looking back // 2018.

i’m not really sure how it happened, but somehow 2018 is almost over. it has been a fun, busy year, and i feel like it has flown by.

my 2018 goals.

every year i set 8-10 goals for myself to work toward over the course of the year. let’s see how i did with them.

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pretty proud of ourselves. morrilton, arkansas. august 2018.

go on one weekend day hike each month. i did ok with this one, managing a hike in 6 out of 12 months [and in 4 different states!]. i knew june and july would be lost causes, and april and september also kicked my butt. november i was in europe for 11 days, so i lost a few weekends there, and december got crazy with the holidays. overall i’m pretty happy with the hikes i went on and want to do a few that are farther out next year. to recap, this year i ventured to: t.o. fuller state park / meeman-shelby forest state park / chewalla lake / shelby farms park / petit jean state park /  oak mountain state park.

cross off more of my 35before 35 list. i covered this in my mid-year recap; i didn’t get as many as i would have liked, but i’d say i still did pretty well.

re-read two favorite books. got this one just in the nick of time! i re-read the shadow of the wind early in the year but kept putting off the next one because i couldn’t decide between a few different options. i finally got to mid-december and realized i needed to make a decision, and ultimately i went with all the light you cannot see. i really enjoyed including this goal in my year and might try to do it again going forward.

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enjoying the gardens and the views. porto, portugal. march 2018.

a bear-veena reunion trip. managed this with our march trip to portugal, and it was fantastic. we are already plotting our 10 year reunion trip for 2020.

complete three online courses. oops. there is always one goal that starts off strong and then disappears, and this one was 2018’s. i never finished my course on diversity in the workplace — it was an interesting topic but unfortunately the lectures were not engaging — and then put off the hand-lettering one. that is still something that interests me, however, so i might include it on its own for 2019.

get a plant and keep it alive. managed to get this one in just under the wire! i inherited a peace lily from a coworker at the very beginning of december, and i am proud to say we have survived the last month with one another. we have christened her penelope, and she hangs out in our middle room and brings some much-needed greenery to our space.

begin following kid president’s guide to being awesome. i didn’t get to as many as i would have liked, but i am proud of the ones i managed to accomplish. you can always check out the list to see how i’m doing, and be on the lookout in january for a yearlong project i’ve been working on.

be vegetarian for one month. took care of this one in february. it was easier to do than i imagined, but that’s also because i allowed myself seafood every once in a while. i want to cut back on my meat consumption in general, so this might be one i try to bring back in the future.

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meeting the ghosts of elmwood. memphis, tennessee. october 2018.

get started on my 40before40 list. i got a good little head start on this list, with a visit to the original gus’s, a haunted tour of elmwood cemetery, a blind date, and keeping up with some of the ongoing goals.

buy a house. still the coolest thing i’ve done all year. come visit!

my 2018 reading goals.

i also set some reading goals for myself this year, and this is the first time i am looking at this list since i hit publish at the beginning of the year.

read at least two more of the wheel of time series. hahahahaha. i read the fifth book in february / march, and then i decided life is too short and i am fine not finishing that series. the story is interesting to me, but the books are too long and i don’t have the attention span for them anymore.

read book three in the neapolitan series. nope, didn’t do this one, either. perhaps i will tackle it at the beginning of the year? i enjoy this series and look forward to completing it in the next few years, but i definitely need to be in the right frame of mind for it.

read the third book in maya angelou’s autobiographical series. another one that i accomplished just under the wire. i sailed through singin’ and swingin’ and gettin’ merry like christmas a few weeks ago and will read the fourth installment sometime in 2019 once i figure out in which box it is hiding.

re-read two longtime favorites. loved revisiting the shadow of the wind and all the light we cannot see. vaguely thinking 2019 might be when i tackle shantaram again; we’ll see.

start reading award winners from my lifetime. i wasn’t as intentional about this as i would have liked to be, mostly because i forgot about it, but i would like to continue plugging away at those lists in the years to come.

half of my reads should be by authors of color, preferably women. 10 of my 24 reads were by authors of color, which i am pretty proud of. of those, 7 were women. i would like to continue this trend into 2019 and become more intentional about the authors i am choosing to read.

swap books with friends instead of buying new ones. i did this a bit, trading with maggie, other maggie, alex, julianne, lauren, and judy, but i still bought more books than i needed to. it was fun to share reads with friends and to receive them in return and would like to continue this trend.

i really like the idea of having a few reading goals for myself and think i will do something similar for 2019.

my favorites from this year: the heart’s invisible furies // the hate u give // the nightingale // sing, unburied, sing // the sun and her flowers // the girl who smiled beads // silver sparrow // eleanor & park

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millington, tennessee. february 2018.
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orpheum date. memphis, tennessee. february 2018.
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bear and veena take over portugal. lisbon, portugal. march 2018.
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love these two. sintra, portugal. march 2018.
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favorites. memphis, tennessee. april 2018.
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junior kindergarten graduate. memphis, tennessee. may 2018.
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swami sibs take over beale street. memphis, tennessee. may 2018.
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true love. memphis, tennessee. june 2018.
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love these two. and also rich. memphis, tennessee. august 2018.
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coworkers who run. memphis, tennessee. september 2018.
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late night work company. memphis, tennessee. september 2018.
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two of the best. nashville, tennessee. october 2018.
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my newest love. nashville, tennessee. october 2018.
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so much love for these three. nashville, tennessee. october 2018.
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king’s chair overlook does not disappoint. oak mountain state park, alabama. october 2018.
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harry potter friends. memphis, tennessee. october 2018.
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same duo, new season. memphis, tennessee. october 2018.
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haunted dinner at the orpheum. memphis, tennessee. october 2018.
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who gave these scrubs floor seats? memphis, tennessee. october 2018.
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beale street in the early morning. memphis, tennessee. november 2018.
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walking up to st stephen’s. budapest, hungary. november 2018.
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a gugi-veena reunion! vienna, austria. november 2018.

other 2018 highlights.

e.t. and harry potter at the orpheum accompanied by the symphony // welcoming two new babies into the fold // two nashville visits // an mlk weekend trip to atlanta // hosting a housewarming and a holiday party // dinners on stage at the orpheum // publishing more articles for ilovememphis // participating in my first cooper-young 4-miler // attending indie memphis film festival // being a part of new memphis fellows // the return of monthly ladies’ dinners // best friend europe trip // and plenty more…

2018 certainly flew by. every year i begin hoping to slow things down and simplify my life, and then every year i find myself busier than before. i am slowly getting better at saying no and prioritizing myself, and i hope i can continue to improve that in 2019.

i’ll be back soon with my plans for the new year!

xx

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