Can't Start Loving 2018 Until I Accept 2017

I am done with 2017. There has been a lot to beat me down on a daily basis. The most powerful country in the world being run by a Twitter obsessed, thin-skinned, misogynistic, temper-tantrum having, spoiled two year-old in a McDonald's stuffed portly old man's body. It felt like every week a horrific and violent attack commited by a maniac was reported (and sometimes very under-reported). Powerful people spent incredible amounts of time to discredit news and people responded by turning to even less reliable sources. In Hollywood, we lost some great celebrities and learn some others were actually monsters. Social media has become a haven for racists and misogynists, and is a place where I'm forced to doubt the future of humanity.

On the personal side, I have had a yearly battle with my emotions that bounced from very high anxiety down to energy draining depression. This dark place has meant my career hasn't been the success that I wanted. It also has made me feel like I am not the father or husband that I should be. On top of all that, one of my major sources of support and love was the family dog, Summit, and he died in November. So, please forgive me if I declare that 2017 kind of sucked and I am ready to kick it out the door.

I can't wait for 2018, and use it as a fresh start and a new beginning and allow it to be a symbol for hope and optimism.

Except that no matter how 2018 turns out and whatever amazing things may happen, there is still destined to be heartbreak, disappointment, tragedy, and nastiness. Every single year has those things, even the years that are remembered fondly. 2011 is the year that I became a father with the birth of Everett, but it was also the year that I lost my father-in-law; 2011 remains a positive memory. In order for me to truly be ready to embrace and love 2018, then I must be willing to accept the positives and wonderful things of this year.

It was a great year for movies with terrific motion pictures like Get Out, Logan, Big Sick, Wind River, It, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I work from home, which means I got to spend many magical hours with my children. I got to see Danika grow and become a funny, creative, imaginative, smart and mischievous two year old that steals my heart on a regular basis, Everett makes me so proud with his love for reading and adventure, and he makes me smile on a daily basis. This was my ninth year of marriage with my strong, independent, funny, kind and beautiful wife, Emily, and even though I failed to show it many time, I am deeply in love with her and know how lucky I am to have such a great person for my partner. I've discovered fellow writers who have challenged me and sparked my creativity and made me excited about writing fiction again.

As we enter into 2018, I am ready to hold on to the things that mattered. I am ready to love my family and friends. I will cherish those great moments, I am ready to realize how important writing is to my mental health and constantly use it as a way to work through my feelings and try to create things of value and beauty. I will put my energy into starting new creative projects and allowing things I care about like The Movie Breakdown to expand and grow. Most of all, I will remember to continue to show love to those who matter the most. I am ready to do the work to make 2018 something worth living.