Could 2016 have been much worse?  I believe we were all snookered into thinking it was just -- you know -- a year.  But it wasn't.  It was vile from the beginning of January, and has been painful throughout. Bad year!  Bad, bad year!   2016 go to time out!


Of course with the end-of-December deaths, the low note has dropped even lower.  Even though 2017 could be the pits, January 1 cannot come soon enough.



Still, I have to acknowledge the high points, because that’s the right thing to do.  In no particular order, here is my Gratitude List:


* The new editors I got to work with (and for them I mean, the new editors with whom I was fortunate enough to work).  I enjoyed their points of view, their suggestions, and their improvements to my work.  Thank you.


*My coffeemaker.  How can you feel confident with only one cup at a time?  I like to brew a whole pot.  Big thanks to Fairway’s Cost Rica Dark beans.


Subcategory:  Half and Half.  I’m not fussy about the brand, but that creamy thickness has become a daily luxury.


*My covered butter dish.  I need soft butter that won’t rip my bread.  High maintenance?  If you say so.


*Dry shampoo.  Life-changing.  I don’t have to wash my hair every day.  (They say daily shampooing is bad for one’s scalp and hair.)  I like Klorane.


*My Boyfriend.  He knows who he is.  He knows why.


*My Three Science Experiments:  Exhibits A, B, and C.  (My children.)  They had tough years as well.  Whoppers, if you want to know the truth.  But we reached December 27th, anyway, and we have all grown from our respective and collective trials.


*  As a New Yorker,  I don’t like to sit and park my car twice a week.  I don’t even need my car once a week.  So valets bring it as needed; much less expensive than a nearby garage.


*The Obama Family.  I admire them.  They have had to endure this awful year plus seven others in public, and have done so with poise and dignity and cool.  Wherever Barack Obama will be performing next year, I’d go on tour as a roadie.


*Exhibit D, our dog Henry.  He’s made my empty nest much more bearable.  He’s good company!

* Eyeglasses becoming cool.  I toggle between my sunglasses, my reading glasses, and my reading sunglasses.  Who’d a thunk?  Because I’m also wearing contact lenses.  But now everyone is wearing glasses all the time.  Even Oprah.  So I might do the same.



My No Thanks List



*  Facebook:  Home of fake news, pity parties, and stalkers.  I do appreciate Mark Zuckerberg’s addition of new responses to postings, other than Likes, but it has become eminently clear that Facebook requires editors and grown ups-without- chips-on-their-shoulders to restore objectivity and honesty to the wall. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it is important.  I pretty much left Facebook when the noise of the two presidential campaigns became deafening.  Now my self-curated bubble is still – from when I peek in – angry, discouraged, praying for loved ones and pets undergoing surgery, and celebrating anniversaries (which is fine).  But it’s exhausting to spend even five minutes on today’s Facebook.    We are all hurting and it’s an easily accessible place on which to preach (as I’m doing here), but without controls there’s too much emphasis on blame.


* My iphone:  I discovered that it spies on me.  It eavesdrops, which I consider rude.  (Isn’t it my property?)


And, oh yeah.


*The Election of 2016.  From the early days of the screaming Republican Gladiator Reality Shows to today (December 27th), nothing has brought me down lower.  The hate.  The lies.  The factions.  The trolls.  The culture war of 2016 has turned facts into elitist fairy dust.   I’ve canvassed, gone to a swing state, donated money, worked phone banks, (I know; good for me) -- and am prepared to do more, but most of the time I feel I’m talking to myself.  (See iPhone above).