Reflecting on 2018, looking forward to 2019

We’re a couple of days into the New Year and I thought I’d start a thread to reflect on the previous year and make plans for the new one. I rejoined the Ship this summer after several years away and would love to catch up on people’s lives and I’m sure others would too.
How has 2018 been for you? What do you want to achieve in the coming year?


  • 2018 was a turning point for me. It was the 20 year anniversary of my diagnosis with bipolar disorder, the year my life was turned upside down and which led me to give up my dream job and part time degree studies, move away from London and start again. But every cloud has a silver lining, that was also the year I started dating my husband, who was going to support me through the journey of the next 20 years.
    So, in 2018 the time was right to reclaim my academic career at the age of 49. I doubled my working hours from 13 to 26 and took on more difficult higher modules to teach. I raised my profile in the university online community (I work in distance education), started a university blog about having bipolar disorder and generally became more ‘out’. I also became more vocal at church about mental health and have been taken seriously about this. Life isn’t perfect (I choose not to discuss negative things online) but there are green shoots in the shaded parts of the garden.
    2019? I want to get an article in the university magazine about working with bipolar disorder and start my research exploring the experiences of students with mental health challenges (I know I go on about my studies but I find it truly exciting as I came from a poor working class family and never went to college; my life has been changed by the Open University in many ways).
    My eldest starts university next autumn and it will probably make me very anxious; this will be my potential stumbling block in 2019 and I will have to prepare for it carefully.
  • 2018 was the year my son was born… three and a half months too early. It was undoubtedly the worst thing that had ever happened to me, and I remember thinking just after I came out of hospital that my whole life divided into a before and after, and nothing would ever be the same again. Actually, by the end of the year, he was completely fine and things were all feeling quite ok and normal.

    After that I want my 2019 as boring and uneventful as possible.
  • Well, all best wishes to the en rouge family, and especially to Captain Pyjamas himself, who got off to a bad start, perhaps, but, thank God, seems to be doing well now!

    As for myself, 2018 saw me becoming less mobile, with Nasty Pains in my Legs making it increasingly difficult to walk anything more than 100 yards or so....delayed effects of brain surgery in 2016, it seems.

    So, my hope for 2019 (apart from the establishment of World Peace, Ukland to remain in the EU etc., etc. - yes, yes, I know - pigs might fly) is for my planned physiotherapy, and continuing acupuncture, to make life a bit easier.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    As far as the Ship is concerned, I am most grateful for the rollout of the new software and for the massive effort expended on finding a way for Mystery Worship to continue without running afoul of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

    On a personal note, I am grateful for turning another calendar page in relatively good health for my age and with a (barely) positive cash flow. I'm still waiting, though, for God to tell me when to buy a lottery ticket.
  • sionisaissionisais Shipmate
    We could have had a less eventful 2018. The first half was foul, with family strife and an unexpected move (not far, but after 20 years downsizing is hard!) but I now have an extra free day each week, we are debt free and our elder got married (twice: a Muslim ceremony and a civil one!)

    A nice, boring 2019 would be welcome.

  • 2018 was the year my son was born… three and a half months too early. It was undoubtedly the worst thing that had ever happened to me, and I remember thinking just after I came out of hospital that my whole life divided into a before and after, and nothing would ever be the same again. Actually, by the end of the year, he was completely fine and things were all feeling quite ok and normal.

    After that I want my 2019 as boring and uneventful as possible.

    You see, I knew you had a new baby but I missed out on all these details. I hope you and him are well and wish you a thriving, but uneventful, year ahead.
  • I had a pretty grim 2018 too, adult daughter moving back home in December 2017 as too sick to live independently, bringing with her the final straw, everything reeking of cannabis so badly that the smell transferred and meant we were forced to declutter books, papers, clothes, bedding, tools, rugs, furniture as it all had picked up the smell. Two months into the year next door neighbour "acid" assaulted me, causing extreme sun sensitivity for the rest of the year.

