A lot of bad things happened in 2016. There was a rise in extremism, terrorism, nationalism, populism, racism, and just about every other negative type of “ism” out there. Some people had more need than ever before while others not only were indifferent to the need but actively tried to hurt those in need. Hate became commonplace. And I won’t even get into celebrity deaths. Some people have said it was the worst year ever. I think they are forgetting the darkest parts of WWII, the worst years of the Black Plague or “The Year of The Comet” when 90% of life on Earth was wiped out.
OK, OK, I know the year was pretty bad, but for the most part it was pretty good for me personally.
I grew into a new job, one that has more responsibility and higher visibility than anything I had done before. I’ve had a steep learning curve, but I love to learn new things! Learning is life! Did I mention that I feel most alive when I am learning new things? I’ve worked with a wide variety of people in different companies and different divisions and different lines of business. I’ve worked with experts in many fields, some very, very smart people. I am not the vain man that wants to be the smartest person in the room – how can you learn unless you surround yourself with people smarter than you? I think I might have said that I live to learn… There was a lot of stress, but a lot of joy. There were boring days in the office (fewer than most years!) and exciting days. I traveled to DC/Virginia and the Oklahoma with my job. So all is good there.
I really didn’t travel much (besides business) this year – having a “vacation house” means all vacations are at said “vacation house”! I did spend a lot of time in that house on Cape Cod and, as I said previously, I kayaked at one day every month in 2016 (the kayak is at the house on Cape Cod). I also enjoyed some of the things that New Hampshire has to offer, like mountains. I traveled to Ohio to visit family. Family visited me, as did friends. I spend a lot of time being an Introvert, but I did spend some social time with friends too ;)
I wrote a lot, edited more and played music. I didn’t draw or paint as much as I would have liked, but I took some nice pictures. In fact, a few of my favorite photos that I ever took are from 2016. I didn’t get my book of short stories out this year as I had planned, but I did a huge amount of work on it and will have it out soon!
My health was good, which it is most years – I am relatively healthy. I did have some injuries, but nothing life threatening. For the most part, I feel great and have felt great all year. In fact, I would say that health-wise I am doing as well as almost any time in my life.
And, of course, I am enjoying life. Of course I’ve had down days and down weeks. But even when I am down I can see the light and it usually doesn’t last more than a week or two. For the most part, though, I enjoyed life and tried to live every day. I have a dark side, which I often show, but for the most part see the world through a lens of hope. Even in this dark year of war, hate and destructive politics I can see silver linings. Hope burns in me and I try to share it with the world! (I host the Weekly Smile, don’t I? ;) )
This, of course, is just one small sliver of my reflection on 2016, but I’m sure you can see where my head is. I am alive and to me that is much, much better than the alternative!
Today, on New Year’s Eve, I am smiling in reflection on a year that I lived!!
What made you smile this week?
If you haven’t seen it, here is a little background to The Weekly Smile as well as some quick guidelines.
So, what made you smile this week? Write about it and post on the link-up (or click the little blue frog below). While you’re there, read what everyone else is smiling about! And come back to it later, if last week is any indication new smiles will be added daily!
Note – the weekly smile runs Wednesday Morning to Wednesday morning. I post in the morning (Eastern US) and put up the link usually between 7 and 8 AM EST. I also try to post on Sunday as a reminder. People can and do join throughout the week.
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