I could just as easily have titled this post, 2017: annus horribilis. It was. Horribilis, with a dollop of Shitibilis, and a heaping spoonful of Assibilis. Good riddance 2017.
All this to say… I’m sorry I’ve been scarce around these parts for, well, an entire year. Writing has always been an escape for me. Cheap therapy. So it’s pretty ironic that in the year I needed this most, the only writing I did was in the form of business communications.
That’s not technically true, I also wrote my dad’s eulogy, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, also the most rewarding. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So many people suffered so much heartache. All you need do is Google “2016 worst year ever” to see the plethora of articles and memes proving what a shit year it was.
Well friends, not for me it wasn’t.
For me, 2016 was pretty goddamned awesome. Home and work life were both going great, I rang in my 50th year with an epic trip, and my health was pretty solid after the drama of gall bladder-gate and my exploding head.
As 2016 turned her back to leave me, she offered one final tender kiss goodbye. At the end of December I was offered a promotion to the senior executive team at my organization, a global technology company with over 13,000 employees.
I didn’t dare pinch myself, lest I wake up to find it was a all a dream. Life couldn’t be better.
And then 2017 arrived.
Two weeks in, my family suffered a horrific and traumatic event. The kind of trauma that could cause PTSD. The kind of trauma that requires professional therapy.
I could count on one hand the number of people who know the details of what happened. Despite letting it all hang out in some areas, I am intensely private in others. This was one of those things that I couldn’t bear to hear myself say out loud, the bile rising in the back of my throat every time I tried to form the words.
So 2017 had arrived with a bang, it seemed.
11 weeks later, on March 31st, I learned that something was wrong with my dad. A million tests and specialists later (in actual time, a mere 6 weeks), we got the diagnosis: Stage IV lung cancer, inoperable, incurable, metastasized, spread to his ribs and lymph nodes.
8 weeks after that, my dad was gone, and my mom, sister, husband and I were shells of our former selves, having had to watch this once indestructible, proud man wither away to nothingness.
Annus horribilis, indeed.
6 weeks later, I had to terminate 10 roles on my team because those individuals suddenly found themselves in the wrong location. We had recently opened a shiny new Canadian HQ location 3,000 miles away, and the decision was made that this specific part of the team needed to be based in that office.
We offered relocation packages to anyone interested, and two ultimately accepted the roles and moved, but eight others found themselves without jobs on November 30th.
And I was the Grinch who stole Christmas.
December brought a new round of health challenges for me, resulting in 4 canceled flights. So, on the good news front, I was grounded for all of December, a welcome break.
Did I mention that I took 86 flights in 2017? Given I did no flying during the month of December, that means I made 86 flights in 48 weeks. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not great with the maths, but even I know that’s way too much fucking flying.
Anywayyy, I don’t know what I don’t know yet about what might be wrong with me, so I’m not going to speculate. Suffice to say that removing my gall bladder did not fix me, and my gastrointestinal tract continues to cause me grief.
Other than that, 2017 has been a peach.
How about you? How was your year? Tell me 2017 didn’t hate you too.