CONGRATULATIONS if you made it through 2017 knowing who you are and where you are going. It's been another year of hard truths, coupled with a looming threat of destruction.
It can be hard to see the positives out of a year gripped by fear of continued terrorist attacks, mass shootings, an unstable global political climate and the ever-present fear of a nuclear war.
Amid all that doom and gloom, there have been many positive changes in Australia: the marriage equality vote, the #metoo movement and Victoria's assisted dying laws among them.
Change is tough, but necessary to ensure everyone is given the same opportunity to be the best person they can be in this life.
So, in light of all the upheaval this year, it's time to make some crazy predictions for the new year. Not sure how many of these will actually happen, but 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog, so let us wag the dog.
• Triple J's the Hottest 100 is leaked by Wikileaks and thus played on Australia Day, angering some. To add insult to injury, a Taylor Swift song tops the list.
• Temperatures reach 55C (131F) in parts of Australia as former PM Tony Abbott and his family holiday in Iceland. Moomba in South Australia doesn't know what all the fuss is about.
• Western Australia's Rottnest Island disappears into the Indian Ocean, but climate change deniers argue this happened once before, 45 million years ago and, not to worry, the island would back: "It would be quokkas not to," a denier in denial said.
• The Royal wedding is cancelled due to a scandal. Can't say too much, but social media gets "Litt Up".
• Photographic evidence of a mythical drop bear is revealed. Three weeks later, an illegal koala bear fighting ring is busted and several arrests are made.
• Australia's Nullabor Plain is named "Most Popular Destination for Disgraced Personalities and Executives". It immediately becomes Australia's eighth most populated region.
• Hugh Jackman agrees to host the Logies, which are inexplicably switched to - and held in - Darwin this year. Patrick Brammall wins the Gold Logie.
• Sydney's light-rail project is halted after an ancient burial ground (and some Mighty Morphin Power Rangers memorabilia) is uncovered.
• The redevelopment of Old Sydney Town is given the green light on condition the owners build a fast monorail from the NSW Central Coast to Sydney.
• Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull advises the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of Parliament and call a full election. Labor wins in a landslide and Bill Shorten is removed as leader in a swift coup. Penny Wong is named Australia's Prime Minister. Mr Turnbull retires and Julie Bishop is elected the new Liberal Party leader. In other election news, Australia's first robotic MP is voted in as the Member for New England.
• A stray cat in an Adelaide laboratory knocks over a solution which leads to a breakthrough in technology to deter stray cats.
• The Socceroos reach The 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals. Their new boss, Jurgen Klinsmann, is lauded and the FFA stumps up the cash to keep him on. Germany go on to win the tournament. Tim Cahill retires from international football and joins A-League side the Central Coast Mariners.
• Tasmania secedes from the mainland by using barges to move itself further away, irking Queenslanders who wanted their state to do it first.
• A talking duck named Samuel finishes runner-up on Australia's Got Talent - pipped narrowly by Watermelon Boy, who subsequently goes viral (again).
• Australia's 'Talk Like a Pirate' Day is hijacked by clever hipsters who start boasting about how they've illegally downloaded the next Game of Thrones series (which hasn't even started production yet).
• Australia's birthrate falls to 0 as fears the missing baby formula has led to people not remembering how to conceive.
• Another Hemsworth brother is discovered after Chris stars on the Aussie version of Who Do You Think You Are?
• Donald Trump is impeached. Yeah, we were shocked too. Still, it's not like we didn't see it coming, right?
• The Project pays for US actor Hank Azaria to come to Australia and be the brand ambassador for Movember as his Simpsons character, Moe.
• Daniel Ricciardo retires from Formula 1 racing and starts his own paving business in Perth. Calls it "Chequered Flags".
• Australia shuns its constitutional monarchy heritage and becomes an anarcho-syndicalist commune, taking bitcoin as its official currency.
* The author is an unashamedly fierce Central Coast Mariners fan and can be trolled on Twitter at @newsbanks.
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