There's no doubt I'm feeling reflective. December has arrived. Yesterday I battled with the scratchy branches of our Christmas tree to decorate the house.
I have been squirreling away Santa presents for months, and making the children have as magical a Christmas as possible (including Elf on the Shelf activities, which seemed a good idea when I started it).
But I suppose like a lot of people I'm finding it difficult to get fully into the festive spirit - because, as for many people, 2016 has been such a turbulent year for me.
I have been trying to process everything that happened - being one of those hokey sorts who believes every thing in life is a learning experience - and figure out what way I'm supposed to have progressed through the shit storm that 2016 brought.
World affairs aside (because, seriously? That's beyond depressing) - this year has been a challenging one personally for a host of reasons, many of which I have mentioned on this blog before.
Not least of course has been my decision to leave the relative safety net of my 18 year strong journalism career, to focus on my writing career, my family and my health.
There have been so many (SO. MANY.) personal challenges that I have felt like a reluctant passenger on a very high, very fast, very boke-inducing rollercoaster.
From personal relationships to friendships, to illness of family members, to concerns about challenges facing those I love - it has been one hell of a c year and I'm well aware it isn't over yet.
But it has taught me a number of things, which, if you don't mind, I'd like to share with you now.
I know all this is a bit mushy - but if you can't be mushy at Christmas, when can you?
Thank you all for reading, for chatting, for laughing, for supporting.
Why Skirting the Issue?
For 14 years I wrote my Skirting the Issue column for the Derry Journal each Friday - I may have moved on, but I still have opinions!