Recalculating

I’ve always had a terrible sense of direction.  I have lived in Chicago for ten years and when someone stops me on the street and asks for directions, I tell them that I am from out of town to calm my anxiety and save face.  The voice on my GPS has said “recalculating” so many times that it’s beginning to sound like an old familiar tune.

Although my life seems to be mirroring my GPS—recalculating—I don’t feel lost. For the first time in my life, I’m starting to really feel grounded because I’ve had a realization:

Happiness is not a destination.

I know, it’s contrary to everything we believe in, right?  “Keep searching for happiness, you’ll get there”.  If you put in the work, you’ll eventually be rewarded by crossing the finish line.  Your prize?  Happy.

We are constantly searching for happy, like your phone searches for a signal when you are just out of range.  I don’t know one person who doesn’t suffer from the “if I could just” mindset.  “If I could just find the right partner. If I could just move up in my company. If I could just lose ten pounds.” Then, what?  You’ll be happy?  Quite possible, yes.  But, the pressure to keep happy up indefinitely is not attainable.  Why do you think we have expressions like “money can’t buy happiness”?

I realized all of this the hard way.

My entire life was a series of “if I can just” and the mindset caused me to eventually miss my exit and inevitably hear my mental GPS recalculating.

Even when I was young, very young, I was always looking ahead.  When I was 10 I couldn’t wait to be a teenager.  When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to be in my 20’s.  When I was in my 20’s, I wondered why I wasn’t married.  When I was married, I wondered when I would have a house and have a baby.  I was always stretching for happy and never pausing to realize I was miserable every moment of every day.  The pressure of happy was too much.

And, after the dust settled and I looked back, I realized I had spent all those years hunting a unicorn.

I’m not saying happiness doesn’t exist.  Some of us stay in happy for a long time, consistently.  Some of us have more dopamine dancing around in our brains, naturally.  Some of us practice gratitude as a way to let happy in.  Some of us make a conscious decision to feel happy.  But, others of us do not.  Some of us feel sad a lot of the time.  Not all the time, because sad is also not a destination.

I’m not a psychologist.  In fact, the only human mind I understand is my own, and only just barely.  So, I may be completely off base. But, this realization has freed me in some way and maybe it will free you, too.

At the age of 34, I had to recalculate.  I found myself without my beloved dad.  Without the comfort of my husband.  Without the future I thought had finally begun to blossom into my present.  I’ve had a lot of time to sit on an emotional teeter-totter between happiness and sadness.

For people with anxiety and depression, there are days when the sadness feels like it will never end.  I have those days.  Then I have moments of happiness.  They burst open like a magnificent flower through a time lapse camera.  Lately, I’ve been diving into them deeply and letting them wash over me.  I’m trying to anchor those feelings and remember them for when the sadness rolls in.  And the sadness always rolls back in.  That’s okay.

By taking the pressure off to achieve happy, I’m really starting to see things differently.  I’m not walking around trying to please everyone all the time.  I’m setting boundaries, taking time away, and speaking my truth.  And, you know what? It’s making some of my friends mad.  And that’s okay.

I’m telling myself I may never have a family in the way I always thought that I would, and that’s okay.  I’m pausing and saying “what do I need right now, in this moment?”  It’s the first time I’ve ever considered the moment instead of chasing the future.

Those of you who, like me, have always kicked the happy can down the road hoping to stumble upon it eventually will realize, sooner or later, that happy is ephemeral.  That means we get to have it sometimes and that’s pretty rad.

Happiness is not a destination.  It’s just a stop along the way on our journey through many emotions.

Not all those who wander are lost, they are just recalculating.

 

 

Put on Your Underwear, We Need to Talk.

When I was 11, I found something of my Dad’s that I wasn’t supposed to.  No, it wasn’t a nudie magazine (though I did once find his Zap comics).  It was a cassette tape of a psychic reading about me done by a friend of his.  And, boy, was it a doozy.  Without even asking for permission, I popped the tape into the tape deck and pressed play.  I don’t remember much of what I heard, but what I do remember stuck with me and will probably be with me forever.

“Tiffany will get divorced and have one son.”

I remember my stomach dropping when I heard that.  One son?  Just one kid?  And a boy?  The divorce stuff kind of bummed me out, too, but when I was 11 I was lucky when a boy even talked to me, so the thought of marriage was far in the distance.  But, even at a young age, I knew I wanted to be a mother to a little girl one day.

