I don't think I've ever done one of these end-of-year reviews. I always lacked the energy and motivation to look back.
But as 2009 draws to a close, after seeing so many friends' Facebook and Twitter updates bidding good riddance to what has been for them an awful year, I can't help but ask myself if it was all that bad for me too.
There are a couple of things that yes, I would have been happier if they had not occurred. Stuart mum's breast cancer (chemo- and radiotherapy completed, waiting game started), and my own mother's heart surgery (very slow recovery as she is 84; for a while we feared she would never be independent and lucid again, but we now hope for a full recovery in due time).
These were opportunities for me to grow and develop. I found the discipline to train for the Great South Run in Portsmouth while collecting funds for breast cancer research (a staggering 1,691 pounds, thanks to the generosity of family, friends and colleagues, and you can still donate if you wish to do so). And dealing albeit briefly with my mum I discovered what it is like to care for an old woman who requires assistance for even her most personal needs.
What else is there? I've enjoyed my job, I love the flat, city and country I live in (as a British citizen since August), I have been in reasonably good health and I am grateful for having family, friends and Stuart in my life.
So let me raise my glass (which is definitely half full) to wave goodbye to 2009 and welcome the new decade. May it bring health, love and work to all of you.