Reality Bites by James A. Norton


Let’s get some perspective in 2017, shall we?


I can’t stand people who say “Happy New Year – 2016 sucked, I hope 2017 is better.” Why did 2016 suck for you? Trump got elected? Carrie Fisher died? Seriously? Grow up.


Last year was a lousy year if you want to call it a lousy year because you think it was. It was actually a great year. I am still alive, I have four healthy grandchildren, I celebrated my 3rd wedding anniversary, I had a heart attack and came out on the other end healthier than I have been in 30 years, Trump won (did I mention we were the only paper that endorsed him before he was the nominee?) – I could go on and on – in short, I’d say it was an excellent year.


Sure some things happened that weren’t so awesome – so what – are you alive and reading this? That’s an excellent thing, isn’t it? Can 2017 be better than 2016 – of course it can…but only if you allow it to be. So be that person.


That means putting away petty bullshit. That means stop running your mouth (if this doesn’t apply to you, then please ignore that – I don’t want some asshat to think I accused the entire city of running their mouths or being stupid – God forbid). That means stop pointing your finger at others and accusing them of being a racist, a xenophobe, a homophobe, anti-Muslin, anti-liberal, anti-whatever. That means stop telling make believe stories and spreading lies. That means stop believing everything you hear on Facebook, Twitter and the mainstream media. Just stop.


Open a book. Research things on the internet. Go see a movie or a play. Take a few days off from work and relax. Travel. Do the things you kept putting off, because it isn’t worth it to keep your dreams at arms-length. Put your life into perspective first before trying to sermonize how others should live their lives and the way the world should be according to whomever you listen to.


I guess what I am getting at is that it’s up to you and only you. Trust me – you don’t have to make a “resolution” to do anything, that’s so 1950’s – just do it. There’s plenty of world out there, I promise. If you really don’t want to interact with and/or be annoyed by someone else in the community, there is literally a million things you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen. Even in a city like Somerville. It isn’t that small. You aren’t that important. Simplify your life in just a few ways and both anger and jealousy fall away like a forgotten memory.


So when it comes time to reassess your life, where you want to go with it and what you want to do – just be simple and realize that you don’t need to make amends, you don’t need to make a hard-fast list of what you want or don’t want to do in 2017, you don’t need to decide this is the year you do whatever. Just go do it, and do us all a favor – do it quietly, because it’s for you, not for us.


Be well in 2017 and make it as awesome as you will allow yourself to. #GMK #GTBTP

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