Some Reasons 2016 Didn’t Entirely Suck, at Least for Me
Posted on December 30, 2016 Posted by John Scalzi 77 Comments
2016 was, globally speaking, and to put it mildly, not the best of years. I will not be sad to see it go. But it’s worth it to remember that no year is entirely irredeemable. People have been passing around this list of 99 reasons 2016 was a good year, and I think that it’s a useful reminder to people who are feeling beat down by the last 360-some-odd days.
I think it’s also useful to remember in a year like this that there were good things in one’s personal life too, when they were there, and are in danger of being overshadowed by the overall tenor of a year. So, with that in mind, here are some reasons 2016 didn’t entirely suck, at least for me. Again, this is in no particular order, and not a complete list, merely a representative sample.
1. I wrote a novel I really like (that would be The Collapsing Empire) that I can’t wait for people to see.
2. I released my first short story collection ever (Miniatures! Which officially comes out tomorrow! Wheeee!).
3. Redshirts won an award in Israel, so that’s pretty cool.
4. The Dispatcher was the #1 audiobook on Audible for two weeks (two? Maybe three?) and in the top ten for two or three more, and while I’m not supposed to say specifically how many copies were downloaded, I am allowed to say “six figures” is accurate. Plus, it was read by Zachary Quinto, and how awesome is that. And people seemed to like it, which is also a thing that does not suck.
5. Short stories I wrote or co-wrote (“Muse of Fire” and “On the Wall”) appeared in two anthologies, published on the same day (Black Tide Rising and Mash Up), and I was featured in a third book (The Books That Changed My Life). For someone who doesn’t really appear in anthologies, this was kind of a banner year for ’em.
6. Became a Critic at Large for the Los Angeles Times, my hometown newspaper growing up, and in whose pages it was always a dream for me to be featured in.
7. My kid got through high school. Early! And she became an adult, which means Krissy and I got her through childhood all in one piece.
8. Finally went to Hawaii, which a) lived up to the hype, b) helped me get through a substantial portion of my novel writing by being six hours removed from the mainland, c) meant I got to hang out with a bunch of cool folks. A++++, would visit again.
9. Was awarded the 2016 Governor’s Award for Arts in Ohio, which is a pretty big deal here in the state, and was the first science fiction author ever to get that particular award, which makes me feel shiny.
10. I got to watch a whole lot of my friends have amazing years creatively, the highlights of which included NK Jemisin getting a hugely-deserved Hugo award, others land NYT bestsellers, seeing friends’ TV shows succeed, and watching friends’ movies gross more than a billion dollars worldwide to date.
Plus, I remained married to this fabulous person.
So, for all of that, thanks, 2016. You weren’t all bad.
If you’d like to post some good things that happened to/for you in 2016 in the comment thread, I would be happy to see them, and so, I suspect, would others.
Thank you for writing about some good things happening. I think we needed that. When I stop and think, I had a lot of good things happen too. I made some new friends this year when I went back to school (post doc work – school never ends!) I also discovered that I hadn’t lost my touch with academic writing, and plan on getting some articles ready for publication in academic journals. So this year, icky as it has been in some ways, did give me a really good confidence boost.
I went back to work after being unemployed for two years. That was a good thing.
I gave away my first novel for free* on the 25th of December and I already have 25k downloads.
Not necessarily *readers*, mind, but hey, I choose to feel pretty chuffed about it.
Those are some good reasons for hanging in there through 2016.
[Deleted for contentlessness — JS]
I got a new job, which is at the least multi-year and could be permanent. With it, came the move back to the town where I grew up: in my case, a good thing. I also got a cat and a new nephew.
Not being psychotic this year was a major improvement, and leaves me quite a bit of disconnect to most people. To me, this year has been massively better than 2015.
It’s good to see this sort of thing – I think a lot of us, myself included, need the reminder that 2016 wasn’t a complete waste of a year nor the promise of doomed humanity that it seems like sometimes. >_< I'm glad for your continued success, and after reading the prologue of The Collapsing Empire over on the Tor site, I'm eager to pick it up and read the rest of it.
