2018 Year in Review

One year, way back in the heady days of 2007 or so, it was all the rage in the WoW blogiverse to do a yearly review. I forget whose blog I copied these from, but it’s been well over 10 years that I’ve been doing these post mortems. Still, it’s a good process, and while I usually just share them on Facebook, I thought I’d share this year’s here as well, since my blogging got sidelined by my untimely departure from the new D&D group (but that’s a story for another time).

2018 Post Mortem

1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?

Quite a lot of things:

I tried online dating (huge failure)}
I got a tattoo (two actually, and planning two more)
I completed CTP1 and was ordained in my religious tradition as a priest
I ran for and was elected to an office on the Mother Grove
I went to a national pagan conference (Mystic South)
I traveled to two ADF gatherings (Western Clergy Retreat, Mother Grove Retreat)
I dedicated into a polytheist religious group
I went to a yoga class and joined the studio (first time in 15 years)
I started covering my hair, tichel style, with scarves

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did not make resolutions for 2018, but I made several oaths, and I kept all of them, including the one I made in February to be a priest by May. I was ordained on April 28.

I set a word-intention for 2018, and that intention was “initiation” – it would seem that alongside that intention truly being true for me this year, the word “isolation” also went with it.

I am hoping for a more connected 2019, and the word I am intending to set for my intention for the year is “embodiment” (either that or “acceptance”). Maybe both.

I also intend to complete CTP2 this year, in time for consecration in spring of 2020. I’ve already begun the journaling requirements for it, and have a project plan in place to keep track of the requirements. (I probably won’t follow the project plan, will work in huge binges, and will continue to have poor executive function, but hey, at least I attempted a plan, right?)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not this year

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

None!

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?

A sense of feeling assimilated as a person – I’ve done a lot of changing and growing, and I would like to feel more like those changes and growths have become part of who I am. I feel fragmented. I would also like to have more peace in 2019, as 2018 was a year where much of my life was run by my anxiety disorder.

7. What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 28, when I was ordained as an ADF Priest
May 26, for private reasons

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Completing 5 courses in ADF’s 1st Circle Clergy Training Program in just under 4 weeks, to finish CTP1 on March 15 in order to make good on my word. It was a huge endeavor, and I’m so proud of myself for finishing and for being able to be so disciplined as to do so with high marks.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Ye gods and little fishes was dating a giant clusterfuck that I never want to repeat again. I’ll take suggestions from friends, but online dating is like shopping for used boyfriends on eBay and I will just HARD PASS.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than a few minor things, not really. Antibiotics are still not my friend. And always always always remember that the dose makes the poison. Actually now that I think about it, this wasn’t a great year for me health-wise, even if nothing was super critically bad.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Toss up between “the rest of the art to decorate my apartment” and “gear to start an active, 5-day-a-week yoga practice”.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Rent! Also Therapy, which I paid for out of pocket this year – so much so that even with a traditional PPO health plan, because I don’t have out of network benefits, I met the out of pocket maximum in September and have been going to therapy and getting my medications for “free” since then. (I still pay my premiums, obviously.)

Thankfully for 2019, I have a new therapist, and she DOES take my Insurance, but even then it’s $50 a visit.

13. What did you get really excited about?

I was really excited to go to the Western Clergy retreat and to Mystic South, both of which were wonderful, but I don’t think I’d do back to back trips like that with a holiday in between again. It was kind of disastrous for my mental health.

I was really excited to join a new in-person D&D group, but when the DM of that group threw me under the bus for disclosing my mental health struggles, I left (and was honestly really sad about it). I still miss going, even though I was only part of the group for about two months.

Also, I am excited about the possibility of DM’ing a campaign of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist in 2019, but since therapy is kicking into high gear, it may not start right away.

14. What song will always remind you of 2018?

Jacob Hornbeak singing “Raise the Horn High” at my ordination

Either that or the “Song to the Ancient Wise”, which I sang an awful lot this year. Even if I can’t sing it in the same key as Jan (I need to find more high voices to sing clergy songs with).

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? both
– thinner or fatter? Much fatter
– richer or poorer? Richer than last year, certainly, but last year I had…extenuating circumstances

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Starting on CTP2, reading for pleasure, cultivating friendships. I wish I’d gone to yoga sooner too.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Doing nothing, while wishing I wanted to be doing something (especially something I used to enjoy). You can probably fill in “being depressed” here too.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family and my sister in law’s family at my brother’s home in Waco. It was a short trip, and everything about the holidays is weird still, but I think I’m glad I went. I would very much like to have skipped the entire holiday season this year, and maybe next year I’ll have the courage to go someplace for the holiday instead of trying to make FAMILY CHRISTMAS (with all of its expectations) something that I do. I have very mixed feelings about Christmas as a holiday in general, and I expect how I celebrate will change some in the next year.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Critical Role.
(See also: Talks Machina, Between the Sheets, The Wednesday Club)

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

T. Kingfisher’s THE CLOCKWORK BOYS, THE WONDER ENGINE, and SWORDHEART

It was a year of amazing fluffy but full of heart fantasy for me, and those three books top the list. You should all read them.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I listened to a lot of “Dad Rock” this year, and a lot of video game soundtracks, thanks to a Spotify Premium subscription, but probably my favorite music this year was the All Hallows/October Mood playlist that Katie Mock started and I added to substantially and then listened to obsessively from Sept 21 to November 3.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I did not watch any new films in 2018. Come to think of it, I may have only watched one movie all year, and that was the 1951 Alastair Sim classic SCROOGE that I watched on Christmas Eve.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 34 on March 2nd, and I did nothing to celebrate. It didn’t seem worth celebrating. Maybe I’ll be more motivated at 35.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Being able to have more meaningful human connections with people I can see on a regular basis. My life is pretty lonely.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?

I got very fat this year. Or possibly am just still very fat from last year? (it is unclear when I put on the weight, but between March 2017 and October 2018 I put on 35 lbs.) I have two pair of jeans that fit, and a few dresses, but largely my personal fashion concept was “does this make me look like a sausage? If no, wear it. If yes, donate it.” There is a huge clothing purge in my future.

26. What kept you sane?

The Ladies of Slack. Amy, Kisa, Protozoa, and Roberta. The Henge. Yoga.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.

This is the same lesson I learn every year. But it is the lesson I keep learning, and the most important thing I keep telling myself when things get hard – and this year they got very hard.

The only way out is through.

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