So, I grew up and 18 years later I got married.  And, about a month ago, I got divorced.  So, wouldn’t you know it? The psychic was right.  No sons yet, though, so I’m still dubious.

My Dad had a lot of friends who claimed to be psychic.  I don’t know if any of them were.  I don’t think I even believe that someone can be psychic—at least not in the way we talk about psychics.  I do believe, however, that some people can have strong intuition. I believe that because I am one of those people.

But, I didn’t start listening to my intuition until very recently.

Sure, 50% of marriages end in divorce, so the odds of the psychic being right were pretty high.  At least that’s what my husband told me as he was walking out on me and I said “the psychic was right!”  But, on some level, I think I always knew he was going to walk out, and I’ll tell you why—I had dreams.

I had a recurring dream for years.  In that dream, my husband would ask me to sit down and he would say “Tiff, I love you, and I’m going to help you through this, but I’ve got to go.”  I had a variation of that dream many, many times.  Every time I had the dream, I woke up and told my husband about it.  Each time he would say “I will never leave you.” I also had another recurring dream that I was back in the dating world and experiencing break up after break up.  I recall being confused by this particular dream and swearing, during the dream, that I was with someone.  Then, I would wake up and see my husband lying next to me.  That’s some major cognitive dissonance right there.

I suppose the dreams may have come because I never really felt like I knew my husband on more than a surface level.  He was very emotionally guarded with me.  But, I think the dreams were also a manifestation of my intuition that something was very wrong.

There was one dream, in that sea of nightmares, that stood out in my mind.  I dreamed that I was staring, deeply, into the eyes of a man and he was staring, deeply, back into mine.  I knew that I loved him and that he loved me.  All I could remember about his features was that he had a dark, black beard.

When I woke up, I was absolutely shaken and felt so alone, because I knew for certain that the dream was an intuition and that my husband would never make me feel as loved as the bearded man in my dreams did.

On the day my husband walked out, nearly a year ago, the conversation went something like the conversations in my recurring dreams had gone.  Except the actual conversation started differently.

“Put on your underwear, we need to talk,” he said.

When you get married, you don’t assume it’s all going to go up in flames and you certainly don’t assume the conversation, ending it all, will ever start like that.

Oh, you’re wondering why he said that?  I’m considering just letting you use your imagination to answer that question, because I’m sure whatever scenario you’ve concocted is a hell of a lot funnier.

We had just gotten back from dinner.  Because the best time to tell your wife you are leaving her is after a meal at an expensive restaurant.  I was in the bathroom, and he knocked on the door and barged right in.

When he said “put on your underwear, we need to talk” all I heard was “we need to talk”, so my anxious brain was already five steps ahead, fully prepared to have the “I’m leaving you” conversation partially naked. But, I did put on some underwear and we did talk.

And the conversation was almost identical to the ones in my recurring nightmares.  I guess it turns out I was the psychic all along.

The story does have a happy ending though.

Remember the man with the dark beard?  Well, it turns out he’s real.  He stares deeply into my eyes and I stare deeply into his.  Just like in my dream.  And, he’s incredibly smart, caring, funny, supportive and unreasonably handsome–and he has a perfect, jet black beard.  But, most importantly, he treats me like an equal, not someone who needs to be taken care of.  We communicate openly with one another and we can both marvel in the new experience of being loved and accepted.  Neither of our lives is easy, but is anyone’s life?  We’re there for each other and we’re open about who we are and what we need.

He knows that my dream of being a mother is still important to me, just like it was when I was 11.  I told him right away because, now, I trust my intuition and I value the importance of open communication in a relationship.

I still have dreams, but the dreams I have when I am awake are the ones that are most important to me now.  I don’t have nightmares about my partner anymore.  Instead, I have dreams of being a writer, a comic, a mother and an equal partner in a healthy relationship.  And you know what? I’m more than halfway there.

Now excuse me, I have a cassette tape to destroy.

March Forth

My dad left this world parallel to the way he lived his life- with meaning.  To die on a day that is not only represented with numbers, but also with a command- march forth- is powerful and fitting.  My dad brought meaning to the lives of so many while he was here.  And, while he never commanded anyone, his words inspired people to march forth in their own lives.

