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!

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

  1. Kfish
    December 29, 2016 at 9:18 am (2 years ago)

    Nice article Missy, very well done!

  2. tara pittman
    December 30, 2016 at 10:41 am (2 years ago)

    2016 was a good year! My family are huge Cub fans so that was a good win

    • Missy Damon
      December 30, 2016 at 6:13 pm (2 years ago)

      haha! Yes, mine are Yankees and Indians fans so it didn’t phase us; but it’s nice to see them win!

  3. Jennifer Gilbert
    December 30, 2016 at 11:13 am (2 years ago)

    Very good advice to look for the positives in our lives rather than the negatives! Really enjoyed your list. I’m anxious to see Harriet Tubman on the twenty dollar bill!

    • Missy Damon
      December 30, 2016 at 6:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Me too! That’s a nice change!

  4. Tina Gleisner
    December 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow, you had a terrific year from getting married to buying your first house. Congratulations on all the good things in life & keep them coming …

  5. Sarah-Louise Bailey
    December 30, 2016 at 5:29 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow, what an achievement this year. Congratulations to you and your brother, this was really your big year and everyone’s’ year because as you said, we are still alive. Our situation only depends on our choices, hard work and of course faith in Him that whatever happens in our thoughts and decision always ask for God’s mercy, do our work and let Him do the rest.

    • Missy Damon
      December 30, 2016 at 6:12 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you for the sweet comment! Yes, I totally and completely agree with you. I hope yours went just as well. Here’s wishing you a great 2017 🙂

  6. Bonnie McConaughy
    December 30, 2016 at 5:52 pm (2 years ago)

    Cool list of the good things this year. Sounds like there were quite a few good and interesting things, especially in your life. Two weddings! So awesome!

    • Missy Damon
      December 30, 2016 at 6:11 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Bonnie! Definitely an interesting year for us 🙂 Hope yours was just as good!

  7. Chloe
    December 30, 2016 at 7:18 pm (2 years ago)

    This was such a great post to read as I seem to continually see negativity about 2016. Thanks for sharing some positives 🙂

  8. Amber Myers
    December 30, 2016 at 7:48 pm (2 years ago)

    What a great list! We also purchased a home this year.

    Here’s to a fabulous 2017.

    • Missy Damon
      December 30, 2016 at 8:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Congrats! That’s so exciting! Where did you guys buy!

  9. Tina Gleisner
    December 30, 2016 at 9:15 pm (2 years ago)

    What an exciting year, from getting married to your first home. Congrats on so many big milestones & best of luck in the coming year.

    • Missy Damon
      December 31, 2016 at 5:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Mhaan! Happy new year!

  10. Karlyn Cruz
    December 31, 2016 at 9:16 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m really glad that you had a great year 2016. My year 2016 mixed good and bad. So glad you shared it.

  11. Rosey
    January 1, 2017 at 9:06 am (2 years ago)

    You did list lots of positives. Happy New Year to you!

  12. wendy
    January 1, 2017 at 2:29 pm (2 years ago)

    2016 had a lot of challenges and a lot of great things that happened! I think it is how one looks at it. 🙂 My year went by too fast! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Dawn Gibson-Thigpen
    January 2, 2017 at 12:41 am (2 years ago)

    yes great advice. we should always look at the positives instead of the negative. in our line of work that is very important rules to live by

    • Missy Damon
      January 2, 2017 at 6:45 pm (2 years ago)

      So very true! Hope you had a nice new year!

  14. Elizabeth O.
    January 3, 2017 at 9:34 am (2 years ago)

    Despite the loss and everything else that happened the past year, there’s still so much to be thankful for! I’m loving that you listed good things that happened in 2016! That’s so much good vibes.

  15. Samantha
    January 3, 2017 at 1:27 pm (2 years ago)

    2016 was a great year! I am excited to see what 2017 brings!

  16. Lisa Rios
    January 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm (2 years ago)

    I agree we just need to be thankful for the positive things happened and 2016 has been so good for sure. Leo winning the Oscar was a huge moment and I do love being a member of Amazon Prime that has made me online shopping much easier!

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