Mirrors on the wall, scribbled notes in diaries; reflection is one of the things I find most enjoyable about life. I like to smile about the good things, ponder the bad, and always try to live in the moment. Reflection helps me do this, because it lets me move on from the past and anticipate the good things to come. The end of a year brings a special kind of reflection, the kind where you think about the highs and lows of 365 days, and decide if your year has been good or bad, naughty or nice.
2016 has been an unsettling year on a global scale, and it seems everyone on social media is ready for it to be over. Okay, fine. But can we stop pretending that a magical flick is switched between December 31st and January 1st? Instead of getting ready to brush 2016 under the carpet, can we instead think about how we’re going to face the world in 2017, as a result of ‘everything that happened’?
I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about the scary things going on in the world right now, because I really don’t. I read generic news stories every day and quietly participate in conversations led by loud voices and angry people. To me, it seems most people have basically been saying we’re doomed. And lo and behold the next celebrity dies to put another nail in our existential coffin. Although, I do love the theory that ‘David Bowie has created his own alternate universe, and is selectively populating it one person at a time.’
I guess what my little end of year diary is saying is: shit happens. And we’ve known that all along. We will constantly be horrified by the bad things that happen in the world, and 2017 won’t be fluffy and unicorn-filled. I think it’s sad that we’ve put a great big label on 2016 as this horrendous year, at the same time squashing all of the good things that have happened.
2016 was the year that the Giant Panda was no longer an endangered species. I have never known a world where Giant Pandas weren’t endangered, until now. We had an Alzheimer’s disease breakthrough – a game-changing preventative drug is now visibly on the horizon. The Ozone layer hole started to show signs of healing, and we completed our first solar-powered flight around Earth! The Harry Potter generation can also celebrate Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them. And for all the celebrity-fans, don’t forget Leo finally got his Oscar…
We shouldn’t brush away all the amazing things that have happened in our daily lives too. Maybe you’ve started your own business, travelled the world, or overcome an illness – I bet 2016 wasn’t the ‘worst year ever’. While things haven’t always been amazing, I for one had a great year, and I can’t wait to take on 2017!