I do a year in review thing every year on my own writing blog, and my sentiment about the year was much the same as yours, even had a similar title. :P But for me, the main good thing that happened this year was that I wrote a book that I'm very hopeful could be the one that actually gets things started for me as a writer. Wish me luck. ^_^
(The entry, if anyone's curious: http://masontmatchak.blogspot.com/2016/12/why-year-didnt-completely-suck-for-me.html )
1. I got a new job that I love at a company that treats is employees well and, as a result, has employees who treat each other well. I’m doing work that is interesting and challenging. We even won a trade show award for the software that I and a coworker wrote.
2. Played and sang a lot of music (cover band, community choir, in the band for two stage musicals, and occasional random conglomerations of musicians).
3. I also remain married (23 years) to a fabulous person.
Bought a house, got engaged. :D
1. Even though my father died (which sucked) he was almost 101, had a great life, was in charge of his life until last 48 hours and was with my sister when he died.
2. I started really preparing for my retirement at the end of 2017 and fought the urge to go at half speed until then.
3. I went to Oman, which turns out to be a very cool place.
4. Leonard Cohen left us with an incredible body of work.
5. My son and his girlfriend moved in together. And he got his first cat (LieutenantCatmander Data)
6. My daughter remains dedicated to her almost elderly horse.
7. My wonderful partner of 38 years and I went to wild and gorgeous Tofino.
8. I entered a contest to win your new book of short stories, and if judged by merit, I’ll win (and my Facebook name is different from this, so I’m not trying to influence you!)
Well, I have to say I am happier now that I have learned I can keep getting back up after being knocked down. It doesn’t quite change the fact of your life blowing up, but at least you are more amusing about it. Otherwise how could I be calmly typing on the computer trying to straighten out BC/BS and MnSure both messing up my 2017 enrollment while wondering after 2 hours on hold waiting for the first available representative which will end first: the hold Muzak or the cell phone charge…
Hopefully these deep questions aren’t a foreshadowing of the next year.
Although there were personally as well as globally many reasons why this particular year sucked, it was also the year that my niece graduated high school on the honors list and had her first semester in university and my daughter also had a highly successful semester abroad. I also got to visit a foreign country I had never been to before, and a city I had never visited before, and got to be with extended family several times this year.
What is ahead in the new year is going to be very hard on my family and I’m scared about it. I think the reaction over 2016 is not so much this year itself, as that it has been the warm-up crash for what is to come. But for the sake of our youngest folk, we have to have hope. I’m told rebellions need hope. :)
I discovered a whole bunch of awesome people to follow on Twitter, who are raising my awareness on a daily basis – led by Scalzi, of course!
I submitted my first short story to a literary magazine! I also got my first rejection. I revamped my blog and have made some new friends! Not a bad year. Looking forward to finishing a book, getting published somewhere (anywhere, lol) and building a nice community on my blog. I really enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing!
I did not lose anyone in my family, remain married to the best man on the planet and, although I was as sick as I’ve ever been early in the year, I am not poor, cold, sick, hungry or in imminent danger. So better off than 99% of the world’s population. I’m lucky and I know it.
This was a phenomenal year for me professionally (promotion, relocation back to my home state, awesome project) and personally (moved back to home state, bought nice little house).
Nothing spectacular, but I did a lot of necessary things well.
I completed my first year at my new job. My boss thinks I’m spiffy and shows me so in words and deeds. I moved house. I unpacked every single goddamn box for the first time in about 15 years. I wrangled my new health care such that it is in an adequate state. I campaigned for Democrats in New Hampshire, and like to think I had some small part in getting Maggie Hassan elected to the Senate. I figured out how car ownership works in Massachusetts. I realized there were some simple things I could do to make me a happier person and did them.
Had our first child in January and got a big promotion at work. I know 2016 was a bad year for society as a whole, but personally it was my best.
