Despite what some people think, I’m not a really negative person – more realistic. The past few years have been successful for me – sometimes full, busy or hard work, but overall successful. But I know I’m not alone in saying that 2016 has not been my favourite year ever, and it often felt simply exhausting. Often it was downright shitty.
Yeah there were highlights; my trip to Europe, my trips to Sindh and Northern Pakistan (stay tuned for more about these), the spiritual wonder of spending Ramadan and Muharram at home in Lahore, the launch of my new book Recipes for Ramadan, recent Christmas festivities.
And man, there were some lowlights. Getting my phone stolen in a crowd in Lahore; repeatedly falling sick; a couple of friends and family members going through some really shitty personal circumstances; scraping the bottom of my savings barrel – something I’m not particularly proud of; my experience with the Sukkur police; and just generally overburdening myself with work and stress in an unhealthy way. None of them earth-shattering (first world problems, if you may), but shitty enough to be a constant pain in the ass, and leaving me feeling like I just couldn’t catch a break.
As mentioned in the Buzzfeed article I linked above, 2016 seems to have been a shitty year for the world, too. Violence and war (maybe we’re just more aware of it, thanks to the omnipresent media), famous deaths (Abdul Sattar Edhi, David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Amjad Sabri, Christina Grimmie, Qandeel Baloch, Junaid Jamshed, George Michael), global politics (Brexit, Donald Trump), plane crashes and even a particularly horrible epidemic ahead of the Rio Olympics.
I don’t imagine that simply the change from 31st December 2016 to 1st January 2017 will magically stop the ups and downs of a normal person’s life, but the new year does represent a convenient bookend with which one can create (or imagine) closure. I don’t normally get to the end of the year and say that I’m happy for it to be over – but I’ll be really happy to close the chapter on 2016.
This Saturday, to welcome 2017 I’ll be posting my annual preview of the new year – so stay tuned!