    I too want a 2019 that is uneventful. Plans for the year include:
    • finishing making clothes to replace those that were thrown out so I have a work wardrobe,
    • walking 1000 miles this year, although I'm really aiming for 2,500 which is just over 10,000 steps a day. I managed 1,400 in 2017 starting part way through the year, so it's not impossible (and I know the science for 10,000 steps is questionable, but it's something I achieved quite easily when I spent more time outside a couple of years back).
    • photo or other blogging as I found I miss the record to look back on, but I may want to develop this in different ways, see below
    • getting daughter stable enough so that I can return to working / and or finding a way of working while caring.
    • finding some courses to build skills towards the last aim.
  • 2018 was not so good. Mr Image diagnosed with cancer and life went on hold with rounds of doctor appointments, but good part was seeing our two children more often both of whom have stepped in to help. 2019 looks very promising with one surgery planned which should return life to normal. I want to buy a small van, a long dream, as soon as Mr Image recovers and am now planning some fun trips. Don't put off until tomorrow est.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    After 3 family funerals in 2018, I really don't want that to continue - so I can hope for no funerals in 2019, but I suspect I will be disapointed there. Overall, it was a shitty year.

    Also for 2019, I want us to stay in the EU, and I want the politics of the West to stop being so screwed up. This means that a number of politicians will have to leave the business.

    I also hope that I can substantially reduce my meds this year. That might be a challenge unless some of the other things I want occur.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I've seen better years than 2018: in February I lost my father and a cousin who'd also been a very good friend, and of course the Ship lost dear Uncle Pete. :cry:

    I still haven't managed to find a job and our finances are a complete bollocks, but with my dad's estate and being able to apply for my British pension, they ought to look up a little bit. I know I shouldn't be so mercenary, but not having to worry about it would be nice.

    My nephew and his wife are expecting a baby and my niece is getting married, so there will be a bit of excitement in 2019 ...
  • Piglet wrote: »
    ...I know I shouldn't be so mercenary, but not having to worry about it would be nice. ...
    You are not being "mercenary." No one should be expected to be unnecessarily impoverished.

  • NenyaNenya Shipmate
    A family situation started going awry towards the end of the summer and that dominated things for the rest of 2018 and continues to do so. But we are all here, and well, and together.

    My place of work moved in the summer and I now have a commute, which is pretty trying but has been improved by taking the bus most days instead of driving.

    For 2019 - an early resolution to the aforementioned family situation, a reduction of inches to the Nen waistline and the current large numbers on the scales, and success in a semi-informal return to some studying which I view with a mixture of delight and trepidation.

    Also this:
    Also for 2019, I want us to stay in the EU, and I want the politics of the West to stop being so screwed up.

  • The pink eye conjunctivitis morphed into sinusitis and then a ferocious and noisy chest infection, so I have postponed 2019 until I get better. Sympathy to anyone else laid low with seasonal lurgies.

    Health, the appreciation and promotion of, tops my New Year Resolutions.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    On a personal level 2018 was a pretty good year for me. The nicest thing was my daughter and son-in-law moved back here to NYC after spending about two years away in another state a couple of hours away.

    2019 looks like it may have some scary financial stuff, but I'm hoping for the best.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Best wishes to all for 2019.

    2018 was a year of new experiences for me. My first talk at a conference (on data analysis in university learning management systems), which was well-received. Also extended my contacts around the world, and even visited a uni in Florida.

    Due to crapulent management I left my job and moved to NZ in November (at another uni). We'll see how it works out. Plan to take weekend jaunts around the countryside and see this fine land. Will also hopefully start my Masters.
  • edited January 3
    I've been thinking about optimism and pessimism as the old year passes and new begins. I've generally been optimistic over the course of my life, with very unpleasant pessimistic periods. I ended up deciding between Xmas and New Year's that pessimism and optimism aren't opposites. Rather hope is is the opposite to both. Because with opti and pessi --mism my attitude seems to suggest I know what the future holds. Whereas with hope I admit that I have no control. It made things feel better.

