Holy Jenga, the sun came up on a new year. (After 2016, I wasn’t so sure it would.)
But the last thing we need is another blog post about how bad things were in 2016.
I figure, since most of our history books are filled with one-sided perspectives, and those perspectives aren’t always very factual…
And since we now live in a society that prefers make-believe over reality…
Why not write my own history of 2016. So here goes…
It was amazing.
My house was always clean.
My kids never fought.
The IRS gave us lots of money back after our audit.
I have perfected the work/life/love balance.
Orangutans are making a come back. Syria is rebuilding better than ever and…
Hillary Clinton won the presidency.
OK… so maybe not.
But instead of dwelling on the darkness…
I am going to focus on the light…
And extend an invitation to more of the awesome…
And less of the shitty for 2017 (unless it’s compost.)
But there is an extra challenge for me, because entering this new year means entering a new decade.
I am not thrilled about my new decade starting the same year that our country offers the potential of nuclear war, or starts burning so many fossil fuels that we cook our way back into a primordial soup.
Oh man, if I didn’t have kids… I would jump off of this doomed life raft so fast…
And jump on to a booze cruise in Mexico, preferably one with lots of milkshakes and tequila.
But thanks to raging hormones that took over my good judgement in my early 30’s,
I now have two small people who I am responsible for.
And I desperately want those two people to live in a world where police don’t shoot citizens they were hired to protect, presidents don’t encourage hatred and violence, warlords don’t kill innocent children, and companies don’t destroy the planet or wipe out species for products like ivory, palm oil and shark fins.
So I have lots to do in 2017. The party is over.
It is time to get to work.
Because it is better to solve problems than cry about them (although I have little to no control over my tear ducts thanks to having kids, so crying is probably going to happen regardless.)
But through the tears you may hear our family theme song, “If there’s a problem, yo, I’ll solve it. Check out the hook, while my DJ revolves it.”
And for the real history books (and because I promised to focus on the good)…
Here are a few of my actual favorite moments, projects and memories of 2016 and a new song (from La La Land) for the soundtrack of a new decade….
A bit of madness is key to give us to color to see
Who knows where it will lead us?
So bring on the rebels
The ripples from pebbles
The painters, and poets, and plays.
Here’s to the fools who dream.
Crazy, as they may seem.
Here’s to the hearts that break.
Here’s to the mess we make.
Here’s to a work-our-asses-off new year.
Thank you for all of your love and support.
I look forward to seeing what we dreamers create together in 2017.
(Drawing by Christian Anthony)
About the author paige green
Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.
Give me Louisiana
My Brain On War… (And FREE Photo Shoot for those who match my donation to relief efforts in Ukraine)
When the World Feels Upside Down… Together We Can (plus: bonus photo of me in middle school)
Love this. ❤️ Thank you for sharing.
Oh Paige, I am right with you on all of this. Especially the post-children tear duct issues … particularly at the photo of L with J on her preggo belly. Thanks for sharing this and all your dreams. Such an inspiration.
I love you so much.
P. Green you always have a way of making me feel exactly where you are with your words and beautiful photos. Thank you for this and I am right there with you for the challenge of the next few years. Someone said it best in my office there will be many voices calling for help as a result of the new government in our country and we will have to be there to answer their call and be their advocate. So that they are protected on our watch to build the world we want to live in. I love you thank you for your kind heart.
I love you very much. Yes, “here’s to the fools that dream”…Happy 2017 you beauty! xo
Wow! That is all. Found you through dig this chick.
Oh, Paige. I loved this so, so much. Well done, friend. Here’s to you.
This is so so wonderful. I will read it again. Let’s get to work, with breaking hearts and moments of feeling scared and brave at the same time