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In summary

So 2016 was a doozy, huh?

In a broader cultural sense for the Western world, is was a honker of a year: even leaving aside political upheaval and the deaths of idols, it was a year of vehement public discussion and agitation. Everywhere I went, the culture felt raw and bruised. Then the conversations turn down the path of ‘can you really grieve for someone you never met?’ and make a swift turn into ‘is a year ever really bad or is that just perception?’ and then abruptly end up in the cul-de-sac of ‘how dare you police my twitter stream’, before devolving into bickering about who forgot the map.

But this isn’t the space for that discussion. This is my blog and I’mma talk about me.

2016 was an odd year for me. It feels like it went on forever. When I recall going to, say, Wanderlust, in February 2016, it’s so long ago that I have to check whether it was a dream, a memory, or just something someone told me about.

A big part of 2016 was spent being very unhealthy. Alert readers will recall that I have Addison’s disease, and in late 2015 my endocrinologist and I discussed reducing my meds dose. I obediently did so, despite how cripplingly tired it made me. I managed: but that’s about it. It was bloody awful, retrospectively, but at the time, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and got through it, somehow. In mid-2016, I saw the endocrinologist again for my six-monthly checkup, wherein it was revealed there had been a misunderstanding, and I wasn’t to reduce my overall dose, just the first-thing-in-the-morning dose. Well thank criminy, because I felt like grey mush.

Once the meds thing got reorganised and I was on a better dose, there’s no doubt that I felt much, much better right away. Plus, now I had a (not entirely fictitious) excuse for everything I’d flubbed, forgotten or flunked in the first half of the year.

Buuuuuuuut. Six months of low energy has a long shadow. I’d spent the six months so easily drained and so tired that it’s amazing I didn’t give up on everything: all the physical things I love to do were just wrecking me. I’d hit the gym on Friday morning, lift weights, and then have to more or less take the afternoon off. So I reduced loads, cut back, and I’m sure more than once simply gave up and skipped exercising altogether. I lost a lot of ground: it was noticeable when walking next to M, whose easy walking pace had me winded and desperate. So once the meds got sorted, we began the tedious process of regaining stamina and strength. I look back over 2016 and realise that I wasn’t really where I wanted to be, health-wise, until about October. (I hasten to add: I’m in great shape right now, and the meds adjustment was ultimately for the better.)

Workwise, it was my second year as a freelance editor and indexer: less terrifying than the first, but not without its moments. I had a more constant stream of work, and more repeat customers, both of which are soothing to the freelancer soul. And, even more excitingly, I feel like I’m a better editor than I was at the start of 2016 — although this is based entirely on personal perception, not measurable metrics.

We travelled a lot: New York, Lausanne and Berlin were the trinity of the mid-year trip (which thankfully came after the misunderstanding vis a vis meds had been acknowledged, but before it had been entirely smoothed out, and well before I’d fully recovered), and all three were as wonderful as ever — including the trapeze class I mentioned. We also went to New Zealand with M’s dad, in an effort to show him some glorious fodder for his camera and also to see glaciers.

And I read millions of books. Okay, not millions, but I read a *lot* of books this year. Occasionally I wonder if I should keep track of the books I’m reading, but honestly, when you run your own business, you’re really not at all interested in giving yourself another admin job to do.

So there was a lot of good stuff in 2016 (again, only commenting on me and my business, not the world at large), but it felt somehow uncollected. It’s easy to see how the meds issue affected everything in 2016: it was hard to sustain interest in anything, let alone everything. I’m therefore turning towards 2017 with a renewed attitude of excitement and optimism.

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