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.
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?