2017 is primed for the archives. Indeed, it’s been a year of adversity for the country with a change in president. Hurricane season was particularly brutal. Puerto Rico and much of the Caribbean still needs help; here is a PBS article with multiple charities that you can donate to if you can help. Fires in California rage on as do wars in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. Tensions are flaring with North Korea, as well as in Venezuela, Myanmar and very recently in Iran. “Brexit” continues to move forward and there is an alarming surge in nationalism in eastern Europe. Russia is being found more and more to be an agitator to peace and the current world order while China steadfastly moves to globalize and strengthen its position in the world economy.

Throughout the year there were also a number of reminders that there is still much to be done in the fights for social, racial and gender equality. The #metoo campaign brought awareness of sexual harassment, sexism and assault and toppled some very prominent figures. Some are even now allies of the campaign, but owned their past transgressions. Alabama, by a narrow margin, found themselves electing a democrat to the senate on account of the republican candidate’s accused transgressions with minors. Showing that the “deny, deny, deny” strategy will stop working at some point. Perhaps it’s time to subject political candidates to polygraphs?

Some of these things feel very far away and some are a bit more close to home. As a person who has past sexual transgressions, the #metoo campaign really has me contemplating my actions and my words and finding ways to improve my interactions with women (and all people for that matter).

Other interesting things include knowing two people who I went to school (one high school and one grad school) being charged with felonies. The former for soliciting sex with a minor during a prostitution sting and the latter for a heinous stabbing of her newborn (note: developing adequate treatment/resources for mental health issues and addiction are two of this country’s biggest issues).

Personally, I’ve been working hard to be a good co-parent, boyfriend and respectable member of society. I must confess that my step-work has faltered some and will be the subject of a new year’s resolution or two. Sobriety hasn’t been perfect, but I am feeling the spiritual progress.

In general though, there is much to be grateful for in my life. I indeed feel like my cup overflows at times and that it is thanks to my higher power and those around me. Life is to be lived one day at a time, but it is also good to have direction. Here are a few blessings brought in 2017.

  • I started more intense work on building a small start-up business. Year end Revenue was roughly 3% of my salary at my “career” job.
  • I returned to tackle football as the “line” coach for my son’s football team. I never realized how much I missed the game.
  • I coached another year of Lego Robotics. The team made marked improvements over last year.
  • I took the kids on a vacation over the 4th of July week to Ely, MN. We got to spend a lot of time in the wilderness and on the water and in a mine 🙂
  • I got to travel with my girlfriend including a trip to Ireland for a conference and to Sun Valley, Idaho for a ski weekend.
  • I took up ballroom dancing
  • I paved a new patio on the front of my house.
  • I went vegetarian.
  • At work I helped release two new catalog products and won/performed on two new government contracts.
  • I narrowed my blogging scope and am working on building a “brand” as they say.
  • I officially joined my local church. I have donation envelopes and everything 😛
  • My basement remodel is underway with a goal to finish in 2018

I am sure there are many other things that I may come back and add to the list, but for now Happy New Year and I look forward to posting my 2018 goals/resolutions!