In Defense of 2016

“2016 sucked!” “2016: worst year ever!” Poor 2016 is getting a bad rap and all because of myopia.

So often we focus on just one aspect of an experience, dashing the rest from mind. A whole day can be categorized as “bad” based on a few unsavory instances when, in reality, a majority of the day was simply unremarkable and perhaps even pleasant. Our recall is entirely flawed.

The negative in life is necessary not only for us to appreciate the positive, it is often the precursor to beautiful life change and personal growth. Without uncomfortable life adjustments, we would remain stagnant. Without struggles we wouldn’t adapt, learn, and toughen. Every overcome hurdle enhances our perspective, worldview, and resilience. Our lives are richer and we are better for all we’ve faced… good and bad.

We do not begin a day or year precisely the same as we end it. So much can happen in a year. People enter and exit our lives through drama, distance, development, and death. Our career paths can change. Our dreams can shatter, shift, or shine. Our perspectives and beliefs can grow or morph. We are in a constant state of flux.

I’ve had years during which there was ample family drama, multiple deaths, loneliness, poor decisions, work uncertainty, relationship hurdles, boss woes, identity struggles, financial strain, weight frustrations, personal crises, fertility battles, and health troubles. During those years there were also fond memories, happy experiences, good decisions, work wins, laughter, love, and contentment. No year — or day — is wholly bad or wholly good. To categorize an entire timeframe as such is hyperbolic, imprecise, short-sighted.

My rough days and my challenging experiences have been the greatest fuel for personal growth and positive life changes. Sure, change can be scary and hard, but that makes the positive outcome even sweeter.

If 2016 strikes you as being more negative than positive, take a hard second look with a clearer lense. Look at all the good that happened and may still yet happen as a result of the year. If you’re still not convinced, consider the past year as a transition stage, a launching point for massive positive life changes.

“The sun,” they say, “shines brightest after the storm.” And so do we.

Happy 2017!


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