The year of the shrug

Dear 2017, welcome!

You’re still young, a few hours old, but I think it is important that we talk.

I have certain expectations and I figured it would be best if we get those out into the open. The sooner the better.

You know, your predecessor and I were on very friendly terms. We enjoyed the 366 days together, most of them anyway.

Yes, your predecessor was good to me. And I was good to it, too.

On January 1, we had decided together that I would make some changes in my diet and exercise routine. So I did. I have used my spin bike more than ever and even have picked up running! I got myself a work-out DVD set and even although this was near the end of your predecessors time, I am pretty pleased how disciplined I have been in using it already!

I hope we can agree on continuing this trend, together.

I know I have been eating some good but not good for me things, especially near the end. It’s hard, you know, with the holidays and the Dutch tradition of ‘oliebollen’. But I hope you’re pleased to know that I have bagged up all the left-overs to give away tomorrow, so I am not tempted.

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As for the rest of the year, I would want to discuss something with you. I have noticed that people seem to argue a lot. That they form opinions based on (fake) news they read on Social Media or hear from each other. People have turned harder, are easily offended and in return become more offensive. I didn’t like the language used in 2016.  Offending people seemed to have become the new normal.

2017, I hope you can change that. As you and I start the New Year I only have one wish: Can people shrug a bit more in 2017? Can they hear something and just shrug? Think about it before responding? Have a more open view towards others? Give new things and ideas a try before completely destroying it? Do you think people can talk in friendly manners, even if they don’t really like each other? Do you think you can help us to get along? Try to understand other views? To listen? Really listen, and if the ideas are different, can we just shrug and say: “Hmm, interesting view, let me ponder about it.” Or “Hmm, I don’t see it in that way. I don’t agree with you, but I respect your view.”

Can you, can your year be the year of the ‘shrug’?


Photo from Pixibay


2017, let’s become good friends. Let’s start listening. Let’s start today! Let’s shrug!




Edith Schriever

About Edith Schriever

I am a Maine-igrant from the Netherlands. While my scientist husband fell in love with the beautiful research institute here, I fell in love with Mount Desert Island. Mountains, ocean, wild life, peace and quiet! A culture change? Yes, a bit. Americans are not at all like the Jerry Springer audience I saw on TV when living in the Netherlands, well, at least not everyone. Portions are big and toilets small and low; I have learned to embrace the cultural differences.