We still have time left in 2017

I don’t know about you, but for me 2017 was an emotionally draining year. I have never felt so insecure about the future of my country. The state of politics on a national and international level has often left me feeling embarrassed, scared and confused as to why I have chosen to dedicate my career to studying the poor decisions and bad behaviors of elected officials. When the clock strikes midnight ushering in 2018, I will likely breathe a sigh of relief for having made it through some of the most troubling times I have experienced in my roughly four decades on Earth.

In the spirit of trying to stay present, I am focusing on what I can do in the remaining days of 2017. I am excited about what the new year will bring, but I am committed to “playing all four quarters of the game,” like in my old sports days. There is still time for me to pick up one of the novels I’ve had on my shelf all year. Each year I try to read 12 novels and usually succeed at completing approximately eight. This year was no different, I lost steam around July and never recovered. In the final days of 2017, I might try to reach nine novels, or at least begin something new.

Most of my readers know I love to purge household items to make space for new blessings and new energy. In the final few days of 2017, I am going to give my closets and drawers one more glance to see if there are any additional items that could or should go to a homeless shelter, a church clothing drive or even the Manhattan Borough president’s office (Gale Brewer and her staff generously collect certain items for families who have been victims of fires during this winter season).

Lastly, I am going to commit to writing more. I am so disappointed that I did not keep a journal to chronicle this tumultuous year. Although my initial memories of this year are filled with political chaos and mayhem, when I dig a little deeper, I am reminded of the many joyful events that occurred throughout 2017. Had I taken slightly better notes, I might be able to more easily recall the various instances of Black girl excellence and Black boy joy that surrounded and sustained me throughout the year.

As always, have a reflective end of 2017 and a prosperous (however you define it) 2018. And please send me a tweet at @Dr_CMGreer if you’d like to see particular topics addressed in the upcoming year. I thank our publisher Elinor Tatum for another year as your opinions columnist and look forward to all that 2018 holds in store.

Christina Greer, Ph.D., is the 2018 NYU McSilver Institute Fellow and an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream” and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com. You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.