Good things: I finally got to hire an assistant so now my job won’t totally suck
I started taking REAL vacations where I am totally disconnected from my work
I spent a week in Yellowstone with my darling (now middle-aged!) daughters, totally without internet access
I got an award from the local PBS volunteers for my work on their behalf
I got to read a bunch of blogs I loved, and lost a couple of blog friends. Wait, that part was sad, but the good part is that they were friends, and they made my world better
I started reading a bunch of heavy duty books about politics, economics and sociology
and much much more.
The bad was mostly what was bad for everyone, the good was my great fortune
#8 sounds like pretty good justification for writing all your future novels in HI. With the kid off to college you just need a plan for the Scamperbeasts and other assorted 4 legged friends in the house.
Our daughter — our first (and likely only, but we’ll see) child — was born in March. John, I will strive to do as well as you have as a father. I’m just a year younger than you, so it’ll be a different sort of ride for me, I’m sure.
Bought a house (yay!)
Lost my job (boo!)
In that order (ugh)
Transferred my license to practice to my new home state (yay!)
So, we’ll see.
I also cant figure out why so many thought this was so much worse than others.?
As for what changed, not much. Uh, I discovered WP and started writing again…other than that, I feel blessed my life went by undisturbed by death or major tragedy. I have learned that change most often comes with loss, and so I celebrate the mundane everydays.
Ps. You have two realy beautiful ladies in your life as I’m sure you know.☺
Lived in the same house all year and didn’t move — that was nice, and not something I’d done any of the three years prior. Also, learned how to do some interesting (basic) art things with stock photos and an editing program, and have been watching painting videos on YouTube to see if that’s a hobby I’d like to pick up as well. The middle of Autumn was not spectacular, but it has gotten better recently.
This year I have many things to be thankful for:
A) No one in my family died or suffered major health problems
B) my eldest daughter achieved outstanding GCSE results .( public general school exams in the UK) and the other children are doing well academically.
C) as a family visited my wife’s university friends in China
D) work is going well, completed some interesting projects.
E) caught up with some friends who I haven’t seen in a long time.
F) still married to a wonderful woman.
and of course several of my favourite authors released new work including Mr Scalzi ( dispatchers).
I am sure 2017 will have its challenges, setbacks and disasters, but it will also have its achievements and wins. As Jon’s first link points out the media tends to emphasize the negative.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2017
My wife was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Most of the year was spent trying to figure out the right balance of medications, which totally sucked. But it also means that we have a name for the problems we were facing in years previous. Yes, it’s been rocky as we’ve started to figure things out, but first steps tend to be, and the progress we’ve made is undeniable.
My 2016 didn’t completely stink either, and the personal level was definitely much better than the national/global one. I got to meet authors I admire and have actual-person conversations with them. I got better at a job I enjoy, with coworkers I like and respect. I got to travel and see some old friends I hadn’t seen in years. I had some small but joyful successes in my writing career. I got engaged. (That’s the big one!)
I have plenty of future-anxiety, much like many others, but thanks for giving us the opportunity to focus on the positive, too.
Let us not forget NerdCon: Stories, especially the epic lip-sync battle …
This was the year I came out – first to myself, then to everyone else. I started transitioning , which is huge and scary and exciting and wonderful. Thanks in part to the anti-androgens, my mood is the best it’s been in probably over a decade.
I also stuck my New Years resolution and lost thirty kilos over the course of the year, which I wasn’t sure would ever be possible at the start of it.
It is really strange to finally be on the way to having a body I actually like.
Good things this year? Okay…
– I got through a year of unemployment with the help of my friends.
– poetry and performance kicked up a notch with a lot of gigs and some well-received new poems, including on the Dangerous Women Project
– published in four magazines and two anthologies, my first ever, and co-editing one that turned out very well
– an emotional connection with a lovely person (it’s over and didn’t end well, but I’ll remember the good)
– the film I wrote was shortlisted for the Iris Prize, the biggest queer film prize in the UK
– started my MLitt in creative writing at Glasgow university; my tutor is pushing me to have written a novel by the end of the degree
– a weekend poetry masterclass among wonderful writers, a marvellous experience
– compiled a collection of poems to publish in the new year
… and on to next year.