I think I was always his toughest case.  I wasn’t much of a marcher when he was alive.  I was a “if I stand perfectly still everything will be fine” sort of person.  That’s not the way life works though and life will teach you that lesson when you are ready to learn.  It was only after his death, and the experience of other massive losses within a quick succession thereafter, that my dad’s lessons really started to take a hold of me.  In his death, I was reborn, which is both a comforting and painful reality.

We teach people how to treat us and, thanks to my anxiety, people used to see me as someone who needed protecting.  Really though, I could have been a Bond villain and my dad’s instinct would have been to protect me.  That’s what dads do for their daughters. In the weeks leading up to his death, my dad tried to protect me from seeing him weak.  He didn’t want me to know he was sick.  But, I will never forget the first time I saw him and realized that something was grievously wrong.

My dad loved music so much.  He’s the one who taught me to love it, too.  I used to look forward to time with my dad in the car, because that is where he really let loose.  He would blast the music, play drums on his steering wheel and play air guitar.  Don’t worry, my mom taught me how to drive. For many summers, and during the year in between college and law school, I worked for my dad’s company.  It was those drives down to the city that I treasured the most. Cruising (and sometimes sitting) on 90/94, we would listen to WRXT and sing together.  Sometimes he took a work call and I would gaze out the window.  I felt at home in that car with him.  Safe.  We both loved Lin Brehmer, a longtime XRT DJ.  Lin has a segment called Lin’s Bin, where he answers listener questions on the radio.  But, he doesn’t just answer the question, he lovingly crafts a response and uses music to make his points.  He’s a brilliant writer and storyteller.

On the day I realized something was grievously wrong with my dad, I was heading out to my parents’ house for dinner and listening to a repeat of Lin’s Bin in the car.  The question posed to him was “is everything going to be okay?”  At the time, I was going through a rough period in my life and making some very intense decisions about my future.  It was just the question I needed answered.  I turned it up and listened intently.  I even sat in my parents’ driveway as Lin finished up, tears streaming down my cheeks.  Was everything going to be okay?  A few moments later, I rang the doorbell and my dad answered.  I had never seen him look so skinny in my life.  My stomach dropped to the floor.  Something was very wrong.  Everything is not going to be okay, I thought.

The truth was hidden from me because I used to be a different person.  Because of the extremely challenging things that were going on in my life a year ago, my dad didn’t want me to know that he was struggling, too.  He didn’t think I could handle it.  That’s how I taught people to treat me my entire life, with kid gloves.

A few days later, when I visited my dad in the hospital, he turned to me and said with a very weak voice, “sorry for the cat and mouse” and I said “it’s okay, Daddy.  I’m stronger than you think” and he said “I know.”  I didn’t believe it when I said it, but it turned out to be true.  I held my dad’s hand for a whole week and watched him turn yellow.  I helped him drink from a straw. I told him it was okay to die.  Only a strong person can do that.

Sometimes it kills me that he can’t see me now, because I really am a different person today than I was a year ago. But, the fact of the matter is, if I hadn’t lost my dad, husband and dream of a family within the span of one year, I wouldn’t be as strong as I am.  That’s the poetically unfair duality of life.  That’s the meaning.  We have no choice but to march forth and we shouldn’t want it any other way.

Last night, as I was heading to see my mom and brother, I caught the tail end of Lin’s Bin.  And, I shit you not, a car drove past me on 94 with a license plate that said two words: Love Dad.

That was dad telling me everything is going to be okay.

Own Alone

For the past 8 years, I was a Valentine’s Day zombie.  Devouring hearts, aimlessly wandering greeting card aisles and drooling over a bunch of crap.  What can I say?  I’d been bitten.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with love and the expression of it on Valentine’s Day.  If that’s what you’ve got going on, own it!  But for me, right now, I’m putting the own back in alone.  Maybe you are, too.

I used to hate the word “alone”.  Being alone?  Gross!  Why?  Now, I revel in it.  What changed?  I’m finally learning to love myself.  I know, your eyes are burning from the cliché of it all, but it’s true!  Self-love may be the slippery unicorn of life, but it’s attainable.  Take it from a recovered hater.

I didn’t just wake up one day and think “Gee whiz! Being alone is the greatest!”  Nope.  In fact, after my husband took off I was all but surgically attached to my mother.  I could barely function on my own because I had been part of a unit for so many years.  I didn’t know how to be Tiff anymore.  I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, and I had amnesia.  I had forgotten that I was capable of taking care of myself and, most importantly, that I could thrive.

