16 Reasons to be Thankful for 2016


People seem to agree that 2016 has not been a great year. We’ve had a whirlwind of nightmares on the political scene, both nationally and internationally. We’ve seen numerous mass shootings, the deaths of many beloved celebrities, and the unfortunate death of a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. But it’s not all bad, is it?

My own 2016 has been a mixed bag, with the death of my mother overshadowing everything else. But buried underneath all that sadness, I moved on to a new job that I like, I’ve had a banner year in terms of publications, and my family continues to bring me joy.

I’d be willing to bet that most people probably have similar experiences. When you look at this year from a personal level, it might be bittersweet, but it’s probably not completely awful. Taken as a whole, no single year is all good or all bad.

Part of the problem is that fear and dismay sell better than happiness and hope. The last 20 years have turned us into a society that’s constantly bombarded by news, most of which is bad because the media cares more about ratings than facts. But that doesn’t mean everything is as bleak as it seems.

To prove that 2016 hasn’t been a universally bad year, here are 16 good stories that have come our way since January. While this stuff doesn’t outweigh the general misery that so many people seem to be feeling this year, it’s at least a reminder than there are good stories out there if you look.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!

Is Fozzie Bear actually the first Muppet with autism?

Fozzie Bear

One of the things on my fiction writing bucket list is to create a protagonist who has autism. The disorder would never get specifically called out – I would just make sure that the symptoms were there and let them be as natural a part of the character as hair color or sexual orientation.

The goal behind this idea is to create a realistic character that people with knowledge of autism could identify as being on the spectrum but who is not defined by the disorder. But, as it turns out, it seems that the Muppets may have beaten me to the punch by several decades.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!