2018 Wrap Up

 

Wow, is it really that time of year again? It’s time to wrap up the year with these questions found on a blog called All & Sundry long ago and tweaked a bit. I recommend thinking about these questions yourself. Here’s my 2018 review:

1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before? One of the more interesting things I did was go to an event with the “Singing Bowl Lady” who plays large bowl instruments that make a unique vibrational sound while you lay there and meditate or just relax.  It was cool.  Calming and peaceful.  I was hoping I’d have some big revelation while I was in a meditative state, and while that didn’t happen I did feel pretty relaxed and happy.  I’d like to try it again.
I FINALLY  saw the Amazing Acro-Cats perform,  which has been an unfulfilled dream of mine for a while.  Lucky for me, I have been dating someone who will join right in with any weird shit I want to do.  That show was even more awesome than I expected! A pure delight in every way.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  I committed to doing more “maintenance” type things and I was pretty good about that.  I went to the dentist after a 7 year hiatus and got a LOT of much needed dental work done. I even went to the doctor at some point.  I slacked off a bit at the end on those issues, but I did much better than I have been doing, so let’s consider that a win.

I also got an ongoing plumbing problem in my house fixed, even though I did not want to spend the money and preferred to continue doing work-arounds forever.  Plus I got a new dishwasher to replace the one I had with a door that kept falling off and leaking and not really cleaning dishes.  And I finally replaced my old minivan, which was having all sorts of exciting issues.  I spent way more money than is comfortable for me, maintaining and replacing things this year.  It was necessary, but boy was it rough.

I think for 2019 I need to make more resolutions that help me to take better care of myself, because I am fucking exhausted all the time.  I should know how to do this by now, but the past few months have left me drained. I need to do better in this area.

And I will see more movies. That is my favorite resolution and one I aim to keep.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?   No

4. Did anyone close to you die?   No, but losing Burt Reynolds was a heart breaker.  RIP Bandit.

5. What countries did you visit?  I’m planning to end this year and begin next year in Mexico with my special somebody. It’s the first time I’ve left the good ol’ USA in many, many years and I’m really looking forward to it.

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?   It’s hard to describe.  I feel like I have been holding things together and trying to make them work for a while and I am just kind of tired and discouraged.  

The world is in crazy chaos and the shitstorm seems to have no end.  That has taken a toll. And a light has been shined on the way men and women interact and the revelations haven’t been pretty.  And wow, it’s been exhausting to continually have this shit mansplained to me by men who don’t enjoy having to look at their own actions and think outside their own needs and desires.  It comes down to caring whether the other person in your interaction is enjoying the interaction and wants it to continue.  How is it that so many (mostly male) people don’t even think about that? Or don’t care?  It’s mind boggling.  And it’s made 2018 rough.

And I am always worried about money and about the future for me and for my kids. I know intellectually that it takes a while to recover financially from a divorce, particularly when you hadn’t planned on it and didn’t make arrangements to prepare yourself for that type of future.  I did sporadic part-time and freelance work when I was married, so that I could be there for my kids and my husband could travel for his work, but that put my career on the back burner.  It wasn’t a great idea for someone who was not going to be partnered for the long term, but I made the best decisions I could with the info I had at the time.  And three years post-divorce and in the full time working world I’m still very much affected by it.  I feel like I am way behind.  Working as a single parent puts constraints on me that I didn’t have when I was not a parent, which makes it more challenging to move forward. And it is also more stressful because I have three people who count on me and no safety net. So I guess I would have like to have more financial stability and less insecurity in that regard.  I’m working towards it, but it is slow going.

7. What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?  Days when I’ve participated in races are always special to me.  This year the only ones I did were the Capital 10K and the Turkey Trot.  I felt so happy and renewed after both.  So I know I need to make sure running races is a part of next year.

And I had some great times with my favorite people.  A girls weekend in the Hill Country in January.  Watching the Oscars and other awards shows with my Forever Oscar Date.  Exploring Memphis with my guy.  Taking my kids to visit our Florida family for the 4th of July and watching fireworks on the beach.  Laughing so hard my face and stomach hurt in Dallas with Shakira and Madame V. Walking around beautiful New Orleans in October with one of my dearest friends from way back in high school and eating ALL the food.  And a sweet anniversary dinner in a revolving restaurant overlooking the nighttime lights of Houston.  Lots and lots of good memories this year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?   I made good progress in letting go of some painful baggage from the past that had been weighing me down for a very long time.  I feel stronger than I have in a while.

