What a forking year that was. I’m usually pretty upbeat when the new year comes around, but I’ll be honest – 2017 really did knock the wind of us.

One of the first things we did this year was go to the Oakland Women’s March as a family, because this country felt broken. The truth, of course, if you listen, is that this country has always been broken – that it, in many ways, was built on a rotten foundation. But for us, amidst this swirl of resistance, the story of surviving this year to forge a better future was shattered when Katie’s dad passed away in March.

It’s clear that we can’t put what was whole back together, to glue it all and hope it holds and pretend to be the family from January, 2017. We lost two more family members as the year went on – Katie’s grandfather, my uncle – and if we are to survive and persist and emerge stronger, it is because we are taking the pieces we have and creating something new.

There were good things that happened, too. Cecily began kindergarten and is flourishing. Simon is in second grade now and is fiercely independent and creative. I got to see Hamilton two times because Katie won the lottery on father’s day. Katie created a myriad of incredible Harry Potter Halloween decorations, including a Mirror of Erised that my mom – when visiting over Thanksgiving – thought we bought from an antique store.

I watched Arrival again a few days ago, and it felt both overwhelming and instructive. I don’t read or think in heptapod, but maybe it’s best if we don’t confine ourselves to beginnings and endings. Maybe we live our life, breathe deeply at the peaks, and acknowledge the dips that help define those peaks. Maybe we use the energy we have in times of plenty to lift up those who aren’t with us, and count on others to do the same when we fall.

Apologies, but I don’t have a whimsical list for you for 2017, because 2017 was a valley and you’ll have to forgive me for not having the energy to be whimsical this one time.

I did read more than 12 books, though, so that’s one resolution kept.

As an experiment, for this year, I’m setting some resolutions for this month and not the whole year. Perhaps it’ll help? Probably not. Anyway, here are a few resolutions for January, 2018.

  • Write a Favorite Games of 2017 blog post.
  • Record and send in one audiobook audition.
  • Write an outline for either the novel or audio story I have kicking around in my head.
  • Cook (not just order and pick up) dinner twice.
  • Wash and fold laundry 4 times (2 sheets, 2 clothing).
  • Edit that damn Lost podcast thing I’ve been promising Mayhew I’d do for way too long.
  • Beat Cuphead.
  • Add 2 features to MGC.
  • Read a book.
  • Write resolutions for February.

I look forward to 2018. We’ll start climbing again and I’ll see you at the peak.