2016 wasn't a very good year for me. Neither was it a bad year. It was a confusing year that took me to the highest of highs and the lowest lows. Before I go in to the recap of the year, let's see how December fared for me. December did start off in a hectic way with work taking up most of my time. I was busy and barely had time for anything else. This month I focused on writing more than reading. I did manage eleven posts and I think that it is pretty decent. Since I had already finished my reading challenge in October, I stuck to comics in December. I discovered Tintin and fell in love with the story telling. As a child I hadn't read much comics, so it was time to make up for it. I did start 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'. After reading the 22 page introduction, I was blown away. I couldn't wait to start the actual story. And then life happened. No matter how hard I tried I did not find time to read. The maximum time that I could spare was 15-30 minutes and reading a novel for that duration everyday was not my cup of tea. So it now lies safe on my TBR list for 2017.
2016 has been a interesting year. Let me start with the highs first. Since work always comes first for me, I'll start with that. I got to work on quite a lot of projects this year and move out of my comfort zone. I managed to stay pretty regular at work and my dedication and hard work was well appreciated. I got a promotion as well! This without a doubt would be the highlight of the year. The second one would be my eye surgery. After fifteen years of wearing contact lenses and spectacles, I finally found freedom after a LASIK eye surgery. I had been planning to get one since quite a few years but somehow wasn't very brave to go about it. Finally, in July I decided to go for it and it went very smoothly. I feel so free and happy. I can travel for long hours and stay away from home for as long as I can without worrying about my eyes drying out or causing pain. I recovered in a couple of days and this surgery turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.
Another highlight of the year would be the first international holiday for Cal and I. The vacation to Sri Lanka was so precious to us and we had such a wonderful time. 2016 has been a very good year to us in terms of travel. We did Shimla at the start of the year and saw and experienced snow for the very first time. Next was Sri Lanka and then we got really busy with work and life in general. This was a slightly frustrating period in our lives and we longed for a break. It finally came to us only in November in the form of our most favorite destination, Goa! This was our fifth visit to Goa and undoubtedly the best. We explored nooks and corners of the place and gorged on some wonderful food. Almost immediately Mumbai happened. I also saw the first concert of my life this year and it was Coldplay! That was an experience that I would never forget. I also saw Shahrukh Khan up close and sneaked in a visit to his house. Well, to look at it from outside that is. The trip to Mumbai helped me tick two things off my bucket list. Christmas came and so did an impromptu road trip with the husband and his friends. Coorg was a beauty and it did give us that much needed break after a really long year that somehow managed to swoosh by.
Writing was pretty good this year with some good quality posts. 133 in total. I tried to write about a lot of new topics and did not venture much into creative writing. Most of my posts were very personal and about something that I have been wanting to talk about for a long time. April A to Z was really fun and I'm looking for the next one. I'm not a big fan of writing challenges and this would be the only one I'll be a part of. Feeling the compulsion to write and writing for the sake of it has never worked for me and it never will. I'd rather write what I feel and as and when I like it.
Reading was excellent this year. The initial challenge was for 30 books, but I completed that by October! I ended 2016 with a count of 40 books. I finally started Harry Potter and fell in love with the first three books. I thought the writing was fantastic and the story was well, magical. The fourth book disappointed me though. And this prevented me from going forward with the series. I shall complete it in 2017 for sure. I read a lot of genres in 2016 and most of the books I read has been really good. The Millenium Trilogy was my favorite of the lot though. All the books by Keigo Higashino comes a close second. Harry Potter, comes third. There were a lot of other interesting books that I read. I also managed to do a good number of book reviews in 2016. My reviews have now become more precise and polished. Honest, they always were. I've enjoyed doing book reviews and I hope to continue that in 2017 as well.
I also took up another challenge on Instagram that was supposed to be monthly but I stuck to it for the whole year. Photo A Day challenge is about having a photo prompt per day for a month. You can interpret the prompt the way you want to put up a photo everyday on Instagram or on Facebook. I'm not very happy with Facebook these days so I just stick on to Instagram. This is an interesting challenge and gives a nice boost to your creativity. I'll be doing it in 2017 as well. Yes, every month. I even managed to successfully complete the 100 days of happiness challenge, again on Instagram. So out of 365 days, I've atleast been happy for 100 days. Not such a bad count eh?
At first I couldn't wait to be done with 2016, but now as I look back it doesn't seem like such a bad year. Of course there were a lot of personal and health issues in between, but nothing that I couldn't handle. 2016 showed me the strength that I had. 2016 taught me that it is okay to break down once in a while as long as you pick yourself back up and walk ahead. 2016 taught me to stay focused on work and give it all that I have. 2016 taught me that if I wanted to do anything, I could do it with better planning and focus. Thank you 2016, for being whatever you were. Happy or not, I survived and came out of it stronger. 2017 is going to be kickass. I've got a feeling that it would be.
Wishing you all a very happy new year from LOL. May you be blessed with love, health and happiness throughout the year.