2016 did have some bright points in my life.
I am still both very much in love with and married to my best friend, a partnership that has continued and remained strong and vibrant for over four decades at this point.
I am still employed, and I expect to be able to remain employed for as long as I choose to work. Spouse is also still employed with the prospect of remaining that way as long as he wants to stay there.
Our elder kid embarked on a partnership with a sane, rational, intelligent and loving human, and moved in with him last month.
Same elder kid landed a new job that she loves for a wage that is better than either of her parents’.
Younger kid escaped an unhealthy partnership, did some vital growing up, and has a solid job.
I attended MidAmeriCon II and got to hear Mr. Scalzi read the prologue from The Collapsing Empire plus a piece from Miniatures, plus he signed my copy of Lock In and was extraordinarily kind to my stammeringly bashful self.
Oh, and right at the end of the year, we paid off our mortgage.
Thank you for the reminder that there are always bright points if we just look hard enough to find them. May the year to come bring us more than I think most of us are expecting right now.
I went to Scotland in 2016. Not just the borderlands where I had been once before (although couldn’t remember much), but up into the highlands as well. I had a fabulous time there so I’m going to Scotland and Ireland in 2017 if anyone wants to join me. Edinburgh is one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been in. That definitely did not suck.
Also, one of my kids graduated college with a BA, and is just now finishing her BE. AND my twins started college, which means they are on the way to adulthood. Athena is likely much, much more mature than those two boys, but I love them just the same. It looks like #1 is going to be able to support herself in a reasonable lifestyle so she’s at least ahead of me at that age!
John, as someone has already said above, the two women in your immediate family are lovely, and from what I can tell from your posts and Athena’s twitter feed, they’re also bright, witty and clever.
This year I made a new online friend and we connected via Amazon reviews, and then THIS BLOG and Twitter. This person turned me on to your OLD MAN’S WAR series and I loved it!
My mother had knee replacement surgery earlier this year and it went very well. My husband and daughter’s jobs allow them to work from home when needed, and we closed out the year refinancing our home in a way that allowed us to save thousands over the life of the loan by dropping the interest rate, even after getting out enough cash to pay off all our credit card debt.
2017 will be both better in some ways, and worse in others, than 2016, and knowing that helps put things in perspective.
Happy New Year!
Hate to rain on the parade…
Reasons 1933 was a good year:
1. Prohibition was repealed.
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt became president.
3. Albert Einstein emigrated to the United States
4. The first drive-in movie theater opened.
5. King Kong was released in theaters.
6. Neville Chamberlain declared “peace in our time”!
7. Michael Caine, Willie Nelson, and Marty Feldman were born (and a bunch others)
But, oh, that Hitler thing. 2016 was actually a very good year for us personally and financially as well, but that’s sorta eclipsed by Hitler II, the Wrath of Idiocracy.
My husband, who I will have been with for thirty years come January 18th, got a UTI bad enough to hosptalise him, which meant they found the kidney tumour and the odd thing in his appendix which turned out to be malignant, which meant they were whipped out well before they were symptomatic. This is great because by the time the appendix cancer became symptomatic it would have been too late whereas now there is no reason he shouldn’t live a normal lifespan. And as we live in the UK we have already paid for all the treatment and the montioring to come through our taxes so we have no additional finanical burden.
Also we had a lovely few days away to celebrate his returning health in a part of Shropshire near Wolverhampton a place it would not have occured to me to holiday in except that we have friends in Wolverhampton and that I now know is worth exploring more. Even better on our other holiday with four friends our two rescue dogs both asked the friends for strokes, which thrilled us and the friends who have seen the dogs overcome significant problems.
Thank you for this reminder that counting one’s blessings is always a good idea.
Personally it was a very mixed-bag year for me, but there is a lot to be grateful for, always.
