8 January, 2017  |   3 Comments

2016 Recap, 2017 Resolvations

In 2016, I read all the takes.

Here, I mean “take” as an article or video reflecting an opinion about a cultural, political or societal event.

And in 2016, I took them all in.

ALL the opinions on the presidency. On what went wrong. On why women should be this or this.
I absorbed ALL the takes on what my priorities should be.
Where I went wrong.
What’s wrong with me.

So many opinions, they have so many opinions

In 2017, I lighten my burden of other people’s opinions by developing my own.

In 2016, I took in every opinion, all those points of view.
It was exhausting, examining each opinion.
There were too many sides to too many issues to move forward.

I’m ready to take these into my own point of view, to defend what I believe.

2016 Recap:

I started the year at Alt Summit. I spoke on behalf of Margit and the extraordinary work they’re doing at TueNight. and things looked up! I stayed in a hotel room by myself and I also got to visit with dear friends and they helped me feel like this broken me was good enough. Dear friends have a way of doing that.

I had a job I liked in the wine industry, but they couldn’t make enough money to keep me.
I got a new contract.

I went to Mom 2.0. Glorious, wonderful, friendly and positive. No speaking engagements, only learning.

I really got into that contract.
It was important and filled with new information, useful information.
A job directed by a psychopath.
A psychopath that told me I was stupid.
A psychopath who’s guaranteed success in corporate America.

I learned a lot about what my ego needs from a job, and how I can serve a job.

I burned nearly all the career takes I absorbed this year.
“You don’t need to like your job”
“The more you work, the more you make”
“People at the top of the corporate ladder are always the best and most successful people”

They have all been proven false to me this year.
Time for them to burn.

We considered moving away from our expensive town.
(We took our first couples-only trip without the kids!)
After the election, we won’t move away.

Instead:
We will have more potlucks in 2017.
We will play more board games.
We will figure it out.

Time to retire the “but you can buy a house in this rural state for so much cheaper” possibility. For at least the next 4 years, it makes the most sense for our liberal, hopeful family to stay in California.

I turned to my children this year. I delighted in my children.

We played and danced and they were kind to me when I cried because of the aforementioned psychopath.

In 2016, I was lucky to avoid parenting takes, the titles tipped me off.

In 2016 I quit a church.
I’ll try to find a new one. Is faith like love? Is it a verb?

Where are the takes for people who want a church based on love and not judgement? Where are the churches for people with critical thinking skills?
Maybe I need to call it a coven?

You are invited to our Porch Coven: Best snacks in the neighborhood, then we’ll do some good.

In 2016, Michael Brown was shot. So were a lot of people. I unfriended a bunch of racist people I used to know.

I read more takes and all I got was angry.

I’m done with any qualms I had about calling out racial inequality.
I’m done asking your opinion about the insane militarization of the police.
I’ll call out the unease I feel when coming up against lily-white influencer programs.
We give money to SURJ and the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

I thought we were more evolved than this. But I can see we’re not.

I got hurt (hurt myself?) a lot this year.
I rolled my ankle and fell to the ground a bunch.
I tripped and fell during a full sprint.
I was stung by a wasp a bunch and had to go to the ER.
Looks like I’m allergic now.

I cut and burned myself a lot this year – I almost always had a bandage on my hand or wrist or forearm and I swear they were all accidents but maybe they were not really?

Right this minute I have a bronchial thing and two serious burns on my hands and my sinuses are on fire and maybe that’s an accident and maybe that is not really?

The takes I read about health costs make me realize that if I were to get cancer, I would die because the cancer money would come out of the education money for my children and I would rather die.

How could I possibly defend the opinion that a woman should die rather than deprive her children of education?  I need to fight a culture that would force a woman to make that choice.

In 2017, I’m grounding my body. I’m also fighting for more equitable public education.

In 2016, my dog died.
I still can’t type that without crying.

My opinion: No, I do not want another dog possibly ever and now that you’ve read this, you don’t have to encourage me to buy my kids a puppy for any 2017 holiday!

I resolve no pets in 2017. Easy.

That guy got elected, bringing into sharp focus the ways I did not listen to my friends of color. Yes, me.
That guy got elected, bringing into sharp focus the ways men have failed us over and over. Yes, you.
That guy got elected, bringing into sharp focus how I benefited from a system set up on the backs of other people. Yes, us.

My computer is always barfing out the takes

Some of the opinions I hold and am willing to defend:

Women deserve the same rights AND EXPECTATIONS as men.
People of color deserve the same rights as white people.
People identifying as LGBTQ deserve the same rights as straight people.
People who don’t believe in a Christian God deserve equal rights to Christians.
Healthcare is a right.
The militarization of our police forces is problematic and needs to be stopped.
Education deserves more money than killing people.

I thought these opinions were more widely held than they were. Guess I have some work to do.

I have all kinds of secret goals for 2017, publishing and creating and defending and putting more words and pictures out in the world. I’m holding these baby goals close, but hope to see you out there, publishing and creating and defending and putting more words and pictures into this imperfect reality.

Consider this your invitation to Porch Coven.
We have great snacks.

Holy crap, I’ve been doing this for a long time:

2015 recap, 2016 resolutions
2014 recap, 2015 resolutions
2013 recap, 2014 resolutions
2012 recap, 2013 resolutions
2011 recap, 2012 resolutions

2010 recap, 2011
2009 recap, 2010
2008 recap, 2009
2008 recap,
2007 recap,
2006 recap, 2007
2005 recap, 2006
2004/2005
2003/2004
2002/2003

 


3 thoughts on “2016 Recap, 2017 Resolvations

  1. 1
    Greg says:

    Great post. Whomever gave you those “career takes” needs a boot to the head.

  2. 2
    Amanda Brown says:

    Just read this now. You are amazing; you made it through this past hard year and didn’t just wallow in the the crappy things that made it hard. Instead, you are forging ahead! With hope, and resolve and beauty. Love that!

  3. 3
    Lingling says:

    Hi Helen,

    My name is Lingling and I am a brand manager at Nutiva, a mission-driven food company located in East Bay.

    I came across your website when I saw your profile at NewCo – just randomly clicked your profile picture =) Love to see a marketing professional who also loves blogging and food!

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