We’ve all heard that 2016 was a bad year. However, like most sweeping generalisations, if we label something as big as a year as simply bad or good, we miss the ebbs and flows of life, the complexities and nuances of the rhythms that enrich our days.

The end of every year is a time for reflection on all of this, but, for me, it is a time to celebrate and express gratitude for the challenges accepted, overcome, and even for those that were insurmountable.

Here are my 2016 Highlights:

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Claiming my pizza prize during the Surrey Residency in Grey Lynn

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  • Watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Reading Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, Born to Run
  • Cycling the Mountain Sash and Door track near National Park
  • Seeing my son finish his degree in Marketing and Communication and add to his growing collection of brilliant songs he’s written and performed
  • Travelling back to Nova Scotia with my daughter, including a short visit to Los Angeles, reuniting with heaps of family, seeing a Crushers hockey game with my brother, Thanksgiving, and more. I’ve written an essay about part of this experience to be published on Canadian Writers Abroad in January.
  • Continuing my child-free life at home with my wonderful and supportive wife, in which we learned that child-free does not mean parenting-free.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for your support this year. Happy New Year – I wish you well for all the ebbs and flows and challenges that 2017 will bring.

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Writing in Durham, Nova Scotia. Photo: Katie Millen

Antony Millen is a Canadian living and writing in New Zealand. He is the author of three novels: Redeeming Brother Murrihy, Te Kauhanga and The Chain.

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