2017: In The Rearview Mirror

(originally written 12/30/17)

2017 is a year I can reflect upon with pride. No, I didn't foil any terrorist plots, rescue any trapped children, or stock the bare cupboards of starving Ethiopians. (At least, not that I remember. Thanks to beer, some nights do need blanks filled in.)


But many personal goals were indeed met, even the ones nobody—least of all me—expected me to meet. I'll look back on (most of) 2017 with great pride, as I continue in my mission to become a half-decent person—one my kid can look up to.


The year did not look promising early on. Without getting into the shameful details. I learned once and for all that weight gain or not, skipping my anti-depressants is simply not an option for me anymore. Both my personal and professional lives took a hit from the fallout, but in time normalcy resumed—as did my regular medicating.


While keeping up with celebrities and pop culture has never been a high priority for me, I've always been in-tune enough to be able to hold my own in conversation...until I realized I couldn't anymore because A) I had no clue who many of today's biggest stars were, and B) I had no clue because I'd barely seen any non-animated films at all this decade.


With that in mind, I aimed to make 2017 The Year Of The Cinema—despite the inevitable annoyance and financial hit that would cause—as well as acquaint myself with some of the classics; there are way too many well-known films that only I and the Amish have never seen.
Ended up catching a whole trio of live-action movies, matching my previous total for the entire decade, and took in the following never-before-seen classics:


⦁    Philadelphia
⦁    Fast Times At Ridgemont High
⦁    Indecent Proposal

⦁    The first five Star Wars
⦁    several others

Yes, I'd never seen any Star Wars before this year. But as of 2017, your teases carry no power, for I can now distinguish Chewbacca from Jar Jar Binks. (Turns out Jar Jar wasn't so popular among the Star Wars fanbase. I, however, liked the little weirdo—he won me over at "Ex-squeeze me". But I'm not here to talk about the past.)


Additionally, I took another lengthy road trip, all the way to Las Vegas. I'd long wanted to invade Sin City but never had time, funds or reason all at once...until April 2017. And even though it cost LOADS more to do so, I flew back, solely because I hadn't been on a plane in seven years. It's fortunate we don't base all life decisions on that criteria. ("This guy jumped in front of a car because he hadn't had surgery in seven years??")

 

After a three-year layoff, friends and I resumed pickup football in late December—just the latest example of what's become a rebirth of my pigskin passion. I didn't watch any NFL besides the Super Bowl last season, not even the 49ers. But somehow this year the passion came back—it was like the Pina Colada song, just with cornerback blitzes taking the place of midnight lovemaking. (And I won my Fantasy League, too! More proud of that than anything.)


Other notable 2017 highlights: attending the wedding of Raff and Riz (and getting to listen to April’s subsequent nonsense), softballing THREE different times after a three-year hiatus, and a good old-fashioned campout in Napa—you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a 12-year old happily kill multiple wasps with her bare hands.


Just as the year drew to a close, I paid someone a long-overdue apology that, honestly, they didn't have to accept—I'd been a real creakbeaker to them a few years ago. But apology was accepted, and I vow to never again take a bad day out on a friend. That's what tools do.
I'll look back on 2017 with mostly reverence—many fun times were had in and out of doors; much was learned, and I was one of maybe 13 American men not accused of sexual harrassment! (True, there's still four hours left in the year. But I'm feeling confident.)