2018 was always going to have a lot to live up to. 2017 had involved changing job, moving city and an awful lot of travel. It finished with our incredible trip to New Zealand, and getting engaged, so I was skeptical from the beginning about how 2018 was going to live up to the previous year.
Unfortunately, since the start of the year, 2018 has been marred by death and illness in family and friends. It’s been a year of grief, bad news and stress. There have been moments where more than anything I’ve wanted the year to be over, and for everything to just stop for a moment. Now we’re at the end of the year, it’s easier to reflect on some of the good things that have happened. Despite everything 2018 has thrown at us, it has still been a year that has had some lighter moments and some fond memories that I’ll look back on.
At the start of the year I really wasn’t sure what the year would hold, but I still put together my list of hopes for the year ahead. Looking back now, I’ve actually done pretty well. I’ve started to see more of the UK (highlights include a trip to the Peak District, and to Snowdonia) and I’m certainly now on the look-out to do more at home rather than always looking abroad. James and I have moved into our own place, we’ve seen lots of people, and had people to visit us, and I’m feeling a lot more settled in Bristol. We recently headed to Krakow for the Christmas markets and I started my scrapbook from New Zealand (although not quite finished…). There are a few things I’m still working on, but a lot of what I’d hoped for this year did happen despite the hiccups along the way.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned or realised along the way:
- Comparison truly is the thief of joy.
- Sometimes it can be more important to be around strangers than friends.
- Bookshops and libraries will always be my happy place.
- Having no plans is incredibly daunting – sometimes too daunting to be liberating.
- Equally, having too many plans can also make you feel trapped.
- Wedding fairs are truly awful places.
- If you have a friend whose advice you always take, they are a gem that you should cherish.
- Grief affects everyone differently. You might not even realise how you will cope with it yourself until you have to go through it.
- If you make a space for a pet in your heart, that pet will always be with you. They are family.
- The small moments, the silly moments, the ones that seem inconsequential at the time are the ones we should look back on and be grateful for.
- Having a Waitrose just around the corner is not good for your bank account!
- Determination is really important, but it will only ever get you so far.
- We’re all learning how to be adults still. It’s a myth that you “become an adult” – the entire thing is a learning process that we’re trying our best to work out.
- Couch to 5K might seem like hard work, but it does actually work.
- Remind yourself every once in a while that everyone is different.
- I will never have enough time to see all the places I want to, and read all the books I want, but it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy myself with what I do manage.
- Three years out of education and retirement sounds like a really good idea.
- If you really get on with someone it doesn’t matter how much time has passed since you last saw them, you’ll still enjoy yourselves.
- I’m still working out exactly what I want to do with my life, and that’s ok because I’m the only one putting pressure on myself to decide.
- Too much Brie is a thing.
Happy New Year everyone! And thanks to everyone who has been part of my 2018.