I remain married to my fantastic spouse. I got a puppy, which is a really big deal for 2 reasons; 1. I waited 20 years of my adult life to get my puppy (I wanted to be somewhere stable, where I could have a puppy). and 2. When my puppy is full grown and fully trained he will be a service dog for me. My puppy is a Red & Rust male Doberman Pinscher. His name is Captain after Captain Carrot of the Discworld series, his name on his AKC paperwork is Kessler’s American Gods so I got to give a nod to two of my favorite authors. He is almost 8 months old and he is 80lbs, we take training very seriously around here, big dogs can’t have bad manners.
I finally started school, after 20+ yrs in the military, and I’m headed to spring semester with a 4.0. So, that’s good! I also moved back to Minnesota near where I grew up, so my parents have been enjoying my company more. My kids are still awesome, smart, and good human beings. I’m thankful.
My parents turned 78 and 81. They are good people in good health.
My 18 yr old became fired UP after the election.
I’m part of a very good sandwich.
My son, my youngest, graduated high school and headed off to college to study engineering or medicine or something (he’s smart enough to do whatever he wants just gotta figure out what that is) … I, too, had something published … A poem in a collection put out by Meerkat Press … had some professional recognition and success which was nice. And am prepared to fully retire come May 2017. So … woohoo
This is a very heartening exercise. I’m happy for all the good things happening to everyone! My life continued to be very satisfying, and one big highlight of my year was Midamericon II. Readings by Scalzi and Willis, general badassery from the fabulous Pat Cadigan, and presentations and Hugo acceptances by actual astronauts all contributed to a wonderful experience. And a Hugo for Fifth Season! So pleased for N.K. Jemisin. The second book in the series was as amazing as the first. Happy New Year, all.
My nine month checkup after my fourth bladder cancer surgery was clear, I have been married 28 years to my best friend, we got to visit NASA’s Cape Canaveral and I finished the first two novels in my series under Julee J. Adams (with beta readers now). Life is good and I am glad you had a great year too.
My son is doing well and continues to let me see that he’s a mensch, as well as loving and smart.
I’m no longer on chemo and have my hair back, and first follow-ups were good.
I ended the year by having a project approved and two journal articles accepted.
We moved cross country (again), and I feel much more at home in our new state than I did in our last one.
I’ve done a lot of growing and learning this year.
My marriage is stronger than it has been for a long while.
I’ve met some really awesome people.
While there are some parts of 2016 that I would really love to have not happened (personally as well as generally) some good stuff happened:
organised a surprise 50th trip for my partner
kept the surprise for four months, all the way to the second airport
got to take him on his first trip to the US (Hawai’i)
most of the way through the organising found out about this thing called Hawaiicon
got to take my partner to his first Con
got to meet this great dude called John Scalzi at said HawaiiCon
finally got my own ram…
As relative newcomers to parenthood, our 2016 was spent watching our son start crawling, taking him to Canada for the first time, celebrating his first birthday, taking him to his first Worldcon (and baseball game to boot), watching him start walking, and hearing him say his first words. Just a few of many happy milestones in his young life, and thankfully only one brief medical scare along the way.
Also, I got a promotion at work by successfully applying for my immediate supervisor’s position after he decided to move back West.
Thank you for visiting us in HI; HawaiiCon was easily one of the best things to come down the pike this year. More needs to be said about elevators as venues for meeting celebrities (who almost universally turned out to be charming.)
Got promoted; I am now in charge of the library.
Our business turned a very modest profit this year, which puts it ahead of preceding years where we were lucky to break even.
Considering how aggravating the last part of the year was, we need to remind ourselves that not everything was crappy
This year was good to me in several ways; one of the most interesting was being invited to Mexico City as one of the special guests at an origami convention there. Also, I started my own origami-themed YouTube channel, and while it hasn’t gone viral, it has grown. My work as a freelance translator has been more or less steady and I’ve gotten new clients and prospective clients for the coming year.
