Ask just about anyone and they'll tell you 2016 was a terrible year. We watched a disasterous election unfold before our eyes. We lost thousands to religiously motivated terrorsim. We lost heroes (Leonard, Carrie, Alan, The Artist Known As . . .). On a personal level: I didn't speak to my parents, not even once; I struggled through boughts of crippling depression, anxiety, and self-doubt on what sometimes feels like a weekly basis; I abandoned, at 90,000 words, a novel I'd been working on for over two years, realizing I just wasn't ready to write it; etc.; etc.; etc.
But, damn, 2016 was still a great year. In 2016 I:
Meditated every day save for a small handful.
Read 64 books.
Saw the release of a documentary I contributed significantly to the production of.
Published a short story. Had another one accepted for publication (keep an eye out for it in February).
Wrote 80,000-plus words of a different novel, one that I hope to finish within the next few months and publish next year. (It's about sex magick, YouTube, open relationships, and depression—if you're a literary agent or publisher interested in reading the manuscript, get in touch.)
Oversaw the publication of a wonderful new book from Asymmetrical Press.
Started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Added 42 lbs to my squat.
Added 94 lbs (!) to my deadlift (this is the accomplishment that, upon realizing it, most made me think Holy shit!).
Began or deepened several important relationships.
And there are probably several other achievements, large and small, I'm not recalling, achievements that get lost in the rememberance of the bad things.
So a lot of people will say "Fuck 2016". If you're hip and cool, you'll say it too. But what about 2017? 2018? 2030? Maybe 2016 wasn't a good year for you—I'll give some people that—but some upcoming year will be a good year, even a great year, and, since time is (arguably) linear and all, you'd never get there without 2016.