A very good year, or was it?

Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs and perhaps the most important thing is not coming to any firm conclusion but just taking time to reflect

When I look back and ask myself if it has been a good year or not, I don't know what to think. The only thing I'm sure of when I think back over the past 12 months is how quickly it went. But that probably has more to do with age than anything else, and reviewing some of the key events that took place in Catalonia and around the world in 2016, I find myself split down the middle. Who knows, perhaps that's the way it should be –life is a roller coaster of ups and downs– and perhaps the most important thing is not coming to any firm conclusion but just taking time to reflect on the ground we have crossed before setting out on the next stage of our existential journey.

This is where our annual review of the year can come in useful. In every December issue, Catalonia Today includes a month-by-month summary of some of the main events that happened at home and abroad. Obviously it is a limited and subjective selection, but it's a good starting point for that essential pause for reflection between one year and the next, as well as being just fun to look back and refresh the memory. If you haven't already done so, go back and check out the review between pages 17 and 41 and let us jog your memory.

As for my own reflections on the year that is now coming to an end, I was struck by two thoughts. The first was that looking at recent events I find it increasingly difficult to see them in a typically bipolar way. Let's take Trump winning the US presidency as an example. Was that a good or a bad thing? A decade ago I would have had an instant answer, but now I'm not so sure. Clearly the new American president is an appalling egotist with a maverick nature and totally unsuited for the key post he will take up in January. Yet, he is also less likely to start a Third World War than a Hillary Clinton, who has a record of war-mongering and who seemed hellbent on pursuing an aggressive policy in Syria –has she seen who the Syrian regime's main ally is? It's just an example, but it shows how hard it is to call it one way or the other.

The other thought was that 12 months is not long enough to know if an event is good or bad. Time will tell. The year began with Carles Puigdemont becoming president of Catalonia, and the process got a figure everyone in the movement could stomach to act as the tip of the spear for seeing the process through. Yet, the sovereignty bid is not a 12-month process and, well, only time will tell.

Things are more nuanced than they seem, or I don't know how to make up my mind.

Review of the 2016 Pages 17-41
December is the time for our annual review of the previous 12 months, with a double-page spread devoted to each month of the year, including some of the key moments and events, both at home and abroad. Each month features a series of numberered photos with a corresponding text to jog the memory. The pages also have the front cover and a summary of that month's edition of Catalonia Today magazine. As the selection of events for each month is subjective, don't hesitate in letting us know what we missed out. Feedback is always welcome. Email: contact@cataloniatoday.cat.
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