Regarding literature, I enjoyed the last book in Naomi Novik’s “Temeraire” series, which she published this year and for which I had been waiting eagerly. In addition, I started teaching an English class for a mother and son, consisting mostly in reading and discussing short stories and poetry so as to learn vocabulary and practice grammar and reading comprehension. This has given me a solid justification for reading lots of quality literature… and led me to “Sarah’s Sister”, a wonderful Christmas story by someone named John Scalzi, whose blog I have started to follow and enjoy.
I celebrated a year of employment after nearly three years without it. I’ve been given two raises and a promotion to manager in that time, and I’ve nearly saved up enough of my pay to both finish payments on my car and go back to school. I have affordable medical, dental, and health insurance again through my employer.
I pushed myself to go out into the dating scene, and even had a girlfriend for a while for the first time in years.
I reconnected with old friends I’d missed dearly.
I started to write again, and actually began showing it to people this time. Shockingly, any feedback that wasn’t resoundingly positive was very helpful, and I used it to revise and improve what I had and am making currently.
I found John Scalzi’s twitter. I’ve enjoyed the cat and sunset pictures almost as much as the wit and insight.
Bad year for a lot of reasons. Kind of a record year for me.
Hilde and I had our 40th anniversary as a couple. (The 40th wedding anniversary will be in 2017.)
The shoulder surgery to replace the failing joint replacement from 2012 was done by a better surgeon, in a better hospital (Go, Mayo!), with better results. More range of motion, less pain, still working on regaining strength but I can at least lift a coffee cup to my mouth with that arm now.
And I had my first story publication since 2006 (“Beks and the Second Note”, December 2016 Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine), my first sale since starting to write fiction again after a years-long gap. (The spectacularly broken arm at the end of 2012 had that positive result at least. Being off-work for over half a year — it was a SPECTACULAR
*ahem” Finger must have slipped, resulting in premature publication. Try again:
…it was a SPECTACULAR break — gave me a kickstart on storywriting again, and I’ve been able to keep producing three or four stories a year even after returning to work.)
Not a really great year here, lots of personal losses. But I also found I have a lot more great friends than I thought I had, who have been willing to give me a lot of support of various types, from being a shoulder for me to either cry on or gnash my teeth in, to getting me out of the house and making sure I am eating right, up to making sure I was with people who I enjoy talking with over Thanksgiving and Christmas. They have made what could have been a really depressing time into one that has been bearable.
Still married, have a roof over my head and sufficient food to eat, a job I like in what interests me, two children who love us, and two cats who are not sick and see our proper positions as warm spot creators and head scratchers. We have lots of people who care about us. I got to see Indiana Dunes this year, too, so, that was cool (a beach with industrial vistas – I would like to have been an industrial archaeologist if I had more imagination and wasn’t a chemist or chemical engineer).
I think this year feels bad because it seems like reason has gone to sleep, and we didn’t even know it was tired.
In the wake of the “99 Reasons” piece, and an online friend’s subsequent rant, I’ve been starting a little practice of linking to three mainstream media articles per day about “what went right” (as opposed to “what went wrong”). I’ve been doing this for almost two weeks now, over on my Dreamwidth blog. It’s something I think of as lighting a candle against the darkness – and I’d love to see other people dropping comments with articles they find in their mainstream media in the comments for each day. One candle doesn’t do much on its own, but lots of them combined can light (and warm) the world.
Some tips for finding articles about things going right: I’ve found most of my articles in the most local news feeds, because they’re the ones where a “feel good” or “good news” article is likely to linger longest before getting pushed out by the pressure of news. So start with your local town, city or state news, then move out to the national stuff, and then on to the international news. Some days, there’ll be lots to pick from (“slow news” days), some days it’ll take a lot more searching. But these stories are always there if you look. Longer articles are often good ones to look at, too – the “in depth” stuff tends to have a certain proportion of stories about “what worked, why it worked, what we’re doing to make it work better for longer or for more people next time” and so on.
My own choices on “what went right” tend to mean I’m skipping out on stories about politics, economics, or sports, where the definition of something “going right” tends to be a strongly partisan one.
