How would you describe 2015?

How would you describe 2015 in one word?

That was the question I saw posed on social media last week and it got me thinking. How would I describe 2015 in one word?  It's such a simple task and yet such a quandary.  Can you distil the ups and downs, the joys and torment, the passing of 365 days into just one word? Can it be that black and white?

2015 was a year of mixed emotion.  In the very early weeks we were settling into the house we bought late in 2014.  That felt satisfying.  The kids embraced school and kindergarten in February and that was exciting. In the early months of 2015 the husband was working long and hard but not enjoying it. He was already tired and stressed and with that came frustration and dissatisfaction.   

By May I found myself as the sole income earner which, as the primary carer, was briefly terrifying.  There was a juggle of expectations and responsibilities. A lack of communication. There was confusion, disappointment and tension.

But the disruption brought challenge, determination and excitement, mixed with moments of overwhelm. By August, the resolution to remain bouyant brought energy which in turn drove hard work and opened my mind to new possibilities.  

My psychological refusal to take a step backwards, even when the path ahead looked treacherous, brought many hours of work but immense satisfaction.  Opportunities came my way; opportunities that I leapt at and ran with even when I was overstepping the boundaries of comfort by metres if not miles.

By the final months of 2015, 2016 looked promising.  My hard work of the previous year was paying dividends in exciting projects, rewarding work and the cash flow that we so desperately required. I could see an easier ride into 2016.  I looked at the kids and saw them thriving. I looked at my garden and saw it growing.  I reviewed the year and could see that I had achieved all that I had set out to - and more - when I wrote this in January 2015. The overwhelming emotion was gratification.

An unexpected turn of events has obscured the view into 2016 a little; there's some rough weather yet to come but we know that we are strong, we are resilient and we will fight to see another day. I feel secure (mostly) and optimistic.

So this brings me back to the original premise: Can I describe 2015 in one word?

Well no. It just took me 392. But it makes me wonder, 'Can I describe my hopes for 2016 in one word?'

Yes, I believe I can.  I am an optimist, and a hard working one at that.  The word that will define 2016 will be success. In whatever form it takes.

Is there one word that describes 2015 for you? What about 2016? As an optimist I love a new year.  Do you?