2016: It Wasn’t All Bad

calendarbackdrop2016 has been blamed for a lot of pain and heartache.  It has, quite literally, felt like some force was actively trying to destroy any piece of hope and joy in the world.  While it’s easy to get bogged down in all the horrible things that have happened in these last 12 months I wanted to take a look at some of the good things that happened for me this year.

Of course, the calendar is a human construct for us to measure our time and the actual day, month, or year has little bearing on what happens day to day.  But, it’s basic psychology to view the end of the year and the beginning of the new year as a fresh start to make amends and changes.

With so much negativity in the last few months, I wanted to look back and take stock of the good things.  I went through my calendar of events this year and found quite a bit of positivity and even some things that had slipped my mind.

For me, 2016 began on a high note.  We were still riding the good feelings of the release of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens in the last weeks of 2015.  There was a lot of excitement and anxiety going into the film, and I feel that the film delivered admirably.  This would carry forward into the spring when we got the home video release.  I have since watched the film countless times, and it always makes me happy.

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In February, we had new windows installed in our home.  Our house is older with poor insulation and very drafty windows.  For years, we would freeze in the winter and melt in the summer.  Basically, whatever it was outside, it was the same inside.  Adding new windows to our home has made a huge improvement to how the house has felt.  We haven’t needed to run our a/c or heat nearly as much, and the house looks so much better.

In April, we traveled to the west coast to visit my family in Seattle.  Since moving to Virginia in 2000, I haven’t gotten to visit my family as often as I would like.  So, I treasure any chance to visit and we try to go at least once a year.  This year was a shorter trip, but it was fun.  We got to take my nephews to various art exhibits and a Mariners game.  Seeing their joy and enthusiasm was infectious and just what was needed.

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This was a big year for us in the 501st Legion.  Countless new members joined.  Garrison Tyranus in Virginia is now up to nearly 200 members and the Legion as a whole is over 10,000 members worldwide.  We did countless troops, conventions, and events throughout the year.  The endless smiles work like magic at lightening even the darkest day.  We have definitely felt a shift with the release of the new Star Wars movies, everyone is excited for Star Wars these days.

I was able to complete a costuming goal I have had for many years now.  Well, when I say completed, I mean Jenn worked extremely hard to complete it for me.  We were finally able to complete my Revenge of the Sith Obi-wan costume.  In the few chances I’ve had to wear it this year, it’s been a huge hit.  I also completed my TIE Pilot costume.  I managed to start work on a new costume as well, Kylo Ren from The Force Awakens, but it will be a while before that one is completed.

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This year saw the release (finally!) of the newest Metallica album “Hardwired to Self Destruct” after 8 years in the making.  I don’t know if it’s worth 8 years of waiting, but it’s a thrashing good listen.

The year ended as it began with the high of a new Star Wars film.  Rogue One is simply the exact film we needed for this year.  It is an exciting message of hope and fighting for what is right.  Important lessons to take with us into 2017.

2016 is coming to a close on a series of highs and lows, but for this, I am only focusing on the highs.  This year has been a lot of things, but I recommend taking a look back as I’ve done through your own personal year and look at the good and exciting things that have happened throughout this year, no matter how big or small.

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