2018 – Notes on a strange year

I’m so grateful for photo’s and for Facebook. I’m not sure I’d ever imagined being so grateful for the latter. But we forget so much of our lives and without pictures to prompt me and random facebook posts, I’d wondered if any of my life had ever happened at all?

A year. One whole year. It seems like a lifetime but it disappears in a pop of a champagne cork.  I’ve read a few ‘year in reviews’ and it’s interesting to see how things have changed and how plans have come to life. I wonder what next years will say. I wonder if right now, this is the life I thought I’d been living this time last year?

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…” – C.S.Lewis.

2018 started with a blue adventure. A brand new car that we plan to turn into a camper, a future plan to bring more adventure to weekends. February – a long weekend in Devon, with log fires, beach walks and champagne. Followed by so much snow.

March brought the ‘beast from the east‘ and with it a dark storm that started to spiral. It twisted and turned and grew darker and more fierce until I was able to force it into a creative outlet. Hello, morning pages and hello to the start of writing my book. 6 am looked ugly in March. Baby lambs and St Patrick’s day in the most beautiful BnB in Ireland. SanMiguel and espresso martinis turned into lighter nights and hope. 2018 was going to be full of promise.

April brought the prospect of a new house. How unbelievably lucky are we? Canoe trips and pub lunches. Failed job interviews and negative work environments. Sunshine! Walks and bbq’s with friends in the late April sun. A quick 12 hours in Scotland was worth the smiles and hugs from friends. You have to decide what counts.

May – flights booked to celebrate NYE. Adventures brewing. A wedding. Beautiful blossom all over town. A night in Parwich (where we got married), filled with memories and happy thoughts, how quick the time flys? A baby shower, some amazing books, some stand up paddle boarding and beautiful bike rides. Sunshine, you make me feel alive and full of energy! A new job venture, a surprise party and the start of my wedding season. Wow. I squeezed the life out may. Looking back, my happiest moments were when I was writing daily. Nothing that is worthwhile is ever easy. 

June brought a mortgage offer and more champagne. Beautiful sunsets from our flat window. Dinner in the park. Weekends spent reading by the pond with a picnic blanket and coffee. Life was good.

July was sunshine and festivals. Paddleboarding and pub dinners.

The small things weave and grow next to the big things, and that’s what makes every year so special. That film we saw and then couldn’t stop listening to the soundtrack. The pints we had in the pub with great friends that turned into more pints and more crisps. The walks, the arguments, the laughter the tv series we loved to watch together and the days we started with no plans at all.

August was all about new starts and long goodbyes. We finally shut the door on our beautiful flat for the last time and open the door to being homeowners.

Oh my, how did September roll around so quick? Bringing my 30 things in my 30th year and the launch of Stories From a Backpack, more paddleboarding and beach walks. A new job. A few more weddings and a wonderful birthday spent hitchhiking from a motorway service station with my dog (it’s a long story).

In October we celebrated a year of marriage – see my ‘one year later‘ post – with the most epic Camino trip. We walked to the ends of the earth together and it was more beautiful than I could ever describe. Beers, tapas and beautiful skies. People and family are what made this year great. 

November was dark and damp. But there were some epic books that carried me through. After a quick weekend in Berlin a wedding and a few weeks of hard graft, here we are, in December.  A year in 800 words.

2018 was the year I fell in love with reading again.

2018 was the year I finally realised what it is I’ve always wanted to do with my life.

2018 was the year I walked through treacle to learn things the same things I’ve learnt before.

2018 you kicked me in the balls, broke my heart and brought me joy in the most unlikely of places. From the days spent crying in the shower, to the days that made my cheeks hurt with laughter. 2018 was good, it was bad but it’s all I’ve been promised so far. So I’m unbelievably grateful for all of it.

Next year, I want more of the simple things. More laughter, more walks, more gratitude and contentment and then I know my joy will continue to be abundant.

2019, I’m ready for you now. I’m ready for all of the hard work, changes and adventure. Next year I want to give more too,  but to the right people and for the right things. Your energy is limited you have the choice to decide how to spend it. Go after what you want and do stop until you get it.

“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if not, I hope you have the strength to start over”- F.Scott Fitzgerald


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