my biggest wins of 2016

I’m pretty sure I’ve peaked. Given how shitty 2016 has been for the majority of folks, it seems wise to get this post down now while the positives still hold some glitter. I’m guaranteed an awful 2017 by the law of averages, I reckon.

As I mentioned a few weeks back, 2016 has been kind of awesome for me on a personal level. I’m attributing that almost entirely to hard work – not luck or fate but the combination of my dogged tenacity, lots of hours at my macbook and recent revelations about my self worth. So, in no particular order, here are the ten best things that happened to me in 2016.

The good, the rad and the lovely

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1. Getting married. As the sunlight poured through the cracks in the barn walls, and swallows swooped and chirped overhead, I said ‘I do‘ to the greatest man I have ever known ❤️. (I’ve got the photos and a full post coming very soon. Watch this space!)

2. Making my first £100k+. By myself, whilst having Orla at home half the time, and dancing a chronic heath fandango. Boom. 

3. Book offers. Plural. In my inbox. And not by mistake!

me and luke skywalker

4. Meeting Mark Hamill. We’re best friends now, did you know? (more here)

5. Writing for Stylist. There are some things that just feel like landmarks on your path. This was one of them for me. See all my features and press here

6. Orla starting at Steiner. My velcro child, my limpet girl – I never really believed we’d find a time and place where we could start her somewhere new without tears and trauma for all three of us. Then along came Steiner, and she’s flourished, and loved every single second. I bribe her with school, now! If only she could go 10 hours a day! (more here)

rudolph steiner school

7. Something I can’t tell you about. Nope, sorry! But it was brilliant fun and it makes the list, regardless ?.

8. Speaking for Canon. Not just because it’s Canon (although, yes!) but because it meant flying alone, going to Ireland, speaking to a big crowd – and because it was great, despite all of that! (more here)

9. Hanging with Google. Google invited me to hang out with them in celebration of the new Pixel, and there were nap pods! I mean, seriously! Is there anything better?

this is the view from google HQ

10. Realising my worth. It came to me in a moment, though it had been a lifetime in the works. I’m not worthless! I’ve spent my whole life secretly thinking I was, and it took actually being worth something financially to finally see the stupidity of that entire notion. I have value! I’m not a waste of oxygen!! Total game changer for me.

11.New friends (& old). I have fallen out with prescicely three people in my whole adult life – & all of them happened this year. There’s a lot I could say on the hows and whys, and the impact the rest of this list has had on it all, but this is a celebration, so instead, lets talk about all the people who made this year magical. The people I’ve spoken to daily, and the ones I’ve not managed to meet for coffee for months. Maybe I’m biased, but I swear I’m friends with the best people, and this year has only served to remind me of this. 

12. Discovering I’m sick. Is it weird that sitting in a doctors office being told ‘there’s definitely something wrong’ makes my list of best moments of the year? But as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve spent decades living with all of the symptoms and blaming myself, so to suddenly hear that it wasn’t all in my head was like a ticker tape parade celebration for my lack of laziness. Maybe I’m the opposite of lazy, in fact! MAYBE I’m a super motivated sleepy person?  (more here)

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& the bad

Now, to be clear with you – there were moments of failure, too. There were hours where I sat at my computer and cried because I was so sure my moment was over and everything was about to come crashing down around me. There were times when I got drunk on gin at 4pm because the combine demands of parenting and meeting deadlines turned me into a horrible person. There were moments when I told Rory I was going upstairs to work, climbed into bed, and wept. 

But that’s the nature of the beast, I think – especially in this mixed-up online world where we’re all putting our best faces out for scrutiny on a daily basis. Sometimes we fail, and it feels personal and awful. Sometimes we win, and it’s like flying.

What were your highlights of 2016? Did they outweigh the bad, in the end?