2018 – A Year In Review

Is it even approaching New Year if you aren’t subjected to a ‘here’s a recap on my entirely unremarkable year!’ from every single blogger under the sun?

I think not. So here’s another.

2018 started for me how the new year always does. Full of the promise of a clean slate, my brain was buzzing with all of the things I wanted to achieve over the coming months – some big, some small;

  • Travel more
  • Get a promotion at work
  • Say yes to more
  • Be more spontaneous
  • Cut off toxic friends
  • Re-unite with old friends
  • Read at least one book a month
  • Write at least one blog post a month

The list goes on and on…

I wrote last year about ‘New Year, New Me’ naysayers, so if you’re interested in my stance on New Year’s resolutions, that’s the place to look. However for now, let’s recap on 2018, shall we?

January kicked off in an incredibly understated way and was spent getting my head back into the game at work and thinking and planning for the year ahead. I did however get off to a great start with my ‘one book a month’ plan – racing through 2 great young adult reads; Turtles All The Way Down by John Green & All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I still think about the latter all of the time.

If my Instagram is anything to go by, February was much the same, with early morning sunrise shots aplenty. We are lucky to have such a great view to come into every day and it definitely helps make those GSD days at the beginning of the year a little easier to swallow. Our darling puppy Stanley also turned 1! I wrote a little pupdate about our experiences of life with Stan, so you can read that for more info, but it’s fair to say he’s made this year a hell of a lot better for me.

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In March, we had snow! And it threatened to ruin a trip that my best friend from uni was planning to make to Rochester, from Norwich. Somehow, he battled snow and ice to make it to me and we were reunited for the first time in over a year. We holed ourselves up in an air b&b, while the snow came down outside, and I got to play at being a tourist in my own home for a weekend. It is one of my most treasured memories of the year and I am so so glad we made the time for each other (number 6 on the list – tick!).

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After a busy few months at work, April quickly came round and brought the sunshine with it! I had some time off for some very much needed R&R and spent the week walking with Stan in the North Downs, hanging out with my Dad & taking stock of the first few months of the year. This week reminded me that, whilst it’s great to have big adventures, sometimes you need to plant your feet firmly on the ground and appreciate what you have, in that moment.

In May things started to hot up, literally, and we saw our first inklings of the Summer’s heatwave. I spent a lot of time reading in the garden, which lead to me completing books number 3 & 4; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman & I was Born For This, by Alice Oseman. Eleanor Oliphant lived up to the hype for me & was one of my favourites of the year and I Was Born For This was another fantastic young adult triumph. I also spent a lot of time at the cricket club, watching my Dad play and hanging out with friends there – kinda a Summer tradition for me.

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In June I had a lot of fun. I celebrated my lovely friend Hannah’s hen do, which involved a LOT of tapas, and a cocktail making masterclass which I was, of course, an absolute natural at. The country was also swept up by World Cup Fever & the office at work was no exception, with our bosses hiring out the big screen at Folkestone Harbour so that the footie fans amongt us could play out the World Cup on Fifa. They came 3rd, FYI, but don’t worry – it will come home.

July was spent in much the same way – celebrating Summer with our work Summer party, family dos and Hannah’s wedding. I also made it through books 5 & 6, which were Power by Naomi Alderman and Everything I know About Love by Dolly Alderton. After a testing start to the year in terms of struggling with my personal identity, I found a lot of solace in Dolly’s book and it remains some of the best writing I’ve read all year. I think it’s important to share the good & bad bits of a year, so it was around this time that I also struggled a lot with my migraines. Those of you who know me won’t be strangers to the fact that I suffer with migraines. We’re yet to find the trigger / cure, but they were especially bad around this time of the year. Probably a combination of stress at work, overthinking literally everything you could think of in my personal life & burning the candle at bit too much at both ends.

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This didn’t stop, in August as it actually turned out to be my busiest month of the year. I went away with my parents and pooch to Lulworth Cove in Dorset. It turns out, however, that a trip to the coast was exactly what the Doctor had ordered and I ended the week with an entirely clear head (and very achy legs from all of the walking we did!).

