Last call, everybody … for 2017, by the way

It’s last call … for 2017, anyway.

As with most years, it was both good and bad. Happy and sad. In 2017, both joyous and horrific things happened.

The 45th president of the United States was sworn in. Natural disasters seemed to take on wicked new depth and force. Women marched, NFL players kneeled.

Terror reared its ugliness and love and hope responded in the form of victim aid.

Rock music legends Tom Petty and Chris Cornell passed away. Both Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney and Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Corey Carter (aka Beyonce and Jay Z) had a set of twins.

In other words, 365 more roller-coaster runs around the sun, you dig?

And here we stand, poised to jump right into 2018 with… what? Hope? Fear? Trepidation? Positivity? Or maybe just a little bit of all four.

Listen, 2018 is nothing to be afraid of. Yes, scary, horrendous things happened last year. And the year before. And the year before that, too, BTW.

And I know there are several folks out there theorizing whether or not things have gotten so icky awful bad that we might just be lookin’ at the end of the world sometime very, very soon. #preppers

I don’t think we need to break out the apocalypse gear just yet, yo. I mean, I’m pretty sure there have been other times in the history of the country — and the world — during which people thought the jig was definitely up.

During the world wars, the bubonic plague, the Crusades and on many, many other very dark days in human history, people were likely convinced of the impending ending.

Heck, even the poor dinosaurs must have freaked out when the weather started to drastically alter their lifestyles and eating habits. Not to mention that big old asteroid that came bashing into the planet wreaking its havoc all over the darn place.

Hmm, this may have been a very bad example since, in fact, it DID mean the end for our very tall, short-armed friends.

I digress.

The point is, even though it’s true that there are humans out there opting to use their powers for evil, there are still a whole heckuva bunch more of us pulling for good.

Don’t build that underground bunker or buy out Costco’s bottled water supply just yet. Relax. Breathe. Think of this coming year as a beginning, because that’s exactly what it is: a big, beautiful, sweeping new clean slate. A chance to reinvent yourself, improve your condition, make amends or give back to the community, society or Mother Earth.

You don’t have to make a huge, honking list of resolutions that include starving yourself or running 84,000 miles in the next 12 months.

You need not give away your entire savings account or donate blood every other day (although a little philanthropy and blood donation won’t kill ya in 2018 or any other time).

All any of us needs to do to make the future brighter for all is really quite simple:

• Make good choices.

• Try your best, every time.

• Treat others with respect and kindness.

• Be patient (especially with the very young and very old).

• Give as much as you can, as often as you can.

• Hold onto people, let go of hurt.

• Hug. A lot.

• Laugh. Every day.

• Pray.

• Hug some more.

Happy New Year, y’all!

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who isn’t convinced the world is ending just yet but is stocking up on canned goods just in case. Check out her daily blog before it’s too late at