The learning curve was steep, but it was incredible.  Soon after my separation, I rekindled a friendship with a buddy who was also going through a divorce.  She stayed over one night and had to leave early in the morning, but not before she left me a note.  The note had instructions for self-care.  Things that had worked for her.  I wasn’t quite ready at the time to implement her great ideas, but it was the first time I started to see a light.  I have spent a lot of time with my buddy in recent months, and each time I learn something new from her about the beauty of alone.  She’s still learning, too.

It’s tough to be alone because there is silence.  Sometimes the silence is deafening.  That’s when the growing happens.  If you pop all of your thought bubbles, you will never watch them float effortlessly on the wind.  You have to observe them sometimes.  Other times, you need to just get up and dance, take a walk or watch your favorite show.  No matter how you do alone, remind yourself that there is healing in it.

I don’t say any of this to be preachy, or to lead the Valentine’s Day counterculture.  I say it because it’s possible that you are bumming hard today because you don’t have someone to remind you that you are loved.  Ah-ha, but you do!  You have you.

The Power of an Instead Life

A year ago today, I was out like a light.  That’s what happens when a doctor puts Propofol into your vein.  When I woke up from my procedure, my husband was there grasping my hand and saying “you did so great, baby.  I’m proud of you.”  It was all a lie, but I didn’t know it then. Exactly three weeks later, I grasped my beloved dad’s hand and watched him take his last breath.

I was committed to an idea of what my life would look like.  I squeezed that idea close to me, never letting it breathe.  But, if you hold on to your dreams too tightly, they will squirm out of your arms. Dreams want their freedom to grow and shift and change, like a child. Let them. They may mature into something greater than you could have ever imagined. I’m not saying that I was wrong to have dreams.  What would life be if we didn’t have any?  I’m saying that my dreams had four walls, and the walls were made of steel.

I learned my lesson the hard way.  Is any good lesson learned any other way?  Anxiety feeds on rigidity.  It savors it like a juicy filet and a nice glass of red. The tighter I grasped my dreams, the more anxious I felt.  The more trapped I became inside the steel walls.  It wasn’t until I lost everything that I realized the walls were actually made of clouds on a windy day, ever shifting and changing.

My dad had big dreams, too.  He was planning to retire and devote the rest of his life to helping people.  Instead, he died.  My dream was to build a life, a family, with my husband.  Instead, he left.  Life is full of instead, and when you finally embrace the instead rather than fight it, you realize the secret: an “instead life” can be the greatest gift.

I’ve been living my instead life for many months now.  It’s tough sometimes because it feels like I’m living between two worlds.  The life I used to have—the one where I relied on my dad and my husband to be there, and my instead life—the one where I rely on myself to be there.  My instead life has been empowering.  Let me save you $20.00 on a self-help book: when you are walking through hell, grab your fire extinguisher and stop to smell the charred roses.  When you are feeling out of control about your life, the state of the country, or anything else that makes your heart pound and your stomach knot, try to embrace that feeling and know that you will learn something from it.  Let it empower you to do something, teach someone or change something.  Don’t let it immobilize you.  You might need tools to help you, like medication or meditation, but the more you embrace your instead life the more alive you will feel.

I have bad days where I want to kick my instead life in the face.  When I have those days, my wisest friends tell me something along the lines of “this too shall pass.”  It’s hard to believe that adage when you are in it.  But, it always does.  Sometimes I feel great and dance around my place to my favorite music, and sometimes I curl into a ball and cry.  But, at the end, I always embrace my instead life and face the things about it that make me most uncomfortable.  I hate traveling, but I just returned from a week-long work trip to New York.  I had an incredible time and I also got food poisoning.  While I was donating the contents of my stomach to the New York sewer system, I was also feeling extremely present in the moment.  That’s what my instead life has taught me.  There is a brilliant duality about life.  You have to ride the waves (of nausea sometimes) until the waters calm.

Maybe you haven’t glimpsed your instead life yet.  You will.  We all do at some point.  We lose someone we love, or get sick.  We change careers or we fall in love.  Your instead life will find you, like it or not.  Instead of pushing it away, grasp it by the hand and jump.

