Why I actually loved 2016

Like many other people out there, I have joked about how atrocious 2016 was on the world. We lost idols, there were disasters, there were things that were just plain horrifying. It was definitely one of the worst on record. But I am going to kickstart my plan to blog more often with rounding up why I’m grateful for 2016… namely, that my heart is still beating to stride into 2017, looking back and saying “We’re still here, we got this.”

Here are all the reasons why I truly cherished 2016:

  • I’m grateful I’m still alive
  • I’m grateful for comedy and humour, for the ability to smile and laugh
  • I’m grateful for talent, creativity, and passion for art, and being blessed to have the gift of all three
  • I’m grateful for my beautiful family
  • I am grateful that I am married, in a loving relationship, with one of the best men the world has ever delivered, supporting and loving me unconditionally
  • I am grateful that my mum is my best friend, and has been there for me through everything
  • I am grateful both my parents are still alive
  • I am grateful for my wee puppy, Bonnie, our furkid, and all the happiness and love she brings us
  • I am grateful for family and friends all over the world, and blessed with lovely in-laws
  • I am grateful no one I love or care about are seriously sick, and that no one directly close to me has passed away this year
  • I am grateful for cuddles and kisses
  • I am grateful to own my house, have a roof over our heads, with a beautiful garden, fresh green grass, and nature out our windows every day
  • I am grateful for Australia, to be an Aussie, and be lucky to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world
  • I am grateful for Scotland, for it’s beauty and for it allowing me to claim it as my second home
  • I am grateful for Sydney, that when I see the Opera House and Bridge, I am know I am home
  • I am grateful for Linlithgow Palace and its beautiful glory, where we got married, and my one true Happy Place
  • I am grateful for London, and having the chance to meet it and fall in love with it too
  • I am grateful we could afford an overseas holiday this year, despite the fact I broke my ankle there
  • I am grateful to have a fantastic job I absolutely adore, and work with a team of wonderful, kind and generous ladies who I can both laugh with and trust, no questions asked
  • I am grateful for my health. No, it’s not the best, and yes I deal with chronic illnesses every day of my life, but I have wonderful doctors who ensure I have the best care and can afford medication to allow me to keep living and enjoying life every day – even the hard ones
  • I am grateful to have the luxury of eating what I want, when I want, to have clean and fresh water, or yummy treats
  • I am grateful for mod-cons like air-conditioning, heating, refrigeration, internet, computers, mobile phones, hot and cold water, and electricity
  • I am grateful for a big comfy bed, that I can choose whatever bedding for it I like
  • I am grateful we have a car, and are able to afford to fuel it, to take us places we want to be, whenever we like
  • I am grateful I have been able to study, and further my education to Masters level
  • I am grateful for all I learned in my study, and all the amazing talented people I met whilst I did
  • I am grateful I can write
  • I am grateful I can read
  • I am grateful I can enjoy books, movies, TV shows, and games
  • I am grateful we could afford a Christmas tree and presents to go under it
  • I am grateful that buying clothing and eating a meal can be a luxury
  • I am grateful for music, musicians, and the ability of lyrics to inspire my own creativity
  • I am grateful for inspiring, insightful, spiritual, intelligent, kind, and compassionate people that I may not always know personally, but have gifted the world with their courage, their words, and their strength
  • I am grateful to the voices in my head (aka the fictional characters in my stories) for allowing me to use them as a vehicle for my own understanding of the world
  • I am grateful for my legs and the ability to walk
  • I am grateful for my ears and the ability to hear
  • I am grateful for my eyes and the ability to see
  • I am grateful for my mouth and the ability to know when to speak, or know when nothing needs to be said at all
  • I am grateful I am not plagued by addictions
  • I am grateful I am not being abused or rejected by everyone I love
  • I am grateful for being raised to be open-minded, accepting, and inclusive of everyone, no matter who they are or what makes them who they are
  • I am grateful for the beauty of sunshine, even if I can’t be out in it for long
  • I am grateful for my aesthetics: cobblestones, full moons, dreamcatchers, books, words, pretty jewellery, rose gold, cows, dogs, and teddy bears
  • I am grateful for my favourite authors, for being inspiring and showing me I can do it too, and especially to Ian Rankin who I had the unbelievable pleasure of meeting at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival – Bucket List Cross Off!
  • I am grateful I don’t actually need a Bucket List
  • I am grateful for Harry Potter, for all the fans I have met who share the passion, and for that series being the way I first ever had the confidence to share my writing publicly
  • I am grateful for my husband’s hand to hold, and I am grateful I can hold his back
  • I am grateful for a functioning body (even if I’m not really a fan of it), and that I have control of all my main functions

And truly many other reasons that, if I try to list them all, it will not only turn into a novel, but I would surely forget something anyway. So no, I don’t actually think 2016 has been an Annus Horribilis. That’s not to say it hasn’t sucked and left us all feeling punch drunk at some point. But if I can sit down and make a list this long without even trying of all the reasons why making it to the end of 2016 and seeing in 2017 is amazing, then it’s not been all that bad at all.

I’ll leave it with Beyonce to say the rest. Happy New Year, everyone! May your 2017 be better than 2016, and may you have many moments where you remember your list above like mine and know that it’s okay to pause and say, “Yeah, it’s sucked, but goddamnit, I’m one of the lucky ones”.

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