2016.

I’ve fallen into the common habit recently of denouncing 2016 as a complete and utter year from hell. In some ways, it has felt unusually confusing and hard to take. In other ways, the events of the year may simply be additional “rites of passage” that happen for everyone who lives into middle age, but just hadn’t happened yet for us, or me, i.e.:

  • The election has activated me, and many others around me. Maybe every generation has at least one major event that spurs us out of complacency and into measurably increased civic duty, and this was Gen X’s.
  • In my 40’s, I am increasingly clear about my personal values, and increasingly unwilling to compromise a future that doesn’t reflect those values. Staring down the next four years means standing up for my values in a more direct and transparent way that I’ve been used to.
  • Gen X feels vital, healthy, fit, and alive, but Gen X's childhood pop culture icons are entering their twilight years. Although I’d like to say “no more torturing 80’s kids with their pop heroes’ deaths,” I am sure we have just entered this new territory (for us), and we will learn to cope better. (R.I.P. Prince Rogers Nelson)

Viewing the past 12 months from that perspective, I realize that we have never been better prepared to face these challenges and changes. We are smarter, sharper, faster, and wiser than we’ve ever been before. That’s not a dare to 2017 — it’s a welcome. 

We are ready.