The news, social media and even friends and family are all in agreement, 2016 was weird, sad and in many ways ridiculous to say the very least.

Scroll down any timeline, and you are sure to see a new surprising celebrity death, yet another incident of injustice, world crises and politics gone awry. It’s enough to make anyone want to holler like Marvin Gaye. I was definitely not immune to these past 366 days.

A few weeks ago during the 52nd week of the year I laid across my bed with my journal, pen in hand, and wrote all of what this year meant to me, and confirmed, this was a particularly fabulous year for me personally.

Taking Stock of Personal Wins

I think it’s important to take stock of your year, every year. I typically do this in daily posts leading up to the New Year on my Facebook page. Each day reserved for a particular subject or accomplishment — great concerts I attended, my travels, the love of friends and family, hurdles I overcame, highlights from my social calendar, various things that made my year bright.

This year, however, I nixed the public announcement and decided to reflect quietly on my own. My wins, in 2016, were plenty. It took several pages to note all of the things I most remembered. Days later, I still recall the highs of this year that will certainly go down in history books as a ‘low’ year.

I don’t log and list all of the wonderful things from the previous year to gloat; rather it’s to remind myself of how much I have for which to be grateful. You see, 365 days can go by fast, but it is a relatively long time for a lot to occur. Year after year I experience so much, sometimes I struggle pinpointing when certain events actually took place. I stopped talking to so-and-so in 2014 or 2015? We’ve been broken up for two years now? When did I leave that company? What year did we go to Mexico? I think that’s when I cut my hair. That’s the last time I visited my sister? So I document these things. To mark how much I have squeezed out of the year.

Looking Back Even When It’s Hard

2016 overall for us as a society, was a doozy. I cried a lot. I had my fair share of frustration. There were plenty of days that I walked around dazed and angry. I had many Uber Pool conversations with drivers from literally all over the world (Tanzania, the Middle East, Ethiopia and Mexico) who would wait until it was just them and me and strike up the most profound, engaging and interesting conversations about politics, race and religion. Not to ever take anything away from the brave men and women who fight for their country or serve in the military, but there have been times when I thought to myself, “This must be what battle fatigue feels like.” So to physically write down how much I possess and have done in a mere 366 days is not only empowering, it’s essential to my inner peace.

On New Year’s Eve, I celebrated. In 2017 I want to dance. I want to sing. I want to shout. I will pray. I want to hug friends. I welcome 2017 with excitement and joy setting the pace for another amazing 365 days.