A Year Ago This Week–Week Twenty-Three

Continuing the weekly arguments that 2016 was not all bad, I’ve created a series of posts designed to exonerate the year. This is the twenty-third installment in that series.

A year ago this week I decided to stop calling my self-portraits selfies. I was plowing through a year-long endeavor with a name that didn’t jive with my intentions. I needed to distinguish the serious wellness work I meant to accomplish with the project from casual selfies taken just for fun. Not that there is/was anything wrong with selfies just for fun, but the self-portrait project was a more significant undertaking. As such, I felt it needed a significant title. Because this is not a selfie:

Photo Jun 03, 7 55 15 PM

So that’s what I called them;  This Is Not A Selfie (TINAS).  Getting that one to feel good would no doubt push me forward to begin revising my own sobriquet a few months later. It matters what we call a thing. It matters what we call our work and what we call ourselves. Giving the project a good name helped me invest more deeply. Investment in the project an was investment in myself. I was an appreciable asset in 2016.

A year ago this week I booked a flight to Florida to see my family. We hadn’t executed a family reunion in ten years, so long overdue was an understatement. Since I’d just started a new job I had no paid time off available. I could only squeeze in a weekend. Travel expenses were significant, even with splitting the cost of lodging with my siblings. The Chef couldn’t go, so I’d have to go alone. The distance was greater for me than the rest of the family. There was a compelling list of reasons to say No. I didn’t say No. I booked the flights and committed myself to the Yes. I was affirmative in 2016.

A year ago this week I was offered the opportunity to vent about things that suck. I wrote:

I don’t feel like complaining today.

Must have been a really good day. Or maybe I was feeling the reward for practicing contentment, which is its own reward. I was rewarding in 2016.

I don’t dismiss or deny that 2016 was a year so tumultuous that many just wanted to get through it and get over it. But it wasn’t all bad. There were weeks like this one a year ago, in which some of us couldn’t say No and couldn’t complain. So it wasn’t all bad.

— Mercy

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