@abbott_56 in 2016 on #Reading #RetroGaming and #Recovery

It's been an incredibly varied year for everyone & most will probably remember it for the negatives, such as the vast amount of celebrities we've tragically lost including David Bowie, Alan Rickman and most recently, Carrie Fisher.

Then we've had so many negative news stories, deaths in accidents; further escalations in Syria, terrorism; political uncertainties regarding the US elections and Brexit votes and so on. It certainly has been a rollercoaster of a year.

Of course, there are many good things about the year, too. In entertainment we've seen amazing new releases from the worlds of music, movies and more.

My year from an introspective point has been much the same for me, with many ups and downs. I'm still working on improving my mood and dealing with my eating issues, but feel that actually I've ended the year in a positive place, generally feeling better more of the time and being more sociable, allowing myself to treat (however rarely) and I've made steps to improve myself further through my work, my hobbies, my financial wellbeing and making general life improvements.

I began going to a group therapy session for people with eating disorders which has been really helpful. Knowing what you're going through isn't as stupid as you think because it's an illness and actually others are going through the same thing too has been no end of a comfort.

I've started seeing my friends a lot more, through trips to the theatre, cinema, places of interest and just down the pub. Highlights include the many National Trust properties, visiting Bristol and going to Budapest with my sister; the new Star Wars, David Brent and Hunt for the Wildermen films were all excellent and I've really enjoyed all theatre trips big and small.

I've really gotten back into my music, playing my flute in a local marching band, picking up my guitar more often and playing the piano more, too. I've also been to a shed load of live music, and I've seen big bands like Feeder, Spunge, Less Than Jake as well as local bands such as the Dead Sea Skulls and The Joy Formidable. I love going and always have a blast. I've listened to loads, too; I adored the new Bowie album this yea, and I've made even more of my Spotify subscription than usual through 2016.

I've done more gaming, which has pleased me as I went a long time acquiring games but not actually playing anything. I'm not bothered about playing things to a platinum trophy level of completion, but I'm aiming to finish more games in 2017 too, if only to the end of the main story. My most played entries from 2016 are probably Monster Hunter Generations, Okami, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Stella Glow and the countless retro games I keep going back to. I'll also continue to keep inhaling books at my current rate, and I've read some excellent stories this year, especially those from the Rivers Of London series from which I'm eagerly awaiting the paperback release of the most recent so my collection matches...

Finally, I feel I've made strides in my work, and despite not getting a job I went for my title at work has changed to reflect my responsibilities more accurately and I've convinced big bosses that the work I do was worth a pay rise, so I feel my career trajectory is on the up.

Though the bad moments tend to take a very sheer drop, I find these are fewer and further between and this blog is really just a small effort to note down what I'm thankful for this year. I love my friends, my family and when it comes to it, no matter how small it may seem to some I believe I've achieved a lot.

Not only that, my friends and family are also doing exceptionally well in their lives with their careers, interests and life plans which makes me even more grateful to simply know such amazing and talented people. Everyone I have the pleasure of meeting has helped me this year and I am eternally grateful, no matter how small you think you're influence may have been.

I hope to hear from you about your year. But if not, have a very happy 2017.

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