Letter to the New Year

Dear 2016,

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Let me introduce myself. My name is Karin. I’m sorry I don’t look very presentable but, you see, 2015 really kicked me around, took me out back and beat me up a bit. Thank god that year finally took a hike. 

So I just want to sit down with you and make a few suggestions for how we might have a better year than 2015. Not simply for me, although I would really like some relief from this ulcer in my stomach. Let’s talk about how you, 2016, might be better for all of us - in positive terms. OK?

How about you give Donald Trump a very long, non-painful case of laryngitis. Don’t you think his voice needs a rest anyway? Oh, and how about somehow turning all his Tweets into quotes from Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. I have serious concerns that my home country might elect Trump President. In which case you, 2016, can also go to hell.

What? I can't hear you

What? I can't hear you

Oops, I was going to stay positive.

Let’s throw a big party for the government of Syria, ISIS, and the Taliban. We’ll serve everyone Mountain Dew containing MDMA and Ambien and make sure they have a never-ending supply. This would certainly cost less than the refugee crisis, drones and carpet bombing. 

Everybody party! 

Everybody party! 

Let’s get the Jet Stream to chillax. Floods and earthquakes and hurricanes are really taking a toll on the kind people of this world. Can you convince the Niños and their whole damn family that they don’t need to keep competing for ‘The World’s Most Devastating’ in 2016? Let’s just clean up the mess and get on with life, how about it?

Really? 

Really? 

And guns. 2015 had this crazy love fest with guns and people getting killed by guns. There were 330 mass shootings in America in 2015. That’s almost one mass shooting every day. That doesn’t even include the other 52,000 acts of gun violence that year. Sweet Jesus. How about the last f#ck you legislation President Obama gets passed before he leaves office is a bill that would require every gun owner to buy liability insurance. That way we could sit back and watch the insurance industry bury the gun lobby, all without any bloodshed.

I don’t think these are impossible requests, do you 2016? But if you don’t think you’ll get around to all of them how about you and I work together on a few simpler ideas for myself and my family. 

My son is seven now. According to some developmental theories, this is the age when he starts to become aware of himself within the larger context of the world. This world is amazing and I want to show him how wonderful it can be. I feel so lucky that we live right in the middle of it. So help me continue to be patient with him and myself. Help me accept that he might not quite get the grandeur of a cathedral or the significance of Roman ruins in the middle of England. But I know the time is coming when he’ll begin to look at things in wonder. I want to be present and aware of those moments.  

See, those eyes are getting bigger! 

See, those eyes are getting bigger! 

I want him to grow up without fear as his point of engagement. How about you help me find the trailhead to the Path of Love and Courage even though that one is all uphill and the Trail of Fear is a much less strenuous hike - but I know the fear trail only takes us to shitty places.

How about you help us find more happiness in the face of uncertainty? How about I find the guts to dare greatly and take some risks knowing that I have lots of hands to help me up again if I fall on my face? 

Would you do some of these things for me 2016? I’ll work right alongside you to make them happen. I promise.

Most Sincerely, Karin