So. 2016. I have to confess, I’m not sorry to see this year die. Looking back, I could say that 2016 was an SOMETHING slog of misery from beginning to end. However, there were some bright spots, and in years like this, those points of light, as dim as they might be, are what saw me through the long night.

Moving isn’t something that’s easy for me. I don’t enjoy it at all. I don’t enjoy the pack and purge routine. I don’t enjoy pulling up roots and having to put them down somewhere new. It’s fortunate I didn’t stroke out or have a heart attack during my move from Ohio down to here to Georgia.

Two summers back, my apartment complex was bought by another company, and they’ve been renovating all the units. This summer, I had the option of moving to an upgraded unit or moving out. The renovated units are very nice, and if I did that, I’d only be moving across the breezeway in my same building. I’d still have a ground-floor apartment facing toward a wooded area that sits in the middle of the complex.

The bad news is my rent went WAY up. I did look at other complexes in the area, but anything I moved into would cost way more to move, and I’d lose a lot of space. The apartments here are very big. So I stayed and have been doing belt tightening to make up for the increase in rent.

I’m not settled fully, not even a few months after the move, but I get a little more so every day. The new apartment is nice, and the faux hardwood (laminate) floors instead of carpeting is very nice in terms of ease of care, though a little cold under my perpetually (at lease when I’m home) bare feet.

My former company, the one I moved down here from Ohio in order to stay a part of, sold my division in 2015. Those of us who were impacted had two choices: accept an offer with the new company or lose our jobs. No severance. No chance to stay. We’d been in temporary space for some time, and in March of this year we moved into our new space, which is closer to home for me (a godsend here in Atlanta).

However, this summer, we fully split off our IT systems from our former parent company, migrating into our new IT environment at our new parent company. That final severing of the tenuous tie we had with the old mothership hit me hard. Sure, by that time, it was a symbolic thing, but I’ve never been particularly good at letting go or saying goodbye. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I stayed: to keep working with the folks I’ve enjoyed working with for years.

My group went through a bunch of personnel changes, people leaving and a new hire. Those are going to continue into 2017. I’ve picked up a new client for a teammate who is transitioning to a new job next year, a challenging client, but I like a challenge. I think next year will be one with more challenges in the work arena, but I’m hopeful they will be of the good kind.

The sis had a hard year this year, and I worry about her. So I felt the impact of that too. She had a breakup this summer, which threw her summer into a tailspin. While I was looking forward to the time off I had at the end of the year and relaxing with her, she had some other personal stuff happen just before she came in for the holidays.

It has definitely brought down the mood and increased the stress level. We still had some fun, but it wasn’t the respite either of us was hoping for.

Loss seems to be the word of the year for 2016. We lost so many iconic performers this year. We lost a presidential election that I wanted to win more than any other I’d voted in since I was able to vote. I feel like I lost some of myself this year. I lost my way, especially from September to the end of the year.

I hope that 2017 proves a year of finding rather than of losing. We all deserve that for enduring.

I didn’t do as much fic writing as I would have liked this year, and while the year started out good for me in terms of posting regularly, I lost the habit for swaths of the year. I did NaNo this year. While I didn’t hit the 50K, I made pretty good progress. It’s messy writing and will need lots of revising, but it was a commitment to moving toward building a regular writing habit.

Despite the gloom of the year, there were some moments of fun. Sis and I went to the Aquarium and the World of Coke in July for her birthday. We both really like the aquarium, and the sis got some really good pictures of the penguins and otters and fish. The World of Coke is cheesy and kitschy, but we were glad we went. One highlight a MASSIVE tasting room where you can sample Coke products from around the world. I had no idea there were so many flavors of Fanta for example. Some of the Cokes were yummy, some were strange, and a few were just horrible.

Dragon*Con was a little bit of a mixed bag for me. The stress of the impending move was weighing heavily on me, and my heart wasn’t wholly into it. However, watching Brian Henson puppeteer for us as he talked about the evolution of puppetry at Henson Studios was a highlight. The cast of Grimm (Nick, Juliette, Wu, Truble, Renard) were a delight, though I’m supersad this is the last season of the show. The Gotham panel (Bruce, Alfred, Butch, and Penguin) was also pretty damned good, and Jason Isaacs had some interesting Harry Potter tales, though he was clearly “scripted” and performing in ways no other actor I’ve seen there over the years was.

Sis and I took a trip to The Center for Puppetry Arts, and it was FANTASTIC! I think it might deserve a post of its own.

For me, 2016 was full of more shadows than light. It was a year where I felt lost and helpless. It was a year when I let go and surrendered to feelings of doubt and woe that came from the lost and hopeless. There were good things too. I have to keep reminding myself of that, and of how those things made me feel. More importantly, in 2017, I have to work to find those things and those people that make me feel like that more of the time.


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