I’ve had worse years.
In 2009, my father died on my birthday. Shortly after, everyone whom I thought were friends and every relative to whom I thought I meant something, either abandoned me or tried to hit me up for cash, assuming my father left me a monumental sum of money. Well, he didn’t and they were sadly wrong. Fuck them anyway. My mom actually blew most of my share of the inheritance money on some dodgy real estate investment property despite my urging her otherwise. For the next 3 years, creditors uncovered the sketchy business practices my Dad was involved in, and next thing you know, everything we worked hard and sacrificed for was gone.
2016 was a bit of a cakewalk compared to that period of time. But it was still rough.
2016 for Humanity
It’s hard to describe 2016 for planet Earth’s collective human consciousness other than the words: “fucking hell, man.” This year was a boxing match, fighting for any sort of balance and harmony, leaving us beat up and punch drunk down to the bitter end, much like Jake LaMotta in the movie “Raging Bull” with Robert DeNiro. And just like Jake LaMotta, we may have gotten beaten up, but we never went down. We’re still here, aren’t we? But not without getting bruised and scarred along the way.
In short, 2016 had the world reeling in chaos from the political instability and violence in Europe, America, Middle East, and pretty much everywhere else… to the death of our favorite artists who’ve inspired us throughout our lives. It was like an ongoing funeral for the unfortunate, the victims of ignorance, hatred, and war. So many people were murdered. So many people lost their lives needlessly. From a nightclub in Miami to the destruction in Aleppo… my heart ached for humanity this whole entire year.
Let’s not even get into the US election.
2016 for Me
Health-wise, 2016 was a particularly unforgiving year for my wife and me, going through health and resulting financial difficulty, especially after my wife’s major surgery. Thankfully, my wife is in good health and great spirits. But it was a scare, and it haunts me as I still think about it from time to time. I’m not dwelling on it as much as I’m preparing for lifestyle changes to prevent anymore health-scares. Also, I just found out that I’m borderline diabetic. No wonder I’ve gained 15 mysterious pounds even after a massive lifestyle change. My fucking pancreas can’t handle sugar/carbs. This, on top of celiac disease. Ain’t that a bitch.
Spiritually speaking, 2016 had more ups than downs. My previous Taoist master had disappointed me to the point of my having left him after three years of hard work and plenty of money for a much more able and accredited teacher. But my Qigong master overwhelmed me with honor by certifying me early, having felt that I was ready to teach and to carry on his lineage of shamanic Chinese energy healing. This was an honor for me, and quite humbling as well as I completely understand and welcome the duties to humanity that I’ve volunteered for.
Career-wise, because of some extenuating circumstances created by my previous years’ financial fallout (largely due to my late-father’s former business practices), it affected my Navy Reserve career and kicked it into a downward spiral. I’m everything short of getting kicked out of the military right now. It’s too bad because I love serving my country, and my peers and superiors all love and respect me and have considered me a “great person.” I couldn’t be more grateful for them. My holistic medical practice broke the previous three years’ numbers, despite the fact that I was gone for much of the year.
In the middle of the year, I was given the honor of being a clinic supervisor and mentor at my former college. The staff even flattered me with a job offer to become a full-time lecturer to take over for my late-mentor. Those were some big shoes to fill, and I’m grateful for that kind offer, but I’m much too busy in my personal practice to take on another role. What an honor to know that people believe in me.
I don’t consider myself blessed, nor am I lucky. I just work hard and I’m grateful towards others.
You know.. come to think of it… it wasn’t a horrendous year for my family and I. Sure, I’ve had to punch my way through a few situations, but it all actually ended well. I mean, when in all of human society’s history do we not have to fight through life? Life itself, and not just the year 2016, is a pugilistic prizefight.
So after the final bell of last year’s boxing match with circumstance, I’d like to say that I’ve won. My prize? My family and I gratefully get to live another day.