    The above was initially provoked in 2018 by the continuing decline of my father who refuses hired home help in his blindness (21 ophthalmology appts in 2018) and frailty, but then just before Xmas my wife's cousin suddenly died at a young 60, followed by her aunt who was old but so vigorous until she dropped, followed by a colleague of 35 years, followed by a neighbour's husband. I have no optimism, and I reject pessimism for 2019. Working on hope.
  • The year seemed to start well, but while we were overseas for our 40th wedding anniversary, our bishop dropped the bombshell that he wanted to close two of our three churches. This had us both deeply involved in preparing a submission that ultimately convinced him his assumptions were incorrect. At the same time we had to replace three major household appliances. Just after that I came down with a viral infection of the trachea, which has persisted for over four months, while my wife has also struggled with chronic health issues. In the midst of this I had a bad fall, which left me black and blue for the best part of a month, with me now banned from climbing ladders. Then my younger son announced he was seeking a divorce after only two years of marriage, at the same time as his wife discovered she was pregnant. Since Christmas, I have developed a nasty bacterial infection which seems to have the unexpected consequence of defeating the long-standing virus. All in all, I could have skipped 2018.

    For 2019, I am seeking more leisure time to build my new model railway and finish the many other tasks which have been delayed by ill-health, more shared responsibility in parish and other organisations [which probably means me saying No more often], and a more stable year healthwise for both of us. When the new grandchild is born, that will be eight under eight years old, so we want to be able to enjoy them.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    In 2018 my husband and I became empty-nesters. Our 18 year old is away at college in another province and mostly doing quite well, taking into account the usual ups and downs of being 18 and away at college. Our 20 year old is living in a shared house here in town with friends and doing less well -- out of school, out of work, and struggling a bit at the moment -- and I am hoping things improve for him in 2019.

    Another big family concern for us in 2018 was my the health of my 82-year-old widowed dad, who had been doing really well for his age until an infection landed him in hospital for 5 weeks last spring. He has been making a slow but steady recovery ever since then, and we hope he continues to be well into 2019, but it's always iffy at that age.

    The biggest change for me in 2019 will be that for the first time in 13 years I am taking some time away from my day job (teaching) to focus on my other job (writing). I've taken the winter semester off and as school starts back on Monday it is just hitting me that I won't be going to a day job and will have to be productive and useful enough to justify the change in my schedule and income!
  • 2018 was non-dramatic; I find I have had to slow down a bit here and there, but as long as I can keep the tap group continuing, that's easy to cope with. You know that song, Three Wheels On My Wagon, well, I think I'm probably down to one! Further info on this soon I hope. But I intend to keep moving.
    My family are well and thriving. I turn off the radio when I hear the syllable Brex... The results will not affect me personally, but for the young ... Hmmmm.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    SusanDoris wrote: »
    I turn off the radio when I hear the syllable Brex

    Much as we do when we hear the first syllable of a word denoting a certain brass instrument.
  • Not really at sure where to begin or finish or even whether I want to look forwards or backwards. Keeping going often seems to be as much of a challenge as I can manage

    2018 started with my Mother in emergency mental health respite care as Dad had stopped being able to look after her at home some months earlier but the crisis only occurred at the start of December. Since then we have mum in residential care in a place that looks after her well but Dad's health has deteriorated. He spent most of the summer in recuperative residential care but wanted to return home and has done so. The year in work is tough with a new boss, who took about half the year to wake up to what I did, then rather took a deep breath and decided we needed to get something done. This means things are not all negative. Oh and just for good measure, I have been doing the slow process of resigning church membership, which is rather like the decree nisi of divorce. It marks the end of my association with a congregation I belonged to for over twenty years. The damage that led to it was done years ago but I needed to be healed enough that I did not just blast off with anger, so this year was it. Plus I paid off most of the mortgage on my flat.

    2019 is this a year where I am likely to lose either or both parents. It could mean major job role changes in wor including more management responsibility. It is also the year when I have to look at how my relationship with my new congregation is going to shape. I should also tackle my backroom and get it functional again. Then I can replace the windows in the flat and get a bookcase built for the extra books. I would also like to go for a long walk preferably for a couple of weeks and there is a possibility of attending a really interesting conference but it is expensive.

    Let me say I live in interesting times.
  • 2018 was a year of gradual crumbling, as we discovered that the assorted medications intended to stop or slow the progress of the breast cancer that moved into my bones wasn't doing anything. I still had some great times and a couple of good trips, and several good friends came to visit after I was confined to a wheelchair.

    2019 is not looking good, but I intend to do as much as I can with it.

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