One More Time With Feeling

I moved to Chicago after I graduated from law school, nearly ten years ago. I had a nice little place in River North with a view of a tiny slice of the Chicago River and the Sears Tower (it was still called the Sears Tower back then—times were simpler).  I got new furniture for my living room, a sensible bed that had drawers and a shelf built in, and an awesome Buddha piece from Pier One Imports for my bedroom.  I was on my way.

Although I had lived in the Chicago area my entire life, save the 7 years I spent at Indiana University for undergrad and law school, living in Chicago proper was new for me. Most of my closest friends were in other states.  I was, not surprisingly, anxious about my social life in the big city.  So, I did what any *smart person would do.  I responded to a sign that said River North Singles.

*No smart person would do this.

I called the number (hey, remember when people used their phones to call numbers?) I made an appointment to meet with someone.  I walked over to the John Hancock building after work at my brand new job—my first job out of law school.  I rode the elevator up, up, up….to one of the weirdest conversations I would ever have.

It was a small office composed entirely of well-dressed women. I’m going to be honest, this is not what I expected when I called the number.  I didn’t expect to have a meeting to discuss my status as a “River North single.”  I kind of figured there would be a website I could visit, or a group I could join to meet other people.  Nope, there was an office.

This was a long time ago, so the details are fuzzy, but I do remember sitting in a small room with a woman who explained that they were, basically, a dating service. Suddenly, I felt completely trapped.  Like I was accidently in the closing room at a car dealership.  The woman chatted me up a bit about what I was looking for in a partner (I mentioned that I was Jewish). Then she handed me a binder full of men containing plastic coated pages of pictures and profiles, like I was a casting director.  Then, she left the room and asked me to look through them.

There were a bunch of Jewish men in the binder, several of whom I had already gone out with. Was this really happening?  Was Rod Serling going to pop out from behind the wall, cigarette in hand and say “in this tiny, poorly lit room, sits Tiffany gazing through a binder of potential suitors.  In a minute, Tiffany is about to have a terribly offensive conversation with a pushy woman and go home feeling more dejected than ever because she has now entered the Twilight Zone.”

A few minutes after I started flipping through the book, a different, better dressed woman entered the room. She was, clearly “the closer.”  She asked if I liked anything I saw.  I told her—in the nicest way a people pleaser can say it— no.  Then she said the following.  I will always remember it.  “Tiffany, you just moved to Chicago, right?  So, you bought a new couch, right?  Don’t you want someone to sit on that couch with?”  You guys, that really hurt. A lot.  And I almost took the bait. But it was also insanely hilarious at the same time.  In that moment, I decided I would find someone to sit on my couch with, but I was going to do it without the help of a closer.

I did end up meeting someone and getting married and, in subsequent years, we constantly complained about how our couch was way too small for the two of us.

Am I thrilled to be out there again? Fuck no.  I keep thinking about the late Carrie Fisher and my personal favorite roll she played, Marie in When Harry Met Sally.  In once classic scene, she turns to her partner, Jess, as they are lying in bed and says “tell me I’ll never have to be out there again.” I said those same words to my husband, but life is not always predictable.  Scratch that, it’s never predictable.

So, I’m out there and, oh boy, is it the wild west. When I was on the market, 8 years ago, I was on Jdate.  It was pretty simple.  Write a profile, connect with a guy, go on a date.  Now, it’s all about the dating apps.  I wonder how many calories you can burn swiping left and right.  Today I got a push notification from Hinge, a dating app, that said “we like Boomer for you.” Boomer! I’ve seen too many shirtless dudes, guys holding babies and then proclaiming in their profiles “not my baby!” and everything in between.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Loss and pain are incredible teachers.  If we are willing to do the work, they can teach us how to be better versions of ourselves.  So, although I’m still feeling my way through these changes, I can say that I am a lot more comfortable in my skin and know what I want.  It’s just a matter of finding it.  I’m confident I will because it turns out I’m pretty rad.

On my 25th birthday, during my last year of law school, my dear friend sat me down and shoved a piece of paper and a pen in front of me.  “I’m tired of hearing you complain.  I want you to sit here and write all of the things you are looking for in a guy!”  I obeyed.  I’m an entirely different person now.  So, I think it’s time for a new list.

I bet you’re wondering whatever became of that couch, aren’t you? The couch of doom.  The couch that a well dressed woman once told me I needed to share with someone.  I’m actually sitting on that couch as I write this, only I’ve pulled out the bed beneath it and thrown a memory foam mattress topper on it.  It’s glorious and it’s all mine.  It’s where I do my writing now, under a blanket that looks like a leopard.  That’s the thing I’ve learned about being single again.  Things that once felt small feel large again.  Like my life.

