I don't need to tell you that 2016 was annus horribilis...you've almost certainly figured that out for yourself. Whether current events in the wider world both abroad and at home, or personally, this year was one of the worst that I can certainly remember over the course of my almost forty years on this planet.
In general terms, the year was awful for all of the unrest, violence, and disagreement that permeated American society as the lead up to the presidential election in November where in essence, regardless of who won, we all lost. There seemed to be a horrific terrorist attack somewhere in the world just about every week, and some hyper-sensitivity/PC-driven "offense" taken to just about anything that inevitably led to protests and rioting. The economy continued to be terrible, everything continued to get more expensive, and paychecks continued to stay flat. It felt like every week brought another celebrity death and while I think the reaction to most of them was quite hyperbolic and over the top (be honest: how many George Michael or Prince songs do you *really* know?), it's always sad when someone dies. We did lose some titans this year, none more so than David Bowie at the very beginning of the year. A popular meme even surfaced midway through 2016 that said "I'm not saying that David Bowie was holding the fabric of the universe together, but *gestures broadly at everything*" which, with his death at the very beginning of this forgettable trip around the sun, seems to sum it up rather nicely (if not completely coincidentally).
On a personal level, while there were several high points over the course of the year, even I and my family couldn't escape the clutches of 2016's awful grasp, culminating with my getting a nasty case of pleurisy in October and then getting unexpectedly laid off from my job in mid-November. For me, losing my job was the metaphorical kick in the crotch that capped the year...everything else has just been piling on. I've been lucky to have a loving, patient (beyond belief!) wife and four amazing kids, all five of whom have supported me and reminded me every day about what's really important in life. One huge silver lining in my situation has been the bonus time I've gotten to spend at home with her and the kids, which is something I could never put a price on and something I'm quite thankful for.
In talking with the intelligent and more level-headed Mrs. Chemist, we're looking at two possibilities for 2017: it'll either continue the dismal trend that 2016 excelled at, or it will be the polar opposite. Being the optimists that we are (well, Mrs. Chemist is, though she's helped me become better at being one as well), we're banking on the latter. We're hoping for a calmer, healthier, more prosperous, and downright luckier year to come. My wish is for this to be the case for all of you out there as well...
...and so I say, good riddance to 2016 and bring on a brighter, better 2017!