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Once back home, I was back to work for a couple of days before heading away again for a night for the wedding of two of my dear friends, Frankie & Matt. It was so lovely to celebrate with them and share in their big day! After the wedding was over it was time to prepare for yet another trip away, this time to Ibiza… with work! Yes, really! We were celebrating our 10 year anniversary and I cannot think of a better way to have done it. The trip is hands down my favourite memory of the Summer and one that I will cherish forever. I laughed until I cried on an almost hourly basis, had approximately 6 hours sleep across the entire weekend, and got a banging tan. But, most importantly, got to take some time out to relax with the people who make my job (and in some cases, my life) so much better! I also got a promotion just before we went away, which made the trip that little bit more special as it gave me something else to celebrate!

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In September, I had yet another trip booked – my takeaway for 2019 is to try and spread them out a bit better, because I was exhausted by the end of it, but happy! This time I was headed to Portgual for yet another wedding (yep, I’m at that age…). I went with my friend Sam and, despite a nasty cold rearing it’s ugly head, we had a whale of a time; eating our way around Porto and celebrating the love of Bruno & Susana at the wedding of the year! At the beginning of the month I also started on a course of new medication for my migraines, after finally getting a referral to see a neurologist. Sadly, they didn’t do the trick and I’m back to square one with it, but it felt good to finally be taking a bit of control for my own body and health, if a little depressing that I didn’t get the result I wanted. I think I’m going to write a separate post about this, because I have a lot to say and this one is already waaaay too long, so watch this space.

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October was quite sedated, in comparison, and consisted mainly of posting ‘take me back’ pics on Instagram and wishing I was still away. Nevertheless, I got stuck back into work and started thinking about everything that needed to be wrapped up before the end of the year was out. I also took a trip to the theatre to see Jersey Boys, which is a firm family favourite and didn’t disappoint.

November flew by in a flash, but not without me commemorating Bonfire Night with a wicked display at the cricket club. This year I helped out by flogging glow sticks & managed to sell out after a very nice man bought 20 from me. I can only assume that he went round the corner and sold them to my clientele before they reached me – seems I still have a lot to learn about the cut-throat glow stick biz…

And that brings us to December, always a busy month. This year I took a trip to London with my best friends from uni. We had a weekend of festive frivolity and also went to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which was bloody brilliant & I still have the songs stuck in my head 3 weeks later. I’ve also just celebrated Christmas with my family and am enjoying a week off, relaxing, stuffing my face with cheese and binge watching ‘You’ on Netflix. I also finished book number 7 – Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney, which was a really compulsive read & one I’d highly recommend.

Overall, it has been an absolutely mixed bag this year, with a lot of highs and lows. I’ve put a lot of myself into work (and reaped the rewards!) but in 2019 I want to gain a bit of a better work / life balance, and remember that I don’t have to wait until the Summer to have all my fun. 2018 has also reminded me how good it is to have things to look forward to and how important it is to say yes and push yourself outside of your comfort zone a little. Some of my best memories are the ones that I never would have dreamt about at the start of the year. I’m going to carry this energy into 2019 with me and have already started making plans for all the fun things I want to do; including finally signing up for a 5k and planning a trip away with some school friends.

The year also reminded me, however, that it’s OK not to achieve all of your goals… I never did make it to book 12…

Happy New Year all! xxx

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1 Comment

  1. December 30, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    Oh Lizzie! Another fascinating and extremely well-written blog. Don’t beat yourself up if you do not feel that you have achieved all your goals as you have achieved so much more. Embrace and enjoy those that you have achieved. You are most positive and I wish you happiness, success and better health in 2019. Looking forward to reading your next blog, but, sadly, they don’t appear in my notifications as they used to. Maybe I am doing something wrong? Wishing you and your family, love, peace and happiness. Much love, Jane xx

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