 

 

 

Fuck You, 2016. Thank You, 2016.

In many ways, 2016 was a dumpster fire started by a flaming arrow from hell.  The weird thing about this year is I’ve been saying “fuck 2016” since March.  Now, everyone I know has caught up to me.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but misery loves company.

So, how can I possibly look back on this year and thank it?  Because lessons.  That’s why.

I started 2016 as a science experiment.  At some point, I’m sure I’ll say more about that but, for now, that’s all I’m ready to share.  In March, exactly three weeks after Science Fair day, my dad died.  Because I was going through a tough time, my dad didn’t want me to know he had cancer.  Although his cancer progressed very quickly, he didn’t want the stress of knowing he was sick to hurt me.  He thought he would come through surgery, have a round of chemo and tell me about it later.  He didn’t. I found out he had cancer on February 29th (I’m glad Leap Day only comes once every four years) and he died on March 4th.

I wish I could say that I spent the rest of the year with a cup of tea, a blanket, and a deep dive into my grief, but I didn’t have the chance to do that. Shortly after my dad’s death, I was too busy processing a health scare with my mom (she’s just fine, thankfully), more science experiments and my life being uprooted by the person I thought I could trust the most in the world (and let’s not forget the trip to Disney that is divorce).  Then, towards the end of the year, my wonderful boss retired and my colleague, whom I see as more of a sister than a co-worker, moved back home to Texas.

Still, somehow, through all that muck in the drain, I was able to pull out the sapphire (remind me to tell you the story of the time I dropped a sapphire earring down the sink drain on the day of my Bat Mitzvah- because I’m a klutz, that’s why).

It took me some time to learn my lessons this year, and I’m still learning them as I count down to 2017.  In fact, my mom is almost entirely responsible for helping to build me back up after losing my dad and marriage.  I don’t want to write about my marriage through this blog, because that’s not something for public consumption and, frankly, that’s not the purpose of this blog. I will say this—for a while, I lost sight of who I was and the awesome stuff I was capable of. As the end of the year approaches in just a few days I can say, with complete honesty, that I am closer to restoration of my factory settings.

A couple things happened shortly after my husband left that helped to rebuild my character and replenish my humor.

Over Labor Day weekend, I was at my place trying to get things back in order and I, no joke, dropped my keys right down the elevator shaft in my building. I know!  Just like a fucking character in a romantic comedy (and I hate romantic comedies), I just listened to them clank, clank, clank as they fell to the basement floor.  They were the only set I had with a key to my mailbox and a key fob to the elevator.  One guess as to who had the other set.  I couldn’t believe it was happening, and then I thought “oh yeah!  It’s 2016.  Of course this is happening!”  I think the Otis man was really uncomfortable when I hugged him a few days later after he retrieved my keys.

A few weeks later, I wanted to sell my car.  I got a quote from Carmax and drove it home.  Then, when I was cleaning it out, I accidentally left the passenger door open.  The already mostly-dead battery fully died.  I couldn’t jump it either.  I just blinked, blinked, cried and then laughed and said “oh, 2016, you evil dungeon master!”  Sometimes, you just have to blink a few times and then laugh. It all ended up working itself out.

Did you hear that?  I’ll repeat it.  It all ended up working itself out.

That’s been the theme of 2016.  Horror.  Blink.  Keep moving forward.

The truth is, towards the end of the year things have really begun to take shape for me because I’ve learned to let the light in a little bit. I’ve reconnected with some incredible friends and made some really interesting new ones. I went to a trampoline park and jumped my heart out.  I stayed up past midnight a few times.  I know, right?!  I threw away a bunch of stuff and, most importantly, I started writing again. It’s still really tough sometimes. I’m not going to pretend it’s not.  But it’s been pretty awesome to savor the good stuff.

I know 2016 was tough for you, too, because 2016 was tough for literally everyone.  Maybe you lost someone who meant something to you.  Maybe it was David Bowie, or your favorite uncle, or your dog.  Maybe you lost your job.  Maybe you’re a freak of nature and this year was awesome for you. Good for you.

If 2016 was tough for you, walk yourself over to the mirror, blink twice, tell yourself it’s going to be all right and keep moving forward.

See you all in 2017.