A good year except for that one thing

It is a weird feeling to have had, except for the election and dire existential fear, a pretty good 2016. On a personal level, it was one of the most important years of my life.

I went from having a baby and a 4-year-old to having a very active and bright toddler and a 5-year-old. Together, they are a giant handful but also so much fun. Dashiell has so many questions about the world right now like “how do trees work?” and “why do you die when you get old?”

I had the biggest personal crisis I have ever had this year. I am not exaggerating: nothing has shaken me like this crisis that happened. It was deeply personal and I cannot really share it, but I can say I will never be the same. That sounds bad, but I survived and feel better than ever before. Honestly, I think it reduced my depression. I do have some days now that are as bad as I was before I was medicated, but I feel like I have more control than ever.

I turned 40, and that was not the above crisis.

I had an excellent year in music. I discovered a ton of new music and decided to explore a genre I didn’t know well, country/Americana. I discovered one of the few perfect albums I’ve ever heard, “I’ve Got a Way” by Kelsey Waldon. I have a Spotify playlist of the songs I listened to most in 2016.

I dipped my toes back into writing games. I started a newsletter to talk about games that has metamorphed into personal thoughts and stories, short game designs, and sometimes overly technical talk about games.

I had my best visit with my parents in 5 years. The last 5 years have been heartbreaking with them. I love them so much, but we are of very different minds and I hurt them very badly while trying to help myself and no one knows what to do about it. I went home for Christmas for the first time since then and it went better than I thought.

I read It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis after the election and it was very funny and fun to read while being very scary in today’s context.

I am kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I started maybe believing in something again. If you asked me directly if I believe in God, I’d probably still say no, but I’ve been going to a church for the last month or so.

I played my favorite new board game (Twilight Struggle) and my favorite new computer game (Kingdom) in the same week.

I went to Philadelphia with Dashiell for a week, just me and him, and we had the best time. We bonded in a serious way and I feel closer to him than before.

I went back to running Linux after 12 years on OS X. I got a Thinkpad X1 Carbon with 16 GB of RAM and an i7 and it is the best computer I have ever owned. I spend about 11 hours a day on a computer and it is a deeply personal experience.

And I lost 15 pounds! I can fit into pants I haven’t been able to fit in 3 years.

The election threw me into an existential crisis and the future is unbelievable and terrifying, but the rest of the year was pretty awesome.