How do you sum up a year like 2016? For many, it will absolutely go down as a year in infamy. There have been so many bad things that have happened even during the last week of the year (RIP George Michael and Carrie Fisher).
And I will admit that this hasn’t been the greatest year of my life. It has definitely had it’s share of ugliness and trials. However, I can’t say that it was all bad (can any of us?). I can’t even say that it was the worst year of my life.
All in all, a review of 2016 sheds light on some huge successes and some rather large failures, but still reveals a pretty decent year for the Drake family. We ushered in 2016 huddled in a cold camper and gathered around my broken computer watching a movie we’d rented from our local library. Now, as I write this, I am sitting all alone on a nice, comfy couch watching Netflix on a gigantic tv and typing on my brand new computer (thanks, Mom!) in a nice warm house.
To say that this is a contrast of events would be an understatement. Early in 2016, we had a massive snow which knocked out our water in the camper and forced us to abandon our homestead and head to a friend’s house to hunker down until we could get it fixed. To say that wintering over in a camper was difficult would also be an understatement. I cannot truly express how grateful I was for that camper and what it meant to me and family, but I equally cannot express how difficult our time there was.
But we are no longer there, in that camper or in that state. We’ve been richly blessed again and one of our neighbors has allowed us to live in his house, which I have mentioned is basically a palace compared to where we’ve been (I will need to remind myself of this again when I am complaining about one of the many… eccentricities of this house). Our circumstances have definitely changed for the better.
Yet, the homestead still isn’t finished. Nathan worked diligently on it for most of the year. An illness and a prior commitment caused the work to stall in the latter half of 2016. I will admit that this has caused a great amount of resentment in me toward our house and land. It is such a HUGE project and I know that it will take a long time, but my impatience has colored most of 2016. This is an attitude that I must leave in 2016.
Work was also a bit of mixed blessing. I took on a new position, as well as a rise in seniority. We had massive staff turnovers which saw me going from working 2 days a week to working 5-6 days a week. This has continued right up until Christmas when we lost 3 team members in the span of one week. I do love my job and I love my new position, but working that much has definitely taken it’s toll. This will also be changing in 2017 (more on that to come).
Our church has also had a rough year. It’s been a year of transition with many growing pains. And it is still going. I wish that I could elaborate more on this, but there are still so many gears turning and ramifications yet to come.
This blog itself has show a great deal of 2016. Last year was a banner year for my writing. I hit my goal of writing at least one blog a month and for most months, I exceeded that. After that, I was quite ambitious for 2016 and intended not only to write every week or month, but I was endeavoring to post new blogs 3 times a week. And it worked for a while, but with a big house to keep and work demands, I fell behind and ended up letting go altogether. But I did move and begin the blog that I really wanted to write.
Added in the plus column, I did make a new friend, deepen some existing relationships, and rekindle some old ones. I was able to organize a Mom’s Night Out in August with a pretty good attendance and a Cookie Exchange party in December with a great turnout. Both were such a blessing and I’m hoping to continue on with such things.
So, how will I look back on 2016? With fondness. Sure, there were some huge, awful things that happened and perhaps even the majority of the year was such, but in the end it was another year of life that was lived with my family and friends and in service to my Lord so I can’t see it any other way (plus I lost 35lbs, so there’s that). I’m quite eager to say farewell to 2016 and usher in 2017, but it is a fond farewell full of happy memories and blessings.