2016 is in the history books.  GONE.  Forever.

No matter what you did, it’s done.

No matter what someone else did or any of us did in 2016…

It’s time to look forward.

Face it. Some people are scared out of their minds as they look to the future.

Have empathy.

Others have gone through unexpected hardships, be there for them.

While last year was a weird one on a political level, it was also a year that saw lots of other changes going on.

It’s December 28th as I type these words on my laptop.  The final week of 2016 with almost a week before this article is published.

Celebrity deaths like Carrie Fisher, her mom Debby Reynolds and George Michael were all over social media in the last couple of days.  Add them to the list of big names that the world lost.

This morning I saw the obit in my local paper that a woman that I’ve known, Helen passed away at Christmas time.  She was a member of our church and in the neighborhood outreach that I was involved with for the past 3 years.

Earlier today my wife and I had brunch with an old high school friend, Steve and his wife Lesa who were in town for about 5 days.  Steve’s dad passed away years ago but his mom is still around. My own parents never made it to 70 passing away in 1998 and 2001.

Death is a part of life, as the saying goes and I don’t want to get stuck there or actually any of us to get stuck anywhere.

Stuck is not a good word, usually.

So today and in the days to come, I urge you to appreciate the past.

Even the crappy parts.

The lessons we learn are from the crappy parts.  Don’t get lost wishing for the good old days, or you’ll be left behind.

Cherish, laugh, learn, listen and love.

Let’s embrace 2017 as another year to change the world, one day (sometimes one hour) at a time.