Over the course of the last years, I’ve done a wrap up as we get to the end of December. One of the things I liked about last year was categorizing the kinds of blog posts I’ve made. I don’t set out to write a lot about a specific topic but do like to spread subject matters. Tracking what I create helps me track my mindset over the year while the effort to write about positive experiences can balance out some of the difficulties. 2016 was difficult in a few ways, but it was particularly hard because I lost my father and my closest uncle within a few weeks of each other. Fortunately, the year had a couple areas which gave me some tears of happiness to offset the tears of sorrow.
In 2016, I made more of an effort to track some of the sketches I made and published a few on the blog. That’s the S in the graphic above. I’ve always done most of my own “artwork” for this blog, on the job, and just for fun. The last twelve months have seen some expansion there as I’ve used drawing more and more as a way to build my ideas and articulate them. Doodling is self expressive and helps me communicate. I actually built an iOS app with one of my sons this year around an olive I’ve dubbed a Boozemoji. We had a great time putting it together and he learned what it takes to use a development environment. Here’s how 2016 went down Boozemoji style.
- January – Lots of content.
- February – A birthday party with lots of my boozy-fruit friends. My birthday’s not ’til March, but it was a leap year so what the hell.
- March – A challenge in Steal Like an Artist Journal. I spent 30 days outlining some of the things I love about many of the friends I hold dear. I blogged about it when I talked about everyday heroes. As you can see from the picture, I have a lot of those.
I also wrote a blog on LinkedIn about identifying and managing stress based on implications and degrees of control. It made its way to a few professional groups and got some really nice engagement by readers.
- April – Two of my best friends went with me to Dallas to ride the MS150. I’ve been doing this for a few years in support of my cousin who’s living with MS. Marty and Clifford – y’all are precious. As my dad would quote from Rocky: Friends don’t owe, they do ’cause they wanna do.
- May – My kids graduated. The younger from middle school, the older from high school. These are proud moments. Both did terrific. My oldest son got a surprise scholarship from the counselor at his school which was very personal. I’m so proud of them both.
- June – My uncle Jay passed. He was a person who could truly make you feel loved. I wrote a blog about what he meant because it fell so close to Father’s Day. It’s one of my favorite of the year by far. It’s about what you can mean to others. If you click no other link in this, click this one.
- July – I solidified the Boozemoji olive as a thing. Not a world-changing thing, but a fun thing. Between it and spending time with my older son DJ-ing in my office, I used technology as a bridge between me and my kids. We built an app on the Apple App store as I mentioned above. If you’re ever in an Oracle office and spot a Boozemoji on a whiteboard, laugh and let me know about it.
- August – My dad died. My writing on dementia and how it impacted my family has touched a lot of lives. It was incredibly painful to experience. If you have a loved one you think may have an issue or know someone who may, please send them and their loved ones this link. It may help them in some way and I’ll always take the time to talk. Dementia is NOT a normal part of getting old.
- September – By contrast, a lighthearted thing to call out. My wife sent me and a son to Costco for something minor. We brought home a very large teddy bear who’s known to sneak around the house and do crazy things. Little known fact: bears love tequila and hiding in the back seats of cars.
- October – I spent a lot of time on the road this year for work. October was a heavy travel month. I try to post a good bit on Instagram about my road warrior activities as well as all the stuff I cram into weekends in between trips when I’m busy.
- November – Does the picture say it all? At some point, I hope Donald Trump proves me wrong. Meanwhile, I’m going to pay attention to his actions which tell me that he’s a con whose interest in himself runs above his interest in our nation. Please prove me wrong, Donald.
- December – I’m using those airline/hotel miles/points to take the family to New York at the end of the year. Each year, I build them up and burn them down. It’s my way of making sure we all get to have some fun from my work. I’ve been to New York a lot this year for work but don’t have time for many extracurriculars. When my family said that’s where they wanted to go, I was initially bummed then pretty excited. It’ll be a great way to finish a year punctuated by a couple high highs and some very low lows.
Almost as an aside, it’s been a terrible year for celebrity deaths. I’m not a major celebrity tracker at all, but 2016 saw the passing of a number of people who shaped culture as I grew up. Music with David Bowie, Prince, Glen Frey, and George Michael. Carrie Fisher as Princess Leah with a reprisal in Force Awakens just over a year from her death. Muhammed Ali who lit the Olympic Cauldron in Atlanta even as he struggled with Parkinson’s. Other sports icons including Arnold Palmer and Gordie Howe. John Glenn who was a pioneer and honorable man on this planet and above it. Gene Wilder – Dr. Frankenstein and Willie Wonka. The list goes on.
None of these meant nearly as much as my own father and my uncle. It cast a continual overtone of loss to the year, to say nothing of global crises such as terrorism in Europe and the Syrian Civil War. As John Oliver says below (the video will jump forward on playing), 2016 has been an exceptionally shitty year,