As for what went right for me in 2016 – well, I met a lot of interesting people through Work for the Dole; I got my first lot of paid work in over five years (I was a Field Officer for the most recent Australian Census, which meant I got to do a lot of walking around South Perth); I got to start a decent-sized vegetable garden and rekindle my interest in gardening; my partner and I are still together, and planning to head back to university next year; I spent less time being depressed this year than I have previously. It wasn’t a perfect year (but then, has there ever been one?) but it’s not been all terrible.
I lost 50 more pounds, bringing my total to 125. Only 50 pounds left!
I got married to my amazing, intelligent, beautiful wife in September this year. We were surrounded by supportive family and friends, and they made sure we felt loved and blessed that day. Plus, we both took three weeks off of work around our wedding, and got to see another couple (good friends of ours) get married soon after us.
It’s been an awful year globally, but personally my best year since 2001. After a decade of waiting (for immigration paperwork, mostly — a visa, then permanent residency to avoid international student fees) I started university classes this year. I’m in a dual-degree Nursing and Midwifery course, which tossed me into clinical placement from the very first trimester, and I’m loving it. Surprisingly (to me) I’m loving both sides equally; the satisfaction of watching Nursing patients get better as they receive good care just about rivals the joy of new babies. And there have been new babies. I was present at two Caesareans, received my first infant, and attended a water birth from second stage labour. I’m just where I need to be, doing precisely what I’ve wanted to do. It’s hard to beat that, but just to make sure this was a banner year, things are going beautifully with my children as well. I’m busy, but happier than I have been in a very long time.
Good things: I got to set foot on five different continents as part of my profession (and had fun doing it!). I got to walk in a wild rhino’s footsteps (with my wife alongside me–her first time in Africa!). My colleagues and I identified a new prehistoric animal never before seen by science. My kiddo turned 4, and is an awful lot of fun. My brother got married, and I was his best man. I got to brew some great beers and do my first paid beer-writing gig. 2016 wasn’t all kittens and flowers, but there were enough bright spots to make it memorable in some positive ways.
Personally, this was a good year. In addition to being happily married and employed, with a wonderful child who delights in delighting us, I became an uncle again, my brother-in-law got married to someone who seems quite well suited to him, and my parents are almost done with a year-long purchase-and-remodel process that will see them move to twenty minutes away from us and their no-longer-only-grandchild. I have many blessings and I try to remember to be grateful for them each day.
I’m still married.
After four years of part-time employment, I finally got another full-time job, moving from Texas to California. Love the weather here (except summer), the people I work with are great, and I’m doing fun, engaging, and important stuff.
We bought a house.
My parents are visiting us for Christmas. In our new house.
Did I mention I’m still married? :)
Congratulations on getting out of 2016 in one piece!
Curious: After reading your comment about writing a book you really liked, did you ever write/publish a book that you didn’t like?
Yes, politically the year sucked, but personally, nothing bad at all.
All the humans I love are doing well. The one pet we had to put down this year had actually reached a greater age than any previous ferret we’ve owned. Our new outside cat settled in and mastered the vermin hunting, even in winter.
And I started Honeybee Venom Immunotherapy. I love that. The nurses ask me questions about bees, which my loved ones may not be so anxious to get me going on. And now I can go out and play in the beeyard without worrying about falling unconscious and having my partner shoot me with my Epipen. Which is a horrible drug I don’t recommend to anyone–it’s worse than a bee sting.
My wife and I travelled to China in May to adopt the boy that we hosted in the summer of 2015 and bring him home. So we have a 10-year-old as part of our family. That’s pretty awesome, in all of the usual ways that having a child is.
Lots of other projects that have been on the shelf that I’ve gotten going (slightly) this year, despite all the busy-ness. And work is going well.
