This year has been rough. For me, it started with an offer for a Broadway show on January 1st, which seemingly promised excellent fortune in the months ahead, only to have said Broadway show cancelled 3 weeks into rehearsal. And that looked like peanuts with what followed in 2016. This year is ending in an incredibly volatile political and social climate not only in the United States, but in the world. We are either approaching crisis mode, or are already in crisis mode and will only be able to tell when we look back and say, “Oh, how good we had it back then when we were in crisis mode and didn’t know it!”
We lost David Bowie, Prince, Florence Henderson, Edward Albee, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and the one that pierces my heart most of all, Alan Thicke. There are humans using social media to beg for help and say their last goodbyes to the world, as what is left of their cities are being savagely bombed, and they are watching their friends and family be slaughtered right in front of their eyes, all in the name of power.
And for the cherry on top of my own personal pity pie, I might have mono. Yes, the virus that most of us got out of the way our freshman year of college when we kissed 87 people in the same night with no thought of germs, much less maybe raising our standards a little bit.
So, with 17 long days left to go (please be a happy day, Christmas), I’m going to look ahead to 2017 with a new plan.
While shopping at a local small business craft fair here in Chicago this past weekend, I came across a page-a-day calendar. Not the kind I know you’re picturing, with the crappy plastic stand that doesn’t actually stand even though its literal name is “STAND,” and the row of glue that hangs over the pages further and further as the year goes on and is impossible to rip off without the whole thing coming apart. No, this one was special.
For one thing, almost every product on the table it was displayed on bore the phrase “you are beautiful,” and being a human with an ego, I like when inanimate objects give me compliments. But I loved the beautiful, simply artistic and classic vibe it was giving me, and I also really like Post-It cubes, so it really spoke to me with its vertical shape.
But it was the name most of all. The name of the calendar is “Today.” And as we launch desperately out of this mess of a 2016 and emerge with renewed hope in 2017, I’m resolving to take it day by day. I’ve said this a lot in the past, but I mean it this time. And this calendar is going to help.
Many of you have been following along with my #PartyWithPatti initiative this whole year, where I celebrated as many “National Holidays” as I could manage. It was hard, and required a lot of planning, and a lot of the joy of celebrating was lost because I was constantly feeling bad for missing celebrations, or being forced to celebrate things I hated, like vegetables and healthy things and vegetables. When people asked if I was going to do that again, my immediate reaction was, “Hell, no!” I had a fantastic time and actually made some great new friends out of it, but it was a lot. So this year, I’m trying something new with “Today.”
Each day of the calendar has a new thought, just a few words long, that can mean absolutely nothing or a crap ton, depending on what you make of it. So each morning, I’m going to look at the phrase of the day, take a picture of it, share it, and see how it informs the next 24 hours. No cheating, no looking or planning ahead, just a lovely thing to look forward to every morning to make the day a little more fun, more challenging, more exciting, or just whatever. There is no pressure to “do,” though I know I will be inspired to.
And yes, I know that January 1st is just the day after December 31st, and the universe doesn’t actually reset itself, but guess what? I don’t really care. 2017 will be better, because I am going to make better things of it. And “Today” is going to guide the way.
So here we go! Let’s all hold virtual hands and get through the remainder of this sh*t pile of a year together. The only way out is love. And jokes. Lots and lots of jokes.
(To buy the calendar for yourself: https://you-are-beautiful.com/collections/art/products/today-daily-calendar)
(Also I literally do not know this man, so I’m not getting any sort of kickback or free stuff or anything. He legit doesn’t know I exist.)