This year has been ... surreal. So much so that Merriam-Webster has named it word of the year.
So many things have happened that to most of us would have been unthinkable 12 months ago. We have had to say a premature goodbye to far too many talented people and hello to a strange new world of politics.
While not as earth-shattering as Brexit or a Trump presidency, things have also changed for me at a personal level in a way I did not at all envisage when the year was still new. And yet, it has all been of my own doing.
If you had told me back in January that by Christmas I would be successfully running my own proofreading business, I would have been shocked to say the least. I would have said I don't have the time, the confidence or the ability. Not to mention that it's an incredibly difficult profession to get into, especially for someone with no background in publishing.
To be honest, I started a course in proofreading as a hobby, a distraction, something to keep my brain ticking over while being a stay-at-home mum. I didn't plan or expect to go back to work for at least another year or two and certainly not as a proofreader. But thanks to my course tutor, who told me I absolutely was good enough, I began to think that this was actually a possibility. I might still have done nothing about it but, coincidentally, a short time later, an acquaintance posted an appeal for a proofreader to help her. I responded, and I did a good job. I haven't looked back since; I joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, set up my website and have spent every free moment building my business and honing my skills.
So, although I'm trepidatious about what the wider world has in store for us all in 2017, personally I couldn't be more optimistic.
Here's to a happy and healthy New Year for all my friends, family, colleagues and clients!