Saturday, December 31, 2016

Finding the Good Amongst the Bad and the Ugly: 2016

I think we can all agree that 2016 sucked seriously bad, but with the year from hell wrapping up tonight, I'd like to reflect not on all the deaths, divorces and demagogues, but on what went well for me and my family this year.

1. I landed my dream job. I wasn't looking for a new job, but like dream jobs are supposed to do, this one just sort of came out of nowhere. Working in communications and media relations, managing volunteers and staff, and belonging to a humanitarian organization that I fully support and believe in is exactly where I want to be. It's not an easy job, and there are days when I wonder how I'm ever going to accomplish all that needs to be done, and in this line of work I see a lot of heartbreak. But those things have a silver lining; I'm in a job that challenges me and helps me to grow, and I am a part of something that is making that heartbreak we see daily a little easier for disaster victims to cope with. Plus, I work with the most diverse and wonderful people imaginable. I love my job.

2. Scott got promoted. After working his tail off, he got a promotion in 2016 that he more than deserved. It means more work in some ways, but he was doing a majority of that work already. Now he gets acknowledged for it too. The two of us with our new jobs are feeling very "power-couple", very Frank and Clair Underwood, without all the lies, murder, backstabbing and covert negotiations with Russia.

3. I visited many new places. I was fortunate enough this year to travel to several new places I'd never been before. I went to Tacoma, WA, New Orleans, LA, and Denver, CO. For work, I also get to travel all over Arkansas and Oklahoma - maybe not the most exciting two states, but the travel makes every day something different. I love traveling, and 2016 gave me ample opportunities.

4. We got a dog. Isobel came into our lives in February. While she's more Scott's dog than mine, she's become a valuable member of our family and Scott's new best friend. We are happy to have her in the McFarlane household. Even if her farts stink to high heaven.

5. The kids are finding their niche. Fifi tried out for Odyssey of the Mind and was accepted into the program. She loves it and is so dedicated to it. I love seeing her imagination and dedication grow. Lolly got to start playing soccer again and is getting so good at it. Watching her excel at something she's been working hard at for many years now, even after a year long break, makes this mummy proud. Jaguar started Pre-K and is getting all the therapy he needs to help him catch up with his peers (speech, occupational and physical), and to see the difference school and therapy have made on him is incredible and makes my heart full. I love seeing all of my kids thrive and learn new things and do what they love.

6. There was some good entertainment.  Stranger Things on Netflix, The Hamilton Mixtape and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were all products of 2016. These and other books, shows, movies and music are surely worth remembering came out of this year from hell.

2016 was a load of bollocks, but there are always things to be thankful for, even when you have to think really hard  to come up with them.  Here's hoping 2017 brings us better and more plentiful moments and fewer celebrity deaths and celebrity presidents.

Happy new year, friends!

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