This time last year, I was feeling pretty down about Trump’s election and didn’t have high hopes for 2017. But now that we’re at the end of it, I’ve got to say that this has been a great year. I don’t feel any better about Trump — he’s an embarrassment that can’t be overstated — but things have gone great for me.
As many of you know, I’m a software developer, and I’ve been self-employed for several years. In January, I landed a really great contract with an ad agency in downtown Birmingham. The projects I worked on went well, and in May, they offered me a full-time position. I hadn’t been looking for one, but the offer was too good to pass up. It was sad moving out of the office that I’ve shared with two very good friends of mine for the past several years, but other than that, this job change has been fantastic. I work with a great group of people, and I get to focus on the parts of my job that I enjoy rather than having to worry about lead generation, estimating, account management, billing, etc. I couldn’t have asked for a better fit.
The family’s been great, too. My girls are 14 and 12, and my son is 8. They’re all playing various sports, making good grades, and everyone’s in excellent health.
But one of the things that’s really helped put this year over the top was the recent Senate election here in Alabama. Maybe it sounds silly to hang so much importance on something like that, but after last year’s election, my faith in humanity was shaken. It’s still hard for me to process exactly how Trump won. But Alabama is a very red state, so it was almost a certainty that we would elect a Republican to our open Senate seat. When Roy Moore became the party’s nominee, I was horrified. I’ve long despised the man, and it would be difficult to find a worse candidate for any office. But because he had an “R” next to his name, he had the advantage.
I got pretty involved in trying to help Doug Jones win. I actually got involved with the local Democratic Party back in February, but I stepped things up for this election. I can’t express how happy I am that Jones won. Yes, it was close — it easily could have gone the other way. And this doesn’t suddenly make Alabama a purple state. But the fact that we were able to step up when it mattered to do the right thing gives me hope.
It’s not just hope because we’ll have a good, decent human being representing us, but because it shows that we can maybe get past the hyper-partisanship. At the end of the day, we usually want the same things: good roads, good jobs, access to healthcare, safe communities, etc. We have to stop letting people set us against one another. Democrats aren’t evil — neither are Republicans. No one party has all the answers. Assembling different perspectives gives us a fuller picture of the issues and can help us figure out better ways to solve our problems. If a Democrat can win a statewide election when the stakes are high, then there’s hope that we push things back toward the middle.
Anyway, this post has gone on long enough. I just wanted to say hello and let you know that I’m alive and well, despite my recent silence. I’ve had a good year, and I hope all of you have as well!
Happy Holidays, my friends!