In Defence of 2016

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard some (or many) people complaining about the trainwreck that was 2016. Many famous people died, Brexit happened, Donald Trump got elected President, we’ve had a number of terrorist attacks and a coup in Turkey, etc. And yeah, sure, these are all bad things, but that doesn’t mean the year was any worse than any other.

2016

People forget that bad things happened in 2015, 2014 and every other year before that. Why, we’ve had a lot of famous people die before… Leonard Nimoy and Christopher Lee in 2015, and Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2014. Plenty of terrorist attacks occurred… in fact, I feel that 2016 has been calmer on that front than 2015.

On a personal level, I had an uncle pass away in 2016… compared to an aunt and uncle in 2015. I know it’s not a nice comparison to make, but I’ll still take the year with the one less tragedy.

But a lot of good things happened this year too. People simply choose to forget them.

In this day and age, they tend to cling to the negativity and bury all the positivity under a pile of woe. These things, though they did not receive too much coverage, still have amazing long-term effects… all these technological and medical breakthroughs (for example, the gene causing ALS was identified due to funds from the Ice Bucket Challenge). India planted 50 million trees in one day. ISIS is weaker today than ever before. And that’s just on a worldwide scale (here’s a more comprehensive list for those interested.)

Every day in 2016, someone got married, had their first kiss, gave birth, overcame cancer, reunited with their best friend, landed a new job, explored the world, stepped down from the brink of suicide, celebrated a birthday or an anniversary, saved a life, won the lottery, laughed till they cried, wrote a book, graduated… for every bad thing that happened, something equally good happened. In the midst of all the chaos, why not celebrate our small victories?

I had a number of good things happen in 2016:

  • I fulfilled a dream of mine and travelled to Italy.
  • I made up with a friend.
  • I started learning calligraphy.
  • I learned to be more comfortable in my own company.
  • I got a raise.
  • I got a brand new spanking laptop.
  • I moved on.
  • I bought a typewriter (another dream fulfilled!).
  • I am happier today than I ever was before.
  • I lost weight and became more conscious health-wise.
  • I attended my first Harry Potter launch party.
  • I reunited with a friend I hadn’t seen since 2006.
  • I am more in control of my life than any other year.
  • I met Brandon Sanderson and attended a class by him!
  • I celebrated TWO friends’ recovery from cancer.
  • I got sucked into Doctor Who and all its timey wimey awesomeness.
  • I wrote quite a lot more this year, and I’m closer to finishing my second book.
  • I’m one step closer to launching my own translation & editing online business.

And that’s what I can remember off the top of my head. And let’s not forget all the amazing movies we’ve had this year. Seriously. Deadpool, Zootopia, Finding Dory, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange… and so many more.

2016 was fine. It wasn’t worse than any other year. We’re just exaggerating. Take a moment and look back at those twelve months… what is the best thing that happened to you in 2016? 

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20 thoughts on “In Defence of 2016

  1. beachbooksblog says:

    I discovered what is my dream, I started my book, I bought a yellow typewriter, my dad had a crazy car crash this summer, but he survived and recovered and yesterday he joined as all in pre-xmass party. This year was intensive and full of contrasts, but at the same time – it was SO full with amazing “have-it-all” energy and sooooo filled with healing love. Amazing year.

    • That’s wonderful! And yes, I agree with you. While I don’t deny that awful things have happened, there was also so much energy and cause for celebration.

  2. Well, a new bridge opened up in my home city, and my wife and I moved into a new apartment in said home city, which cuts my work commute in half. That was fun. 🙂

  3. Totally agree, honey! I can’t stand it when a new year is upon us and people start bashing the year we are closing up. I feel like 2016 has been worse than the others on the bashing front. Even the positive people I know have been dragging it through the mud.

    That’s not the way I want to finish up the year. Hell, I got laid off and my dad almost died, but I became a stronger person for it. I landed on my feet, got a new job making more money with more flexibility. Went and visited my dad after he had a heart attack and told him how much I loved him after not seeing him for two years.

    2016 was damn fantastic. Sounds like you had a fabulous year! Lots of writing and positive moves all-around. And…we both lived out our Italy dreams! xo

    • Thank you, Britt! I’ve grown tired of seemingly being the only person going, “Leave 2016 alone!”

      I’m glad that despite what initially appear to be bad events, you were able to have a year of reunions and personal and business growth. And yes! Italy was just fantastic. 😀

  4. I agree with you, Zen, people have a tendency to focus on the negative and forget the good. When they should obviously do the contrary. Peace and happiness would come easier to all if they did. 2016 was not that bad at all for us either: we got to travel a lot (Italy too, Canary Islands in Spain, around France, I walked El Camino in Spain and we were in Cuba by the end of the year). We could reduce our trash significantly which in turn make us feel better and takes better care of our planet, my nephew was bord, other friends got pregnant, some moved out for a better place, my grand-mother celebrated her 90th birthday, …

    Like you I must forget plenty of good things too but truly I’d rather focus on those. They’re the ones that set new dreams, that take us further, that make us feel good about ourselves and make us want to do even better next.

    Happy to read about all the good things that happened to you and wishing you a bunch of others for 2017.
    Enjoy it all!
    xoxoxox

  5. “for every bad thing that happened, something equally good happened. In the midst of all the chaos, why not celebrate our small victories?”—I love that line! Definitely puts things in perspective. We tend to focus on the negative. Imagine our mindframe if we let the positive rule.

  6. Thanks for this one:
    “Every day in 2016, someone got married, had their first kiss, gave birth, overcame cancer, reunited with their best friend, landed a new job, explored the world, stepped down from the brink of suicide, celebrated a birthday or an anniversary, saved a life, won the lottery, laughed till they cried, wrote a book, graduated… for every bad thing that happened, something equally good happened. In the midst of all the chaos, why not celebrate our small victories?”
    Love it! So glad Britt mentioned you and these lines on her blog… 🙂
    In a way your thoughts reminded me of the “gratitude jar” idea. Putting all the marvellous things that happen onto paper and collecting these good memories throughout the year. And then enjoying the “journey” at the end of the year with a bottle of wine (or a box of chocolate)… 🙂
    Have a fabulous year!

    • Sorry for the late reply! I was away on holiday.

      Thanks! 😀 I love the idea of the gratitude jar. I think maybe I will start one this year (it’s not too late, is it?). Makes it easier to recall all the good things come 2018!

      Have a great year too!

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