A look back at 2018…

‘Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on’ – Mary Schmich

I’m not sure if it’s unique to me but I struggle blogging in December. Everyone is so busy at parties or present buying or spending time with their families that there’s not a lot I can think to write about this month that grabs people’s attention away from all that. I’m too lazy and write my posts so far in advance to do a gift guide so the only thing that feels right is a bit of a retrospective look back at 2018. Because if there’s one thing I love, it’s talking about myself.

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When I was having my annual Christmas pyjama party with Carrie the other weekend she asked me whether on a whole, I would consider 2018 to have been a good year. I answered yes because there wasn’t any stand out moments that would suggest otherwise. I mean, I dyed my hair red and ran a half marathon, I could write the year off as a success for those two things alone! But more seriously, both Dave and I have had good years work wise and there have been no significant health issues for us or our close friends or family. Everyone’s pretty much managed to keep themselves out of jail and out of hospital this year. Go us!

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To be honest I had to have a quick scroll through my IG account to remind myself what was this year and what was 2006 because time seems to be flying be at an absolute rate of knots these days, on the contrary however some things feel like a lifetime ago.

We started off the year in Thailand which was a bit extravagant for us as a winter sun holiday, but we were celebrating my new job (and subsequent pay rise) which meant we were lucky enough to splash out a bit more than usual. We also managed two weeks in Portugal in June and a week in Nice in September so Davy’s a happy bunny that we fulfilled the ‘3 holidays a year’ goal he’s so set on.

Blog wise I’ve had my most successful year yet. Mostly thanks to completing the Wine & Beer Metro tour which was then picked up by the Chronicle online who ran a story about it back in March. This then lead to me landing some really exciting contracts with Le Petit Ballon wine subscription company, stag and hen planning company Last Night of Freedom and local brewery Anarchy (details of which will all become clear in 2019). I was also really flattered to be asked to speak at Blogging and Influencing conference in May as part of a panel of ‘experts’ where, apart from making some friend friends, is the first time I think I’ve ever been described as an expert in anything!

Of course I can’t let a review of 2018 go by without mentioning the quite frankly bonkers weather we’ve had this year. The beast from the east hitting us at the beginning of March which almost resulted in Newman divorce after an enforced 3 days working from home not being able to see the outside world lead to the absolutely glorious summer we got.

The weather certainly made a huge difference to two particular weekends for me, both down to London to see O-Town and Alanis Morissette respectively. The former meant a fantastic afternoon in beer gardens with Ang drinking our £15 glasses of wine, the latter watching England beat Sweden in the hottest Weatherspoons on the planet with Emma. Both amazing weekends though and highlights of the summer. In fact you’d think since we had such a good summer, and that having a birthday at the very end of July would be a shoo in for glorious birthday celebrations? Of course not. It rained. And we were on an open top boat cruising down the Tyne.

So after further consideration I stand by my original answer that 2018 has been a good year. More than anything though I would say it’s been a year defined by my friends. One of the best things about Dave is that he understands more than anyone, my inability to be on my own for longer than 20 minutes and how important spending times with my friends is. I’ve been lucky enough to do loads of that this year and i think in all honesty that’s what’s kept me going. I’ve made friends, and lost friends and made them again and am looking forward to more capers in 2019.

As good a year as it’s been there’s still a lot I’d like to change going forward. I’m ending the year the heaviest I’ve been in almost 10 years and, call me vain or superficial as much as you like but it’s not a place on the scales that i’m happy being. So be warned that from January 2019 I’m going to be on a serious health kick.

I want to really try and cut back on drinking so much. I can happily go all week without a drink but once Friday rolls around the gloves are off and I’m fighting dirty.  So i’m going to try my very hardest to stick to my 14 units a week. I’m not saying i’m going to do this every week but I think cutting back when I can will be a huge help.

I need, need to be tidier. Participating in #nospendoctober highlighted to me how much crap I have lying around the house, how little I wear 90% of the clothes I own and how hard it is to be tidy when you have too much stuff. I’m having a ginormous clear out during betwixtmas so I can have a fresh start in January. The dream is to be to actually be able to put clean clothes away in my wardrobe rather than live off the pile in the spare room.

I want to start driving more again. Since I had an accident a few years ago, my confidence in driving has hit rock bottom. It’s easy to use car sharing with Dave or not driving because there’s a strong possibility I’m going to have a drink (see 2 paragraphs above) as excuses not to drive anywhere. But with both Steph and Carrie firmly on team ‘tough love’ when it comes to driving, if nothing else it will keep them happy. And if you can’t keep your friends happy then what can you do?!

What went well for you this year and what are you looking forward to changing or starting in 2019?

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