Turbulent Times

2016 was a memorable year in every sense of the word. I finally obtained New Zealand residency, contemplated my career, and accepted my dream job in what some would consider, a broken city. I grieved from afar, experienced displacement, and watched the world descend into absolute chaos as Donald Trump ran for and won the American presidential election. In many ways, 2016 was a year of the highest highs and lowest lows. If anything, I’ve realized how privileged I am as a white, middle class, heterosexual woman living in the Western world. Though, as the Trump candidacy clearly demonstrated, the West is as sexist as ever.

Looking forward to 2017, I’d like to chronicle my own goals, but also acknowledge how fortunate I am to be able to set goals for myself. Maybe it’s time to dig a little deeper and help those who aren’t so lucky. As we’ve seen in Aleppo and closer to home, in Kaikoura, there are people who need our attention and compassion.

As writers and bloggers, we live in a world of aspiration and isolation. I’m not here to dismiss creative outlets and forms of expression. I believe the world needs both art and escapism as relief from the pain and hatred. As long as we’re aware how truly privileged we are to ‘escape’ from a situation that is far less dire than most. These goals are a reminder to myself, to do better.

  1. Donate my time and resources wherever I can, but especially in my community. We live next door to the Christchurch City Mission and I resolve to volunteer my time and help out as much as I can.
  2. I have more than enough clothes in my overpacked wardrobe. This year, I’d like to donate these to community living and families who cannot afford new garments.
  3. Reduce my carbon footprint, drive less, eat less meat and consume less.
  4. Support local, small businesses. The folks opening and operating new businesses post-earthquake deserve my dolla billz more than any shopping mall or chain restaurant ever will.
  5. Develop and hone new skills at work. I’m surrounded by hardworking, intelligent people, they continue to inspire me to work hard, set goals and smash them.
  6. Cook more. Nick’s a great cook, so cooking duties often fall on his shoulders. I’d like to master a few more dishes in 2017.
  7. Spend more time with family. My family is the coolest and I hate that I live so far from them.
  8. Travel to Japan. I’ve always been fascinated by Japanese culture and I can’t wait to experience a new country with Nick for the first time!

Was 2016 a good year for you? Let me know what your goals are for 2017 in the comments below!

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