Listen to the average untrained self-help guru and they'll tell you to live in the moment. That sounds like reasonable advice - if typically more easily said than done - but sometimes it's nice to stop and take in the view from the mountain you just climbed. This year, more than most, we've not so much climbed a mountain as been dragged up one by a diarrhoeic, shrieking, mountain monkey.
And yet... despite all the celebrity death, despite all the depressing world events, despite the dangerous polarisation of Western society and the way everyone seems to be more entrenched and inflexible than ever, and despite a lying, exploitative, egomaniac becoming the most powerful man on the planet and proving to be everything many of us said he was... it has sort of been a pretty good year for gaming.
As we barrel towards the end of what few would deny has otherwise been a horrible annus, it felt like time to take in the view of the major gaming events of the past 12 months.
As the first big piece I wrote at the start of 2016 was about Virtual Reality it seems like that's a good place to start this retrospective. C'mon, kids!
As we stumbled into 2016, unaware of the horrors that lay ahead, I wrote that I was still unconvinced by Virtual Reality.
Now here I am at the other end of a brutal year, the owner of a PlayStation VR headset, with Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive having hit the market.
And how do I feel?
Well, I'm still sort of unconvinced, but a bit less unconvinced than I was. Sort of. I dunno. Let me try to explain, if only for my own benefit.
You see, I really, really like the PlayStation VR. The technology is incredible. The potential for the technology is incredible. There isn't a single person who has had a go on my PSVR who hasn't said "It's so much better than I thought it'd be".
That's pretty much my feeling too. Plus... compared to some of the other options out there, it's as close to affordable as decent VR is right now.
As I stated at the time of its release, it's also the closest I'll ever get to owning my own theme park. Not a British theme park, mind, which are basically one step removed from a couple of vomit-stained roundabouts in a Lidl's car park where the floor is littered with the remains of fried chicken meals and hippy crack cannisters - but one of the big, slick, American ones, which bend over backwards to show you their holes in an effort to immerse you and transport you to somewhere else.
Sony's anthologies - PlayRoom VR and VR Worlds - do a phenomenal job of selling that potential. From showcasing immersive experiences - such as The Heist - to demonstrating the gaming possibilities, both single-player and multiplayer. Almost everything offered by these two collections could - maybe should - be scaled up to full games. The platformer Robots Rescue is just one stage, but it's almost Miyamoto awesome.
Indeed, I don't think there has been a single PSVR game that I've played - many of which I've never gotten around to writing a full review of, simply because there were so many of them - which I haven't enjoyed on some level. VR can take even the most mediocre gaming experience and lift it to another level.
Job Simulator, Arkham VR, Battlezone - all are massively enjoyable. Even some of the non-game titles, such as the stop-motion-ish animated story Allumette and Sega's surreal concert experience Hatsume Miku, demonstrate that VR is not just about games.
So... I kind of love VR. At the same time... a couple of months on, and I'm not finding myself gravitating back towards it very often. Given a choice, I'd still rather play a game sprawled on the sofa, looking at the TV.
Why is this, given that the technology feels like the future has finally arrived?
As I just said, my gaming tends to be done laying down on the sofa.
For VR I either have to stand up, or sit up straight, to get the most out of it. Plus, I have to move the coffee table. And I usually have to keep wiping the lenses, because they're always misting up.
These are not a deal-breakers, but are annoying enough that, when added to a lot of other things, becomes a litany of reasons to sort of put me off.
Thanks to PSVR, I've now got so many black wires underneath my TV that it looks as if somebody's dumped a plate of goth linguini on my living room floor.
Whenever I want to play on PSVR, after playing a regular PS4 game, I've got to trace all those wires back to their source, and untangle them, and plug them into the right sockets. You know: rather than just switch on the PS4 and pick up a joypad.
Also... all those wires... all that stuff on the floor... I managed to tread on the corner of the VR processing unit a few weeks back, and cut my foot open quite badly. What's that you say? I should be more organised? Yeah, well. I should be a lot of things, but life doesn't work that way. Also: shut-up.
Like you're perfect.
DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS
It also doesn't help that I still can't play certain VR titles for very long without feeling at least a little nauseous.
It seems that I've managed to build up some resistance - and it isn't as bad as it sometimes was at the beginning of my time with PSVR. Nevertheless, it's hard to forget that - potentially - every time I put on the VR headset, I might come away wanting to do a vomit.
Unless we feel like it's life or death, people tend to take the path of least resistance. Basically, if there are two horses to see, and seeing one of them means a long walk through bushes, and having to climb over a fence, and wear a special pair of gloves, and even if it's a special golden horse with a man's face... I know I'll choose the ordinary horse which doesn't require the faff and won't bite me on the foot or make me feel sick to look at it.
And then... and then there's this: I don't like shutting myself off from the rest of the world. It's rare that I ever get the house to myself... and so if I want to play on PSVR I have to do it with other people wandering around. I feel stupid waving my arms around with a bucket on my head. There has been more than one occasion where - without my knowledge - I've been filmed while playing on it. Because, y'know... it's funny to see someone swatting at imaginary wasps.
Unless that person is a mentally ill relation... and then it's tragic.
How is the PlayStation VR doing?
Well, as predicted, it's doing far better than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. According to Venturebeat Sony has a 30% share of the VR market, compared to 11% for Oculus, and just 6% for the eyewateringly pricey Vive. 8% goes to Google's cheap-and-cheerful option, and 7% is swallowed up by Samsung.
The remainder of the market is - according to the report - "comprised of lesser known or lower profile VR headsets, engine providers such as Unity, Epic Games and Crytek, and a handful of developers, with companies in this last group accounting for 1% of the market each."
Again, as anyone could've told you at the start of the year - and, indeed, I did - the cheaper and more accessible the hardware, the better it's going to do. HTC and Valve have invested a small fortune in the Vive. It's interesting to wonder how they might view those sales figures.
What's not mentioned in the report - and which might help to put all of this in some sort of context - are solid sales figures. The only thing Sony has said is that sales are "on track", without giving specific numbers. Which isn't helpful given that you'd expect them to put a positive spin on things for the purposes of keeping shareholders happy.
Around the time of launch, analytics firm IHS Markit suggested that the PSVR "could" sell 1.4 million units this year. Which sounds good... but that means only about 2% of PS4 owners will have bought one. And then we're into the familiar Catch-22 situation, where people are only going to buy one if there are things to play on it, and developers are only going to make things to play on it if they stand to recoup their development costs.
Already, the PC is showing a worrying dearth of must-have VR content (to the point that last week HTC - in desperation - announced it was starting up its own games development division).
While I've softened my stance on VR since the start of this year - it really is very, very cool - most of my concerns, most of my predictions, have come true to a greater or lesser degree.
At this stage... I honestly don't know what's going to happen with Virtual Reality in 2017.