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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Reflecting on a Year: Progress

Progress.

From Middle English, Anglo-French and Latin roots, it’s a word that, according to Merriam-Webster, means “the process of improving or developing something over a period of time.”

For me, it represents how far I’ve come over the past few years.

I can only speak for myself, but I know sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in everything in my life. It’s easy to focus on the bad things, the parts of my life that maybe aren’t going as well as I’d hoped, and forget all the progress I’ve made and how far I’ve come.

I sat down and made a list of all the things I’ve done in the last year, and it’s a decent list. The places I’ve gone, the personal achievements that I’ve added, and just the small, simple ways my life has changed, grown and developed over the last 365 days.

Doing that made me realize how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished in the last year. And if I can accomplish all of that in just a year, think about how much MORE I can do in three years, or five, or ten. Think of how much I still have in my future, how much can change and how all the things that make me sad right now will be gone before I know it. It’s great fuel to keep me going even when I feel like giving up sometimes.

For my reference, here’s a few of the things on my list from the past year:

  • Got a full-time job, with health insurance, paid vacation, etc.
  • Found a healthcare provider as well as a dentist.
  • Visited several new places – including New York City, Washington, Virginia, and Columbus.
  • Seen several performers in concert, including Demi Lovato, Darren Criss and Selena Gomez.
  • Traveled through parts of four new states: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.
  • Published my first freelance piece in a local newspaper.

And that’s not the whole list, but it’s a pretty good one. And although some of those things may not seem that important, and I left off some of the more personal accomplishments, overall…. I feel good.

I feel like I’ve come far in the past year, and I should focus on the things I have accomplished, not the ones I haven’t. I’ll continue to focus on moving forward and making progress in all aspects of my life, and I’m going to try my best not to let anything get me down.