lifestyle

Finally in 2015 I had a year that didn't suck.

Looking back on the year that can provoke a mix of emotions.

Regret, nostalgia, disappointment, maybe even anger. I find that it rarely encourages positive reflection.

Maybe that’s because we forget about the good stuff and focus on the bad. Maybe it’s because we are constantly dissatisfied — nothing we have achieved is ever enough.

But sometimes, it is because the year really was terrible.

Maybe you lost your job, or you were in a car accident, or your long-term relationship broke up, or your parent got sick, or you found out you might lose your job in the new year because of budget cuts in your unit, or you were underemployed for six months and could barely pay your rent.

2015 was a great year
Me and my cat Buster, in 2007. That was a good year.

All those things happened to me, one year after another over the past few years. And it was awful.

Every year I would start out optimistic, hoping for a change in circumstances, but there was always something new and crappy. Not this year.

This year I got to meet a slew of new babies made by some of the greatest people I know. Seriously, it was a baby-rush. And they are all so damn cute it almost hurts to hold them.

I got to watch my best friend marry the love of her life, which was one of the best parties I’ve ever attended. It was also not the only lovely wedding I got to attend this year, there were a few.

2015 was a great year
Wedding selfies. There were lots of these in 2015.
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Some of my oldest friends achieved really significant career goals that made me so happy for them, and proud of their determination and perseverance.

I won an award for my writing, which was really cool.

I visited my favourite place in the world — New York City — and met some excellent, interesting, fun people while I was there.

I spent a lot of time working hard on friendships and was richly rewarded for it.

And, I started a really awesome new job, which I wake up every morning excited about.

Sure, I had a few setbacks and challenges, but when I think about the whole arc, I feel happy and satisfied.

I have been trying to work out what went so right for me, finally.

2015 was a great year
This is me, reading the magazine with my prize-winning story in it. That was pretty cool.

For the first time in a long time I let go of a lot of goals.

I’m a goal-setter from way back. I used to write lists with titles like “To do before 30” and “Things I have to achieve by my 21st birthday”. The day before I turned ten, I wrote a list of things I needed to do while I was still a nine-year-old. I took most of the skin off my knees completing it.

But this year I stopped trying to tick off things on a list, and it was incredibly liberating. If I didn’t want to do something, I didn’t do it.

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I worked hard on the things I cared about, and just put aside the stuff that sucked.

So no, I didn’t go on any Tinder dates in 2015. None. Not a single one.

I stopped caring that I wasn’t seeing anyone and just went with it.

I’m all caught up on a lot more books and television as a result, and I had time to focus on some out-of-work creative projects that I’ve been ruminating on for a long time.

I saw some great concerts — Sufjan Stevens, Ryan Adams, Sinead O’Connor to name a few.

I don’t want to trivialise 2015 — there was a lot of bad in there with the good. I see it every day. I spend a lot of time diving into the misery of life as part of my job.

2015 was a great year
Getting ready to talk about all the world’s problems on The Drum.

I am reminded constantly of the awful, heartbreaking, horrible, and unfair things that happen in the world.

2015 is no different. It has been a truly shocking year in lots of ways. I know this.

For many people it will have been the worst year of their life, or one of the worst. For others it will have been average. I know this, and I think about it a lot. I sincerely hope for everyone who is looking forward to seeing the back of 2015, that 2016 is an improvement.

For me, 2015 was a glorious burst of sunshine through the grey, the last Frosty Fruit hiding in the back of the fridge. An awesome new show dropping on Netflix. It was full of joy and friendship and fun.

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m writing this from the back deck of the beach house my friends and I rented to ring in 2016. We’re surrounded by the cicada symphony that heralds a Summer day.

Someone is cooking bacon and there’s a LOT of bubbles in the fridge for later.

2015, I love you, and I am really sorry to see you go.

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