My top 10 favorite experiences of 2016

As 2016 quickly draws to a close, I need to stop and reflect upon the joy I felt this year. In fact, especially this year.

By just about every measure, 2016 was a difficult year for many people. Generation X lost many of our pop culture idols; a presidential election went wonky at the last minute causing great distress by the majority of people in the country who did not vote for the winner; although we keep hearing that the economy is strong, the unemployment rate is 4.6% down from a high of 10.2% in October 2009 in the midst of the Great Recession, and the Dow Jones Index closed 2016 at 19,762.60 more than double where it closed on out 2008, many people are still struggling financially; war continues to happen both on the ground in Syria and elsewhere and via cyber attacks.

I refuse to get lost in the negativity of this year. Yes, my year wasn’t the greatest, but I have a lot to be thankful for and created many incredible memories. These are my top 10 favorite experiences of 2016 in no particular order.

Many of my esteemed colleagues at ChicagoNow have recapped their 2016 experiences. Read their posts at You Know Neen, Hammervision, a second recap post at Hammervision, Lipstick, Lollipops, & Life, Listing Beyond Forty, I’ve Got the Hippy Shakes, Chirish Chatter, Between Us Parents, Conveniently Green, I Got a Dumpster Family, Being Catholic . . . Really, The Shiny Side, Quilting Sewing Creatingand The Mainville Report: Dispatches From My Couch.

Like you, I don’t know what 2017 will bring. What I do know is that I am renewing my focus and my blog’s focus on kindness and I’ll be detailing the plans over the next week. It’s my hope that this focus on kindness will be something you and I can do together and I invite you to join me.

All in all, 2016 was a mixed bag that I’m happy to see go. May 2017 bring us each good health, happiness, prosperity, love, and an abundance of kindness.

What are your favorite experiences of 2016?

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    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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