2018 was at times calmer and at times crazier than 2017. But I’m not complaining because neither ’18 nor ’17compared to the insanity that was ’16.
So glad that’s over…
Before this first month of 2019 blows by, one of the most important things I can do is look back and think about what happened in 2018. It’s my way of gaining closure and accepting that no matter how much I protest, I’m in another year.
Instead of listing through the months like usual, I found this list of questions that can help me “start the new year intentionally.
1. What makes this year unforgettable?
I will always remember 2018 as the year I made plans and watched them burn. I planned to be married. I planned to buy a house. I planned to keep my 4.0 in school. But none of that happened. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m glad for it….Mostly…
2. What did you enjoy doing this year?
I enjoyed discovering new shows (like Stranger Things), and re-watching old shows (like the O.C.) with my grandmother. I also traveled this year, and mostly enjoyed that—but I never like international flights. I drove to the mountains several times, flew to Kenya and later flew to Arkansas as well. Overall, that was a lot of flying for someone who doesn’t like to fly.
3. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?
My dog. She’s my best friend and is routinely happy to see me. It doesn’t matter to her if I’m in a bad mood. She doesn’t take it personally and nudges her cold, wet nose into my lap anyway.
And I’m also grateful for friends that stay friends no matter how long it’s been since we last hung out. Family that stays friendly no matter how many times I let them down. And to have a job that challenges and encourages me every day. And for second chances…but I mentioned that already.
4. What’s your biggest win this year?
I don’t know if this is the type of “win” that’s supposed to come to mind, but I think I got an amazing deal on a laptop on black friday. I’ve been a Mac girl since 2010, so buying an MSI gaming laptop was…rough. But we are friends now—alright, fine—acquaintances.
5. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year?
Discovering Fight The New Drug was like finding a lost sibling. As someone who overcame a p*rn addiction, I’m avid about researching and sharing the effects of p*rn on our minds, hearts, and society. But, as far as I can tell, I’m the only one who is so openly against p*rn in my group. When I found Fight The New Drug, an organization doing that who also just released a free docu-series, I felt like I wasn’t alone. If you’re curious, take a look at their site, fightthenewdrug.org, or visit considerbeforeconsuming.com.
The movie, Mortal Engines, also surprised me. I have to check my record but it felt like the best movie I saw all year and is definitely one of my favorites.
6. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?
I worried about December 31, 2018…
I had set that as my “hitch or ditch” date, and neither happened. Now in the second week of 2019, I realized, I was only pushing to get married because I felt like everyone else wanted me to. I’m 26, so I should be married with kids by now, right? But I finally realize just how much getting married would change my life. It would change my living situation (which is about to be pretty awesome without the help of a spouse) and affect my FAFSA—which as a student, could mean losing a lot of grants.
It turned out, I created extra pressure and stress on myself by making a deadline that I actually never wanted to follow.
Not to say that I don’t want to get married. Just not yet. (Shocking, I know.)
7. What was your biggest regret and why?
Other than what I mentioned above, I guess my biggest regret is going to Urgent Care even though I knew it didn’t need to. After 4 days of being stuck in bed sick, several people pressured me to go to Urgent Care, “It could be pneumonia.” So I went.
It cost me $400 to be told to take Dayquil…
Next time, I will listen to my body.
Next time someone says I have to get checked:
If I go to the hospital again I better be dead.
8. What’s one thing that changed about yourself?
Honestly, I stopped caring so much. I stopped caring about not being enough. Not doing something right. Not making the flight back…Okay, I still care about that one. But for the most part, I decided and frequently reminded myself that if God is with me, it doesn’t matter who stands on the other side and judges.
Love ’em any way.
9. What surprised you the most this year?
How quickly the whole year went. I thought I had at least another month to get my life together and be ready for 2019.
Also how ornery my dog is getting in her old age. Although, that probably shouldn’t surprise me since I spoil her so much.
10. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?
I would say, marriage doesn’t make you more valuable. When you mess up, apologize, do what you can to fix it, and move forward. And don’t spend so much on Christmas presents. (Too late now, though.)
Want to make your own list?
Here’s a cleaned-up version you can share in the comments or use for yourself:
1. What makes this year unforgettable? 2. What did you enjoy doing this year? 3. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for? 4. What’s your biggest win this year? 5. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year? 6. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out? 7. What was your biggest regret and why? 8. What’s one thing that changed about yourself? 9. What surprised you the most this year? 10. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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