2018 Review – How Did This Year Turn Out?

I saw a challenge on BohoBerry to do a series of year-end journal entries evaluating 2018.  Now, I don’t really journal, so I thought I’d blog, and just combine them into one post.  This has been a big year, so I’d like to take a closer look at it before we move into 2019.

2018 IN THREE WORDS – What 3 words best describe your year so far?

Scary, changes, huge

FAVORITE MEMORY – What was your favorite memory of 2018 so far?

My favorite memory?  Would probably be having coffee in the dessert cafe in Torre Dell’Orso, by the window the day after it rains, when the sea is all wild and gorgeous, and you can see Albania across the water.  It’s like everything comes together to remind me that I made it to Italy.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT  – What was your biggest accomplishment this year? How did you achieve it?

Definitely the move to Italy.  It’s an accomplishment in both the tangible sense, considering the financial and logistical aspect, but also in that I put aside the fears and the hesitations and took the leap.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE – What was your biggest challenge or obstacle this year? How did you overcome it?

Texas.  Coming home June 1st, to find out that my six year old dog was dead.  I just…it’s like, how do you deal with that?  I had a lot of self-doubt and guilt to work through (that I’m still working through), fear for his brother, and general heartbreak.  He hadn’t wanted to go in his crate that morning, and I was sure that his death was my fault because I ignored his hesitation, and for weeks afterward, I would consider calling out of work if Dakota didn’t want to go in the cage.  It’s…I’ve lost animals too young before, and more violently even, but it is still so, so hard.

THIS YEAR, I… – There are so many ways to interpret today’s prompt. Complete the sentence with whatever is in your heart about this past year.

took control.  I started off this year trying to find my balls again (figuratively, of course), and I did so.

TIME WELL SPENT – What was time well spent this year?

This one is hard.  I don’t know that I particularly consider any of my time better spent than others.  Maybe planning for the move.  After two years of researching life in Italy, I had three weeks to plan a move, and all in all, it went fairly well.  There are some definite things that I wish I had done a bit differently, but all in all, we are in Italy, with all of the animals, and we have a roof and food.

SUCCESSES – What felt successful about 2018?

I think we all know how I’m going to answer that.  Of course, Italy!  But I think it’s even more than that.  I got over my fears and took control of my life, making big changes that will move me closer to the life I want.

COULD HAVE GONE BETTER  – What could have gone better this year? Were there any mistakes that you can avoid in the future?

Packing.  I packed like a moron, and we won’t be getting the rest of our things from America until we are in a more permanent home situation.  Also, Torre Dell’Orso is beautiful, but if I had known how much it closed down, I would have rented the apartment in Lecce – it was smaller, but it would have been easier to live.

MONEY WELL SPENT – What was money well spent this year?

The van from Paris to Torre Dell’Orso.  Not only did we, with all the animals and luggage, fit in it, but also, we could comfortably sleep in it, which turned out to be important, since we had the worst time finding a place to stay.

PROGRESS TOWARDS GOALS – Did you make any progress towards your big goals? Were you able to check any off your list?

I made huge progress towards goals.  We should have our citizenship complete by early next year, I made it across the ocean.

NEW SKILLS LEARNED – What new skills did you learn this year? These could be business skills, something in your education, or even new creative techniques.

My Italian is obviously improving…

BREAK-THROUGH MOMENT – Was there a moment this year where you felt like you broke through a barrier or mental block?

At the beginning of the year, I realized that part of the reason I was unhappy was I felt weak and out-of-control, like I was always just reacting to people around me.  So I made a kick-ass playlist and kept reminding myself to take my control back, and I think it worked.  It’s not a cure-all but this year has been a lot of accepting myself for who I am, just making peace with me, rather than trying to make peace with others.

SMART DECISIONS – What were some smart decisions that you made this year?

I think a smart decision was to pass up the shipping container from America with all our stuff in favor of tossing most of it.  There are some regrets there – I didn’t think to pull out the family pictures, and it meant losing most of my shoe collection and some other stuff that I really loved, but shipping it all over, between the cost and the hassle, just isn’t really worth it.

GOOD HABITS FORMED – Did you form any new good habits? How did you do it?

Not really…

BAD HABITS BROKEN – Were you able to kick any of your bad habits this year? How did you do it?

Wasn’t trying to…

UNFINISHED BUSINESS – What unfinished business do you need to take care of in order to start the new year strong? Is there anything you can tackle before the month is over?

I don’t think there’s anything to finish up for 2018, but there will definitely be stuff I want to complete in 2019.

THEME/WORD FOR 2019 – What is your theme or word of the year for 2019? What does it mean to you?

So 2018’s word would be power, and I think 2019’s word will be life.  As in what do I want my life to be like?  Now that I’ve made the move, I need to start creating the lifestyle I want, and I want to do that early so that the following years build on that.

START DOING – Is there anything you want to START doing in 2019?

I’m planning on taking a fresh shot at my social life, and I want to start engaging in more experiences.  I want to start blogging regularly.  I’d like to start gardening.

KEEP DOING – What would you like to KEEP doing next year?

Next year, I want to keep learning Italian obviously, reading, and keep control over my life.

STOP DOING – Is there anything you want to STOP doing in 2019?

I’d like to stop worrying – at least as much as I do right now.

OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE – We all have those things that are uncomfortable but could be SO good for us. How are you going to step out of your comfort zone in 2019?

I think I will spend some time getting out of my comfort zone in social situations, but honestly, right now, I’m already out of my comfort zone.

SETTING INTENTIONS – What intentions do you want to set for the new year? Do you have a plan for how you will carry them out?

I do, but I think that’s actually worth a separate post.

SOMETHING NEW – What is something new you would like to try/learn/create next year?

Gardening, more writing, and I’d like to take up the cello again.

SELF-CARE – You can’t pour from an empty cup. How will you make time for self-care in 2019?

Part of designing my life is going to be trying to organize it from the start, so that I use my time efficiently and have more time available.

CONTRIBUTION –  We all want to make a meaningful contribution in this world. What are some ways that you can contribute to your friends, family, community, or the world in general?

Well, any friends and family are welcome to take a trip to Italy, with free lodging, so that they can relax.  On top of that, I will probably be looking into some volunteer work next year.

EDUCATION – Education doesn’t stop when you’re done with school. How will you educate and grow yourself mentally in 2019?

Well, I’m actually hoping to go to vet school here, although I’m not sure that will happen next year.  Otherwise, I think I will be doing some free, online courses, and I want to engage in some reading challenges next year to broaden my horizons.

CAREER – Do you have any major career goals next year? 

I’d really love to get a virtual business up, or freelance enough to have a steady income from that.  I want to enjoy Italy, so I’d like to work with a flexible schedule so that I could work during siesta or early in the morning/late at night, and go out into the cities when everything is open.

2019 WILL FEEL SUCCESSFUL IF… – Imagine it’s December 2019. Complete this sentence and write about what a successful year would look like for you.

I’d like to have a strong social life – not in the going out every night way, but just a circle of friends that I can rely on to be open to doing.  I’d like to be established in Lecce.  I’d like to have a much better grasp of Italian, to the point where I feel comfortable applying to vet school.

LESSONS LEARNED – What lessons have you learned through this year-end review?

All in all, 2018 was really a pretty successful year for me.  I learned my 2018 word – power – plays heavily into my 2019 goals, because this year has reminded me that I have control over how next year goes.

How was 2018 for you?  Was it overall good? Bad?

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