Now this is not a declaration of New Year resolutions, not that there is anything wrong with it. This is simply about managing stress. It is about understanding some things are out of our control and should not put such a damper on our spirits that we lose ourselves in despair. This is a reminder that things could always be worse and we have got to embrace the good things in life.

2016 was a year that left many of us with an uneasiness about what the future may hold.

For us Generation Xers, 2016 was a reminder of the cycle of life and life in itself is precious, but all good things must come to an end. Many of the iconic musicians and actors we grew up watching as children have passed on. Thankfully, many of them left a legacy of theatrical arts and music that we can adorn for generations to come. Although this fact is comforting, it is still hard to come to grips that we are getting older. Time marches on with or without us. Thinking about this is enough to send any sound and sane person into a pit of depression. However, what I suggest doing is mastering the art of trapping negative energy and turning it into something motivating.

Many of us are might be facing uncertainty about the state of America, and rightfully so. Change is unsettling. It is even more understandable, as we face the turn of a new presidency. We all tend to be uncertain no matter who the POTUS is.

My way of thinking is simple, I still have to take care of me at the end of the day. So why stress out over what may or may not be in my near future?

One thing for sure, regardless of what happens to America, we won’t be going through the storm alone. We often times forget that we have each other to lean on.

I challenge everyone this year to take a little more unplugged time.

What I mean, is taking time away from social media and getting back to things that us Generation Xers did to pass time. For example, have a dinner night with some friends. Instead of going to a pricey restaurant, only to get on Facebook or Twitter to later complain about the service or food. Why not make memories instead and fellowship with dear friends and loved ones?

Family game night is a tradition that has been fading since the dawn of social media. Not only do board games increase brain activity, they also can be an easy way for families to spend time together. For us adults, one more reason to get together and poor the wine freely and laugh hysterically.

The point is that with all the sadness surrounding 2016, there is one thing we collectively as humans should agree on. That is the fact that we really should focus more on the intangible things in life that matter the most.

All the material things that we chase after in this rat race, otherwise known as life, cannot be taken with us when we pass. Yes, for those of us who have children, we should work to leave them something beneficial in life. However, nothing can be more beneficial to your children than discipline, affection, and love. For your loved ones, the intimacy you share over the years is what one holds on to after you are gone.

This year I challenge everyone to build personal memories of such attributes to share not just with your family and friends, but with the world. I don’t know that we can do much to “Make America Great Again”, but we can at least start with making ourselves great. How else can the state of our people improve? Surely not by congress and definitely not our President Elect. We have a myriad of reasons to truly be grateful for the lives that we live. It is time we start embracing the good instead of dwelling on the bad.

Happy New Year everyone.

Make some great memories that will last FOREVER this year!

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DeLaine Love

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