“Sweetie… sweetie?” Josh gently tugged at my limp foot.
“Mwrar…hmphf. Mmm hmmm?” I grumbled.
“It’s almost midnight. A few more minutes. Wake-up.”
Wow. What a year. I’m not sure I can definitively decide whether it was great or terrible. Somewhere in the middle, I will say. For one, I attained my single goal of keeping afloat with this community and growing it. Naturally, the posts ebbed and flowed, but overall we covered a lot this past year! Hooray! My personal life took a plunge into some happy chaos towards the end of the year with the baby news. Since then, I’ve been teetering with the balancing act of preparing for the baby, this blog, maintaining my marriage, and everything else in between. Though, I don’t foresee life slowing any time soon, and that’s okay. This Francophile thrives best in chaos, anyways.
Between a heated election, weddings, sicknesses, and baby preparation, I was perfectly willing to spend the transition into 2017 on my couch, in my pajamas, and wedded to Netflix. No frills. No Chinese food feast. No bubbly. No sparkly heels or blistered 2am feet. No drunken amorous proclamations. None of that this time around. A cat curled and purring into each hip, and my husband chuckling at the television was the most fitting way to put the tumult of 2016 to rest and welcome 2017. The pre-midnight snooze was the best. Really.
I don’t want to delve into politics too much in this space, but I will say that I witnessed a mix of the best and the absolute worst in people over the past year. During the U.S. election season, my hope in people was beaten and critically deflated. Anger, ignorance, and unfounded paranoia fueled an onslaught of terrifying rhetoric that not only normalized racism, misogyny, and overall inhumanity but also promoted it. Jokes of rape and general female degradation were constantly streaming my social media feeds from people I once thought to be decent friends and family. To be clear, there is nothing decent OR humorous to be found in sexual assault. Nothing. Never. Ever. Ever. To say I was disheartened in this behavior would be a gross understatement. This was the sobering example of how powerful, and dangerous, social media and the internet in general, can be. This wasn’t about politics. This was about the total flippant lack of human decency.
However, I don’t want to dwell on the worst from 2016. Frankly, it debilitates me. Rather, I’ll focus on the best from 2016, which is this community here at À La Prochaine. Together, our continued willingness and enthusiasm in exploring culture proves that all is not lost, and we can use social media and the internet in a respectful and informed manner. We can and do promote kinder ideologies. It’s possible. This is the proof. Head over to my French-Spiration page, and you’ll find the same circles of compassionate authors each trying to bring a positive and constructive awareness to the beauty that really exists out there in this otherwise turbulent world.
So 2017, huh? Where do we go from here? My New Year goals for this blog are simple: keep fighting the good fight, and keep promoting cultural awareness. This year, I’m hoping to:
- Improve my language skills by learning and conjugating two new verbs a week. It’s all about the verbs, my friends. Build. Build. Build.
- Make and actually try Cassoulet. Can I really call myself a Francophile if I’ve never had this traditional French meal? It’s embarrassing truthfully, and now’s the time to correct such heresy.
- Attempt to bake madeleines. I have been delaying this for a year. I wish I could explain that.
- Explore a French spot outside of Massachusetts. Vermont? Connecticut? New Hampshire? I’m coming for you! More road trips! More, I say!
Voila! These are some of the blog’s more attainable goals for 2017. Unfortunately, I don’t think a trip to France is in the cards this year. However, I will continue to find ways to bring France here! Naturally, you’ll all be privy to the progress, as I’ll be sure to post as much as I can. I mean, it’s not real unless it’s on social media, right? At any rate, I’m planning a fun-packed 2017, and I hope you’ll continue to follow. What are your goals for the new year? Feel free to share in the comments below. I’d love to hear them. Regardless, I wish each and every one of you continued health and happiness in 2017. May we all find something that fills us with renewed hope. Thank you so much for following and for your continued support.
Merci beaucoup. À la prochaine.
PS- If anyone has any good Cassoulet or Madeleine recipes, do feel free to send them over, s’il vous plait. 🙂