely trying to do my part to make the world better. This is who I am. There is no commenting necessary. No explanation. No apology. No shit.
I will cherish those who need to be cherished, care about those who need care, and cherish those who cherish and care about those who care. I will surround myself and my wife with love and care.
I am slowly but surely approching my forties. I do not need approval anymore. I will tell those who want to bring judgement, anger, frustration and sadness into our lives to just walk to the door and see themselves out.
I have tried hard (certainly not always with success) not to judge people and not to tell them things that may make them angry or sad. I make a vow to stop coping with those who do not do the same to us or to others we love, cherish and care about.
If we do become mothers, we will raise our children the best we can as Earth lovers, people lovers and globe-trotters. I will teach my sons to be kind and my daughters to be fierce, and not just the other way around. I will teach them, again and again, the well-known line from Wendy Mass: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” Of course they will make their own choices as they grow. They will learn their own lessons. But I make a vow not to let others mock or judge the way we conceived or the way we raise our children. People will learn the hard way not to cross a mom, especially if there are two. No commenting necessary. No explanation. No apology. No shit.
Life is short, and there is so little time, so little energy. All my life, I have spent so much energy mulling over the comments and attitudes of people who do not cherish or care. Friends have been telling me this: I cared too much about people’s lack of care. I should have listened to my friends, because they were right: that energy should have been given to all the others. The lovers and the care-givers. They are everywhere and they too need love and care.
I am approaching 2017 both as a lover and a fighter. I feel both empowered and fierce. I feel freed.
Happy New Year, and happy trails to all.