I completed my 80th year in reasonably good physical and mental health, and my wife of the past 42+ years also remained in good physical and metal health, although she only completed her 63rd. And my daughter turned 50 and my grandson 15, also in good health. And my daughter and I spent both our birthdays (hers is St. Pat’s Day; mine a week before Xmas) together, the result of my wife and I traveling to CA on both occasions. Hosted various good friends on three separate occasions as well. So on a personal level 2016 was actually not a bad year at all, though it wasn’t that great for a lot of people I know, which I’m sorry about.
I have been trying to focus more on the positive these days as well, while remembering the work to come. But for me, my 9-year-old daughter is a gymnastics state champ on beam, I got a new car to bear the brunt of the hour-long commute (one way) to her gym, my teen got his first job and has figured out HS in his sophomore year. Hubby made it through a year at his job, earned his promotion, and is doing well. I continue to work at a job with amazing co-workers, lots of flexibility, and unique perks. We all healthy and reasonably happy, we have a roof over our heads and food for the table, and enough money to pay the bills and even do a few fun things every once in a while. It wasn’t a banner year for us – but it was a solid one.
I would like to post good things that happened but they were were extremely few. Having surgery to repair my torn rotator cuff and getting movement back in my arm was the highlight. It was all downhill from there. I tend to be an optimist and hope 2017 is better.
The year was generally one crappy thing after another, but there were some good spots, which was thinking of just this morning: husband lost his job in February but got another one in August; I got to go to Worldcon in KC, then travel a little with good friends; went up to New Hamster in October; but the highlight was the cupola rebuilding project at my Tiny Little Library. The local Voke kids built a new one, then a local roofing company donated copper for the roof and had the kids go to their shop to learn how to install it. The same company donated the equipment, and labor to put the new cupola up. This saved us thousands of dollars and we have a beautiful, shiny, no-longer-leaking cupola. And the Voke kids repaired our weather vane too.
This year did not start so well for me; my mother went into her steepest, and final, decline at the end of December, 2015, and she died in early March at 94 (almost 95). Still, there were some fortunate things in the process: She didn’t suffer; she was going to meals and was pretty cheery three weeks before she died; she did not wind up in the hospital; she had a quiet and peaceful passing in her own bed. Considering that she had a diagnosis of likely lung cancer, her end could have been truly awful. So . this was sad, and hard in many ways, but…
As for me, I transferred within my company and now have a much saner and less stressful commute; my partner has enough work for the first time in several years (she’s a public health researcher); my juitsu dojo has more students than at the beginning of the year; my partner and I had no major illnesses or injuries; I read some good books and saw a number of outstanding operas and other musical performances.
So, I celebrated 30 years of marriage to my wonderful and lovely wife. Who still puts up with me, for reasons I can’t fathom.
And I went through prostate surgery in January and came out okay. Not fun, but one of those rites of passage for men as they get older.
And (if you’ll forgive a bit of self-promotion) I launched my blog, The Jurgen Report—https://jurgenreport.blogspot.com—in which Tom Jurgen, former reporter, now a private detective, deals with supernatural cases in the city of Chicago with help from his red-haired, slightly psychic, sort-of girlfriend Rachel. A little bit of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, maybe a little bit of Angel. Everyone should read it.
Happy new year, everyone. Especially to John and his family. 2017 has got to be better.
Moved house twice; am in love with where I live now
Spouse was promoted AND received a completely unforeseen windfall that let us wipe out half of our debt. We’ve been together 20 years this month; how did that happen?
Sibling remarried and found employment that makes them happy (not least for the health insurance)
Can’t name them all because there are actually more that I think of as I go through the list. So, I’ll keep it to two:
I got to visit family I haven’t seen in eleven years. That was pretty fun.
And I got to hang out with you fine people: John, family, and fellow followers and commenters in what I like to refer to as the secret family that I hope to meet some day. That’s pretty fun, too.
Thanks, all of you! See you here next year!
More not-bad news: Ray Davies of the Kinks has been knighted by HRM Queen Elizabeth.
[Deleted because someone missed the point of the thread by a very large margin. Go shit in someone else’s punchbowl, pjcamp – JS]
I got a short story published and my ears pierced. So there’s that.