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Trivial S@%# To Worry About During The News Lull, Before Buckling Up For 2017

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Listen up, baby bears: 2016 is almost over, which is good because this year has been a goddamn trash fire burning so hot and so stinky, and left many of us bedridden with exhaustion and malaise. And the winter of our discontent has barely begun! It hasn’t even started yet. We’re just pre-gaming right now.

Look, 2016 sucked. It sucked hard. Prince and Bowie died, Alan Thicke was called home, too, and we’re in the midst of a whipped cream drought that’s got all of us out here crying into our naked lattes. Worst of all, there are huge racial and economic issues plaguing America that we need to deal with. Are we on the road to giving our children weird-ass post-apocalyptic names and sending them into arenas to fight to the death? Yes! If your kid is named Meridian or McNzY, you’d better start teaching them spear tricks RTFN!

But while we’re doing all that, as the holidays begin and Xanax pills wane, we all need to find ourselves a hobby for, like, two days. A week tops. Then we’ll go back to figuring out how in the hell we’re going to dig ourselves out of this mess we’ve gotten in.

Fortunately, since the week between Christmas and New Year’s is traditionally dead in every way, we’ve got some time to attend to all the little things before we have to start girding our loins. Who will live? Who will die? Will your favorite show be canceled? Will you ever find love in the barren wasteland? No idea! You’ve got plenty of time to deal with that!

But first, let’s let off some steam by:

HAVING SEX

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Let’s be honest, the past few months of weirdness have absolutely had an effect on your sex life. How can you properly consummate the horizontal tango when you’re wondering about what your role will be in the weird futuristic rebellion. Will you be a worker drone or will you lead people dressed in weird capes in an assault on the capital?

For at least a little while, we all have to ride this thing out and try to make positive changes in the world. So ride you shall! Forget everything else and try to get back in the saddle, sex-wise. No partner? No problem. Did you know that masturbation — a fun activity you may have forgotten to engage in because you’ve been so focused on Aleppo — has proven health benefits? It can reduce headaches and anxiety as well as lower the risk of prostate cancer? That’s great, because we need you here! Think about that! (You’re basically doing it for your country!)

LEARNING TO MAKE SMALL TALK THAT ISN’T ABOUT SWING STATES

Christmas is here and that means two things: 1) you’re going to have to make polite small talk with a bunch of strangers and distant acquaintances and 2) you’ll no longer be able to avoid questions such as “what do you do for a living?” and “which TV shows do you watch?” by quickly changing the subjects to battleground states that none of us were trying to visit in the first place. By the way, what do you do, and what shows do you watch, because, friend, it’s likely that while in the thrall of the last few months of deaths and upsets you may have ignored your favorite forms of entertainment (there were more important things), your friends, and your commitments just so you could pay The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal (not to mention The Washington Post) their blood sacrifices.

Who are you outside of the news cycle? What sites do you read besides 538 (either for comfort or for rage)? Do you have an opinion on those new holiday cups Starbucks has been shilling? They’re awfully green, aren’t they? All good things to talk about! Look at you, not even mentioning what a joke the electoral college is even once. Now don’t bring up the word “emails,” and you’re going to make it through through New Year’s just fine!

FIGURING OUT HOW TALL BARBARA BUSH REALLY IS

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She could be four feet tall, she could six-foot-six. Who knows? Not us, and certainly not Siri. But you could be the one to crack this mystery. In fact, isn’t it time you spent a little less time digging through those Podesta emails — it’s over, no one’s getting indicted — and spent a little more time trying to figure out some of life’s more pressing mysteries, like where Tom Petty’s from and whether you really have to continue eating breakfast to ensure that you have a good day. No one’s going to judge you for falling in a wiki-hole, so why not try to figure out whether black-eyed children are a real thing or not. What a fun and non-morbid activity!

This is also the time to consider taking up a small but results-driven hobby that will reward you with something you can proudly show off to others, even if you can’t be proud of anything else that’s happened this year!

Get drunk and make some crafts. You deserve it.

DOING RANDOM SH*T THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

You wanna get high? You wanna take a jog? You wanna get into a warm bubble bath and lay in it sobbing for hours? What about journaling? You like that, champ? Ain’t nothing better than a little anger-induced writing in that expensive moleskin your parents got you a few years back when you became too old for “fun” presents and they didn’t just want to start giving you cash. Now’s the time to use it.

Listen, we know that most people will blanch at the thought of “taking care of yourself” because that’s just another sign of the “pussification of America,” but when’s the last time you took some time to treat. yo. self? You don’t have to take a vacation; if your self-care is drinking a double dose of Nyquil and passing out for 12-14 hours (been there), we’re not going to judge you. We’ll warn you not to overdo it and to stay away from harder drugs, but no one’s going to take your two day journey into sweet oblivion away, because you’re still living free, man.

GETTING YOUR BILLS, YOUR HOUSE, YOUR CREDIT CARDS IN ORDER

Get that shit together, pay the IRS what you owe them (the tax extension deadline expired in October), and stop eating pizza every night by the glow of your electronic mobile device. And wash your dishes before you have to throw them out and buy all new ones. Listen, it happens (source: experience). Don’t feel bad, just stride forward into a brilliant new day! Or, okay, a possibly gray and depressing new day. The important thing is that you’re striding. Are you striding?

Okay! Because in 2017 your “trivial shit” time is over. We all have to buckle up and make this world a better place.

Contact Mark directly on Twitter.

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