Glad you found us, Brian.
I know what you mean. I think this year was really up and down for me. The most significant event was my dad's death. It really changed things for me and my whole family, but thanks to a great network of support, both here and in my life, I was able to move on without exploding (I have come close about a thousand times). It really shook me up, but I've come through the smoke a stronger person. I'm posting up great marks for school (some of the best in my life, I think), I managed to self-publish my first book and I've really learned a lot over the past year.
Like Tony, I found a lot of death to have loomed over this past year. Not just my dad, but a lot of people, even indirectly. My mom was at a funeral yesterday even. But I've come to view death as change, and experience, not tragedy and grief.
I've been in a pretty deep slump over the last week or so, and yesterday was no icing over. I didn't do anything, I stayed home, mostly because everyone else had other plans. I did have a good night watching an awesome basketball game (and my team won their division last year which is awesome) and I ate a great meal, read some and went to bed early. I've been reading Robinson Crusoe and I think that some solitary moments are the most important (is it not odd that Crusoe was stranded on an island with his pets as his sole comfort, just like me last night?) but with some work I've made the best of the situation.
All the best to everyone in the next calendar year.