9. What was your biggest failure?  Ugh, this one is hard, not because there was one big failure, but it’s more like I don’t feel like I’m really succeeding in most aspects of my life.  I know it is better to look at it as “In comparison to myself three years ago, I’m kicking butt!” but in reality it feels to me like I’m not where I’d hoped to be.  I guess I need to revisit this in 2019.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I had a running related hip injury that plagued me for a while last year.  I am so happy that it’s mostly healed now and I am getting back to running regularly.  And, as previously mentioned, I had a ton of dental work that I’d avoided for many years. That also sucked, but my dentist is great and should probably name his new boat after me.

11. What was the best thing you bought?  The biggest and best one was my new car.  It’s had a huge effect on me, which I didn’t expect.  I LOVE that car.  It is easy to drive, fuel efficient and really easy to park…which I didn’t even realize was an issue that held me back when I drove the giant hippo-esque minivan.  I especially love that it is purple.  I never truly realized how driving a vaguely colored minivan with a big dent in the side was like driving a giant indicator of my low self esteem.  But a hideous two ton burden has been removed from my life! I was really anxious about making such a big purchase, but I am very glad I did.

The other excellent purchase I made was my new running shoes.  I did not want to spend the extra money on them, but my hip was killing me and I did research that indicated that I was running in the wrong type of shoes and this was part of the reason my injury was not healing.  So I decided to take the gamble to see if better shoes could help.  And luckily they did!  My hip feels almost healed. These shoes have made running good again, which is more than worth it.

12. Where did most of your money go?  Mostly toward childcare, particularly in the summer and to the supermarket, as always.  I also put a lot of money down on my car to secure a lower payment for myself.  And the aforementioned tons of dental work.  I also dropped my phone in the tub, necessitating the purchase of a new one.  Ugh.

13. What did you get really excited about?  See #11 about my beloved car.  I’ve had it for 6 months and I’m still thrilled about it.

14. What song will always remind you of 2018?  It’s probably that Drake song about Kiki, because it was so weird and my goofy kids were very into it this summer.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder?  Unfortunately, I’m a little sadder right now.

– thinner or fatter? Oh damn, I am also a little fatter than last year.  I did less running and exercise because of my hip injury, but I totally ate and drank my feelings.

– richer or poorer? I’m a little poorer, too.

Not a stellar end to the year, but I guess it makes sense that I’m a little sadder.  There is room for improvement

16. What do you wish you’d done more of? Restorative things.  Exercise.  Getting more sleep.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying incessantly. Agreeing to things that drain me because they will make someone else happy.  Running in the wrong shoes.

18. How did you spend Christmas/Hanukkah/Major Holiday of your choice? This was the first year I was away from my kids for Christmas, which was kind of hard, but still ok.  I put my dog in a Santa suit.  I ran 5 miles on Christmas Eve and then visited with a dear friend in the afternoon.  Then I spent the rest of the holiday with my boyfriend and his daughters. It was nice and chill.  We made good food and decorated cupcakes.  Drank wine and watched A Christmas Story.  Watched the kids play on their new scooters.  A good time.

19. What were your favorite TV programs?  I loved the second season of GLOW and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  I’ve also watched a lot of Superstore, which is hilarious and makes me laugh out loud.  A rarity.  Plus my friend plays a crazy character on that show and I’m happy every time I see her on screen.

20. What were your favorite books you read this year? I haven’t read as much this year as I usually do.  I read and enjoyed a YA book  called Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys.  And I really liked the book Less by Andrew Sean Greer.

21. What was your favorite music you heard this year? I had fun listening to a lot of cheesy piano bar music.

22. What were your favorite films you saw this year? I didn’t go to the movies as much as I would have liked, which is why it’s a resolution for 2019.  MORE MOVIES.  In 2018, I liked A Star is Born and the mystery one with Blake Lively (A Simple Favor?) was fun.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? My birthday was mostly good.  A little bittersweet.  I turned 47, which is the age that my dad lived to.  I feel so old.  But I got lots and lots of birthday wishes from friends, which is always really nice. My boyfriend was extra sweet to me and sent me  beautiful flowers and took me to a fancy lunch.  I went to the “singing bowl” thing with a couple of good friends that evening and that was relaxing and different from anything I’d done before.  And I went to bed pretty early afterwards and got a good night’s sleep, which means so much more to me these days. So all in all, it was good.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A different outcome for the Kavanaugh hearings would have made a big difference in my outlook. It’s another disheartening shit sandwich to add to the pile along with the Beto loss to the Zodiac Killer.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
Librarian up to no good. Always and forever.

26. What kept you sane?
Who says I’m sane? Hehehe.  Running seems to keeps me sane.  As sane as I get, anyway.

27. Share a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.  I am stronger when I’m not holding on to old baggage from the past.  And I need to consistently stand up for myself, because nobody else is going to do it for me.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got! Let’s see what 2019 has to bring. Happy New Year to all!

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