The Best Things I Did in 2018
I’ve certainly fallen away from the “lifecasting” style of blogging – you know, regular posts about what I did with my day and the fun adventures of life. For a long time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted this space to be and I didn’t know if that was the route I wanted. In truth, I still don’t know. I want to get back to sharing some of that content, but I’m still trying to decide how that will look. For much of the last couple years, I also felt like I wasn’t doing anything worth sharing. I’m looking at you, crippling depression.
As I started reflecting on 2018 these past couple of weeks, I realized that I did actually have some notable experiences. While I didn’t recap most of this on the blog in real time, it was a fun walk down (recent) memory lane that I wanted to share. Since the “top nine” is a new end of the year trend on Instagram the last couple years, I made my own that highlighted what I wanted to remember of 2018.
I Joined Orangetheory Fitness and took my weight loss seriously.
I’ve got an entire post in the works about my most recent weight loss efforts, but the short version is that I am so proud of myself for truly committing to this effort for the first time in a decade. I’ve tried off and on since, but a few weeks in and I get complacent. This time, I’m really trying and it is paying off. As for Orangetheory, I’m going eight times a month and it is doing wonders for my overall fitness. I am able to run a little faster, lift a little heavier, and the coaches push me to do more than I think I am capable of achieving.
I attended Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour.
It’s no secret that I am a total Taylor fangirl. I first saw her perform live on February 2, 2008 at Western Michigan University. (No, I don’t actually remember that date offhand. I’m not that crazy.) I’ve seen every headlining tour since. When tickets went on sale for this tour, it was a no brainer. I ended up with an amazing seat that was worth every single penny. This tour was absolutely iconic. I will freely admit that I cried when she took the stage and again during “Long Live” as it was a song I listened to a lot in the days after my grandma’s death.
I took two trips to Wrigley Field
You may not know that I am an avid baseball fan and absolutely love the Chicago Cubs. Despite their home field being only a few hours away, I have somehow never made it to a game. One of my sisters even lived in Wrigleyville for several yeras, only a few blocks from the field! The first trip was a day trip when they played the Detroit Tigers on July 4th. I returned about a month later when an old friend reached out and asked if I wanted to go to a game while her while she was in Chicago for the weekend.
I ate a LOT of tacos!
This is self-explanatory. They’re my favorite food, with pizza as a close second, and bring me joy. Sometimes, it really is about the little things.
I started owning my mental health struggles
I cried when I was on the phone with my doctor’s office, finally admitting I needed help. I knew that my depression and anxiety were well past the point that I could handle it on my own, but asking for help isn’t my strong suit. It took me awhile to have the strength to make that phone call. The tears I cried that day, and again the next day at my doctor’s office, were tears of relief. Asking for help felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. Now, about five months into medication and therapy, I finally starting to feel whole again. It is the best feeling.
I explored my city.
Although I took this photo after seeing Jerry Seinfeld, it represents on a broader scale all of the hours I spent making the most of where I live. I ate at some new-to-me restaurants (and, enjoyed a last meal at my favorite restaurant that closed in 2018). I hiked in local parks and took lunchtime walks along the river. While I definitely did not do nearly enough of all this, I’m grateful for what I did. I can’t wait to explore so much more in 2019!
I rediscovered my love of the written word.
As long as I can remember, I was an avid reader and writer. In the last couple years, that faded considerably. That, and so many other things that made me feel like me. I “only” read 20 books in 2017 and 32 in 2018; while those are still considerable numbers, a typical year is closer to the book a week range, if not more. Slowly, I found myself diving back into novels and getting lost in the plots. I’m aiming for a big goal in 2019 to read 100 books!
I’ve got the best cat in the world (and drank some good beers).
Honestly, I think that having Louie around is perhaps the only thing that kept me from losing my mind in the depths of my depression. I live alone, but his companionship was my saving grace, especially on the days when I couldn’t get myself out of bed. (To be clear, while the photo appears otherwise, it was only me drinking the beer. Don’t at me, ASPCA.)
I ran a 5k with my niece
There is pretty cool 5k where the entire course takes place on one of the runways at our local airport. After I registered, I asked one of my nieces if she wanted to run it with me. I was thrilled when she agreed! It was her first ever 5k and it meant the world to me to coach her to the finish line. We went out for breakfast after and it was wonderful to have some quality time together. While kids aren’t in my future, being Aunt Mindy is the greatest gift.
What was one of the best things you did in 2018?