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50-SOMETHING ELSE: Hashtags, Tumult and News Year Resolutions

01/20/2017 | Comments

As I watched the last grains of 2016 sand squeeze through the metaphorical hourglass, I experienced a definite feeling of relief. 2016 was a year filled with tumult, stress, fear, uncertainty, and (thank you Pope Francis) a huge dose of mercy. Most disturbingly, 2016 provoked an escalating fear among us 50-somethings regarding one of the most powerful women in the world. I’m referring of course, to the growing concern that the Queen of England might actually outlive us. (What did you think I was referring to?)
But with renewed vigor, a touch of optimism for a fresh start, and the usual dose or irreverence, I bring you the 2017 News Year Resolutions. For the 50SE novices among you, News Year resolutions take the stress out of devising your own commitments, and instead lay out a resolute plan based on the headlines from last year. So without further ado, and with apologies in advance, here are my intentions for the coming year as we look back at one of the most memorable years in history.

January 2016 News: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” becomes the highest grossing film of all time in North America, topping previous titleholder Avatar. Film lovers are ecstatic as the honor returns to a movie people will actually remember.
2017 Resolution: Boycott watching a Bronco-less Super Bowl telecast and binge-watch all seven Star Wars movies instead. Hope for Orange and Blue resurgence next season — #The Horse Awakens.

February 2016 News: Catholic U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies suddenly, rocketing the issue of Supreme Court nominations to the forefront of the rollercoaster Presidential primary races.
2017 Resolution: Pray for newly elected American President to nominate a strong pro-life judge to replace Scalia and help turn the tide in the modern day “slaughter of the innocents.”

March 2016 News: Unlikely presidential candidate Donald Trump dominates “Super Tuesday” primary contests, vaulting him ahead of a dwindling list of Republican competitors. Trump all but ensures improbable head-to-head contest with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
2017 Resolution: Dust off and revisit long-buried personal “impossible dream” bucket list.  Netflix the less-than-stellar, but aptly named James Bond film “Never Say Never Again.” 

April 2016 News:
National surveys show the world tiger population on the rise for the first time in 100 years. Battling long decline in sales of sugary cereal Frosted Flakes, Kellogg Co. pounces on the good news, reinventing product spokes-tiger Tony as buff, relevant hero. Announces #LetYourGreatOut media campaign. 
2017 Resolution: Resist nostalgic temptation to gorge on sugary cereal. Pledge to report all local tiger sightings to appropriate survey-takers immediately.

May 2016 News: 24-year old American rookie Alexander Rossi wins 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 after crossing the finish line coasting on empty fuel tanks. Rossi exclaims: “I have no idea how we pulled that off,” while pouring the traditional bottle of milk over his head.
2017 Resolution: Contact Kellogg’s to suggest marketing campaign featuring buff, relevant tiger pouring traditional bottle of milk over bowl of Frosted Flakes for 2017 Indy 500 winner.

June 2016 News: FDA announces new guidelines for sodium in attempt to reduce salt in processed and prepared food, compelling consumers to add salt at their own discretion.
2017 Resolution: Resist temptation to add mountains of salt to processed and prepared foods in order to alleviate suddenly bland-tasting processed and prepared foods. Learn to love broccoli.

July 2016 News: Nintendo releases blockbuster augmented reality game Pokémon Go, encouraging users to walk around looking to catch virtual Pokémon with mobile devices. By year’s end, 12 deaths and 53 injuries are attributed to preoccupied players, including two oblivious Californians who walk off 90-foot cliff while playing.
2017 Resolution: Pay really close attention when walking near all 90-foot cliffs. 

August 2016 News: The Zika virus, terrorism, waters that might contain lethal doses of human waste and Russian doping scandals fail to dull Games of the 31st Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro. U.S. athletes dominate the competition winning 121 total medals.
2017 Resolution: Be inspired by Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger” to combat merciless effects of gravity on 50-something body.

September 2016 News:  Pope Francis Canonizes Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
2017 Resolution: Be inspired by the diminutive nun’s life of selflessness and service. Follow her lead in helping the Slower, Lower and Weaker among us.

October 2016 News: Hurricane Matthew devastates Haiti, the Bahamas and the U.S. eastern seaboard causing over 1,000 fatalities.
2017 Resolution: Remember to pray for those affected by natural disasters in our country and around the globe. Donate to Catholic charities who continue to render invaluable humanitarian assistance.

November 2016 News: The nation and the world are shocked by unexpected results of hotly contested battle. That’s right, the Chicago Cubs win the baseball World Series for the first time in 108 years! Oh, and in other news, underdog billionaire Donald Trump upsets Hillary Clinton to become 45th president of the United States.
2017 Resolution: Never bet against the underdog again.

December 2016 News:  Actress Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Princess Leia in Star Wars movie series dies of a heart attack at the tender age of 60.
2017 Resolution: Binge-watch all seven Star Wars movies (again). Appreciate the gift of years I’ve been given, especially the 50-something decade. Whether I’m closer to the halfway point or nearing the end of my life’s journey, it’s provided much to be thankful for.

Happy News Year everyone. #It’llBeGr-reat!

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