Why 2016 Wasn’t the Worst Year Ever: Appreciating the Positive


Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve seen the many memes, quotes, and photos circulating the web griping that “2016 is the worst year ever” but in my opinion it never does anyone any good to focus on the negatives. Sure, we had a lot of tough knocks this year, but generalizing doesn’t help to sustain a positive outlook on the future. So why don’t we focus on all the good that happened this year rather than the disappointments and setbacks?

  1. Leo finally won an Oscar. Let’s get real–the man DEFINITELY deserves it and has for years.
  2. Team USA killed it at the Rio Olympics. Despite Lochte’s alleged insubordination, the United States slayed pretty hard from swimming to basketball.
  3. The unemployment rank sank to its lowest since before the recession. Falling to 4.9%, it’s at the lowest it has been since the 2008 stock market crash.
  4. US high school graduation rate reached a record high. At 83%, our numbers are looking better and hopefully our education system is heading in a better direction.
  5. The Cubs won the World Series. While I’m not a Cubs fan, it’s nice to see Chicago win something nationally.
  6. Harriet Tubman will appear on the new $20 bill. Replacing Andrew Jackson, this is a monumental change that should be celebrated.
  7. The first commercial flight between Cuba & the United States in over 50 years occurred. A remarkable thing to watch as travel between two countries that were estranged for so long finally became possible.
  8. Deadpool came out. Nate and I are huge fans. Most people we know really loved it too. If you haven’t seen it yet–do yourself a favor and get your butt to Redbox AHORA.
  9. NASA’s Juno spacecraft finally reached Jupiter after 5 years. Since we are space nerds, this was an amazing feat to witness. Traveling over a billion miles through space, this craft designed to survey the planet for 20 months and report photos of it’s surface back to Earth is one of the coolest events that have happened in science this year.
  10. Amazon launched Prime Now. And I’m obsessed. If you are a Prime member, you can literally order pretty much anything from milk to toothpaste (we even ordered a tech gadget as a Christmas present Dec. 23rd for my dad) and have it delivered to your house within two hours. What will we come up with next?

Good Things That Happened in 2016

Sure, I may be a bit biased but for my family this year was one for the books!

  1. February 12th, 2016: Nate and I purchased our first home
  2. March 21st, 2016: My parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary
  3. June 21st, 2016: My dad celebrated his 70th birthday
  4. June 24th, 2016: Nate and I got married
  5. September 4th, 2016: My brother and sister-in-law got married


And last but not least, you are still alive. And in my book, that is something worth celebrating. This may not have been “your year” but hey–there’s always next year and part of setting yourself up for success comes with appreciation and gratitude for the things you do have. 

I am definitely guilty of wallowing in self-pity at times, but we all need a reminder that we are here and breathing for a reason and being happy is a conscious choice we all make daily.

One of my goals for 2017 is to choose to be positive rather than picking out what went wrong or what I didn’t do “well enough”. Focusing on negatives, like focusing on positives, have a snowballing effect. When we look at something in our day that went wrong, we tend to look for the next thing that could or did go wrong. Then the next.

The same theory can be applied to positive thinking. If one great thing happened or something *poof!* went well for us, why shouldn’t we think there’s something else good in store? What’s the harm in harnessing positive energy. The fact that it is contagious is just all the more icing on the cake proving that thinking this way is the right thing to do.

I wish all of you a great week and an amazing New Year’s Eve & Day with friends and family. Take this time to reflect on the good that happened in your life and the lives of others this year and move forward with the hopes and goals to do great things in 2017. Cheers to us!