2018 — A Year in Review

Ok, so I’m not normally the kind of person who likes to take a look back at the last year and all that, but since this year was…well, 2018 and something of a dumpster fire, I figured it could be cathartic.

So first, let’s talk about the good stuff.  LET’S TALK ABOUT BOOKS.

Image result for book excitement gif

According to my Goodreads account, my year looks something like this:

  • I’ve read 117 books this year (falling quite short of my 2015 record of 173, but still a solid number).
  • This translates to roughly 44,796 pages, which is also solid but again short of my 2015 record of 64,328 pages.  (And that year, Goodreads didn’t track rereads.  0_0)
  • Mostly, I rate books 4/5 stars.  I will admit that part of this is laziness, but also partly because I tend to read books that I like and if it doesn’t completely blow me out of the water, I’m not going to give it a five.  Hence, a four.
  • I’ve only had 2 DNF’s this year.  Surprisingly, this is about 2 more than normal because I can’t bring myself to not finish a book.  But I’m learning that if I think it sucks, why waste the time?
  • My longest book was The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon at 979 pages (a reread from the Outlander series) which I started rereading to prepare for season 4 of the show.  Fiery Cross is book 5, but I got on a roll and I remembered how much I liked this one.
  • I’ve also had a significant uptick in romance novels that I read.  I think this is two-fold.  1) I have less of a stigma now about reading what I want and 2) these books typically have great character development, funny plots, and happy endings, which has been really nice considering how dark the news has been.

Now let’s kind of take a look at more of what’s been going on personally.

  • Technically starting in November 2017, I started falling in for-real love with my high school crush.  In many respects, it was a dream come true.  I’d wondered what it would be like to be with him for so long that to actually be able to kiss him and cuddle with him?  It was great.
  • Until it wasn’t.  There were layers to him I’d never known about.  He kept secrets from me and started doing drugs in front of me (something I loudly and vehemently let him know was NOT OK).  I ended things with him in May when it all became too much.
  • Attended a cousin’s wedding.  While it looked nice (and the bride comes from a bit of money), it was also a bit redneck.  They served Little Caesar’s pizza at the reception.  LITTLE CAESAR’S.
  • It’s been years in the making, but I have now earned the family reputation of being The One Who Will Turn Anything Into a Dirty Joke.  Thank you.  This award will take a place of honor among my things.
  • I’ve watched a friend lose her job in the wake of the #MeToo movement.  She threw something across the room to get a student’s attention and it accidentally hit him in the face.  Parents were informed, principal talked to her, everything was fine.  Next day, she’s in huge trouble after the parents talked to their kid.  Suspended for 3 days.  But it was snowballing by then and the parents wanted nothing less than her head on a pike.  After her suspension, she was fired.  (Let it be known, there is a male teacher at my school who, it is well known by the administration, throws chalkboard erasers at students daily.)  Now, she has arguably a better job than she did before and the principal of her old school is now struggling to fill her position and grades the homework himself since short-term subs can’t do that.  #Karma
  • This was The Year I Got My Extended Family Interested in Genealogy.  (Immediate family is a lost cause.)  It’s been like 4 years in the making, but hallelujah, I can finally talk about family history with family!  (Nearly every one of them doesn’t care about it if they don’t know the people personally, so it’s frustrating.)  But once I was able to organize everything into easily accessible binders, they’ve all been fawning over me to get their hands on the binders.
  • This was also the Year I Almost Bought A House.  During October, I made an offer on a cute little ranch.  Only problem was it was a bachelor pad and the guy was not handy at all.  Problems compounded.  When I got the inspection done, they pointed out thing after thing we didn’t see before, like how the windows were rotted through.  When I asked for money to fix the windows, they tried to stonewall me and bully me into taking virtually nothing.  It was a horrible experience.  I felt almost every day like no one was looking out for me (especially not my realtor) and I was fighting everything on my own while knowing nothing about real estate.  About 1.5 months after I made my initial offer and 3.5 weeks after I alerted them that I was 1000% done with this house, they finally let me out of my deal when I threatened to take further action to get my earnest money back.  I did not mince words.  Sometimes, getting on your broomstick and making threats gets things done.
  • I’m now teaching strictly one grade level rather than two.  It has its perks, I admit.  Like I don’t have to spend nearly as much time planning anymore.  If I get an idea, I just roll with it and I’m done.  But the bad news?  I’ve gone from grading 80-100 essays at one time (depending on the size of that grade level) to getting about 140 at once.  It makes a difference.
  • OUTLANDER SEASON 4 IS AMAZING.  Also, Call the Midwife.  And The Last Kingdom.  You want historical fiction shows, I can point you in the right direction.
  • I learned a ton of French this year!  I can actually understand most of it when I read it or hear it in movies.  Well, hearing’s debatable, but I can read the subtitles well.  I have a Duolingo streak of like 240 days that I’m massively proud of.
  • This was also the year I sucked up my pride and tried out for a musical again, my first time in about 8 years.  The audition went horribly, but at least I did it.
  • I’ve taken up painting more seriously.  And knitting.  I’ve created some really interesting works in both that I’m proud of.

Of course, it’s hard to summarize a year into a few bullet points, but I think I’ve hit some of the biggest points.  It’s been an interesting year to say the least.

Hopefully, your year has been full of more ups than downs.

And here’s hoping that 2019 brings with it some better luck than this year did.  I’d really like to buy a house in 2019, for starters.

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