A Year in Review: 2018

We’re eight days in 2019, but it’s taken me this long to have the stomach to be able to sit down and think back on what was 2018. It was a hell of a year for me – and I mean that, in many ways, it was absolute hell. It was messy from start to finish and filled with loss and grief and sadness, and I can honestly say I’ve never been so happy to put a calendar year behind me.

The year didn’t start off bad. Or at least, the first three days of 2018 were fine. I went to some hockey games, supported my husband in his endeavors, and enjoyed what I hoped would be a prosperous, happy year ahead.

Then, on January 4th, 2018, my father passed away unexpectedly at the age of 59 – one week shy of his 60th birthday. Obviously, that threw quite a wrench into the year for myself and my family.

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My Top Ten Books of 2018

2018 was a hell of a year for me, and in many ways, not in a good way. But that’s for another post and another time; for now, let’s talk about the books I read in 2018. According to my Goodreads, I read 39 books this year. Some I certainly enjoyed more than others, and some I can’t stop thinking about! I’m currently in the middle of Michelle’s Obama’s Becoming, but I haven’t quite finished it yet, so I can’t put it on this list in good faith.

Here are my top ten favorite books of this year:

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On Anniversaries & Milestones

As I sat down to write this post, I just now realized that tomorrow will mark 10 months since the unexpected death of my father. Ten whole months. It’s simultaneously been an incredibly long and also painfully quick ten months, and it’s hard to believe it’s already November.

That being said, I’ve been trying to equip myself with plenty of self-care tools because I know the next two months will bring a lot of anniversaries. A lot important dates, milestones.

  • Later this month, I turn 28. It will be my first birthday, in my entire life, without my Dad.
  • Thanksgiving, while not a holiday I’d typically celebrate with him, will be my first without Dad.
  • Christmas Eve – which will mark one year since the last time I saw my Dad alive. We went to his apartment last Christmas Eve and I spent three and a half hours putting together a TV stand that my sister and I bought him. Little did I know that would be the last time I would see him alive. I wish I’d taken more photos of him, of us, together.
  • Then Christmas, the first Christmas without Dad.
  • Then December 31, which I believe will mark a year since the last time I spoke to my Dad. I think I called him; I remember hearing that he’d left work early a few days prior because he supposedly wasn’t feeling well — so I called him, while at the arena, waiting for a game, and said (half-jokingly) “Should I be worried about you?” I’ll never forget his nonchalant attitude, his affirmation – “No, no, it was a misunderstanding, I’m fine.” Just a few days after that conversation, he died.
  • January 1. A new year, 2019. A calendar year in which my Dad has never, and will never, be alive.
  • January 4, which will mark the one-year anniversary of his death.
  • January 12, his birthday. He would’ve been 61. Also, the one-year anniversary of his funeral.

Also – no specific date, but hopefully very soon we’ll be able to finally close my dad’s estate.

I’m trying to prepare myself, as I know these days will not be easy. Maybe they won’t be as tough as I’m thinking, but I can’t know until I’ve reached them. So I’m trying to take care of myself and do what I need to get through the next few months. I’m actually heading to a “Grief and the Holidays” meeting/workshop this coming week that I hope will give me some skills/tools to deal with everything.

I just have to take it one day at a time.

My #Last90Days Challenge

We’ve entered the final quarter of the 2018 calendar year. Honestly? Wow. It’s mind-blowing me to how quickly this year has passed, and it undoubtedly has to do with the fact that just four days in, my father died unexpectedly. That threw my entire year, and life, for a loop and in some ways threw me totally off course.

I’ll be honest: the one thing I told myself I was going to do this year – keep writing my novel that I started in late 2017, and then work on seriously getting it published, even if only as an eBook – is the one thing I didn’t touch. At all. I completely abandoned the entire thing, and sometimes, I feel bad about it. I wish I hadn’t. It’s still there, sitting, waiting for me to rescue it, and at some point, maybe I will. But I’m just not there yet.

That being said, when I stumbled upon Rachel Hollis’ #Last90Days challenge, I was intrigued. The final three months of the year are a great time to set intentions for yourself, and with the way this year has gone, it’s time to get myself in order.

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Book Review: Girl, Wash Your Face

Rachel Hollis puts a fresh spin on the traditional “inspirational” book in her 2018 release, Girl, Wash Your Face. This book will kick your butt into gear and make you want to get up and DO SOMETHING about your life… without using a ton of cliches to get you there.

I’m going to be straightforward with you here: I’d never heard of Rachel Hollis until a month or two ago. I saw the trailer for her “Made For More” movie, and it certainly caught my eye. I looked into it, and her, and discovered she had a) an Instagram (so I followed) and b) a book. I had to request the book at the library and was on a waiting list, so it took me a bit to get it – but it was worth the wait!

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