Year in Review - 2018 was a little weird.

I found this prompt, maybe from Cait Flanders, maybe from somewhere else? I have no idea at this point because I saved it so long ago. Either way, 2018 was not exactly what I had hoped. It started strong, and had a lot of highlights, but ultimately I’m glad to usher in 2019. I’m ready for a new Outdoor Society calendar and ready for the “clean slate” that is a new year.

1. What makes this year unforgettable?

  • Visiting Mount Rainier National Park and seeing the mountain from many different angles and times of day

  • Getting a new job

  • Losing a grandparent. It was a weird whirlwind, all over again. Never gets any easier.

  • Visiting Alaska for Christmas into the new year

  • Visiting Washington’s Olympic Peninsula twice and getting to experience the difference in seasons

  • Meeting a few outdoor people I admire and respect so much

2. What did you enjoy doing this year?

  • The 31/52 hikes I did get done

  • Visiting Tahquamenon Falls

  • Being able to travel around the country and see the natural beauty

  • Our annual trek to New Mexico for camping and hiking in the Santa Fe natural forest

  • My annual BFF trip to Utah

  • Spending downtime at home with my other half, our Texas friends and family, and our pets

  • Family moments that were calm

3. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?

  • I’m grateful for travel. Travel is the one thing I can do with my other half, family, friends, and all of the outdoor people I am thankful for.

4. What’s your biggest win this year?

  • Getting a new job that is seemingly better for me as a whole. A job where I work on a team of people my own age and do work I enjoy. A job that is setting me up for the future in ways beyond money, setting up a career, and pushing me forward. I don't mind getting up for work these days.

5. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year?

  • The Year of Less by Cait Flanders was one of the most inspirational pieces of literature I’d had in my hands in a while. This book goes beyond financial advice and offers so much varied life advice. If you're looking for something uplifting and real, look no further.

  • Love Simon - I know it may seem cheesy, but the movie made me feel like a teenager all over again and feel all those misguided feelings of being closeted and hiding. It reminded me that those feelings don’t just go away. It was a cute movie that made me feel powerful things.

  • Said the Whale released an album in 2017, but it carried on with me in 2018 along with their new singles this year. This band makes music that makes me feel things to my core. I get emotional while listening, but not in an annoying way. I sing along, I bop along, but almost always feeling SOMETHING when I listen. Great band.

6. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?

  • I always worry about money. I've worried about money since I was a kid, but still don't know how to manage it well. I got a new job and I have a budget, but I still spent more than I brought in and that's the ongoing battle. December was a better month, and January should continue the trend as I've adjusted the daily and monthly goals to help.

7. What was your biggest regret and why?

  • Not completing my 52 Hike Challenge 2018. I feel like an absolute failure in some regards, yet part of me is says “better luck in 2019.” I hiked as much as I wanted to, or could, and that is something. I could have tried harder, could have battled the heat, could have found trails unaffected by the Texas rain, but I didn’t. I had 31 GOOD hikes and that’s what I need to focus on. I will complete 2019, mark my words.

8. What’s one thing that you changed about yourself?

  • My outlook on life has changed. My motives for doing things has changed. I’m focused on experiences and memories. I want to see everything, do as much as possible, and live life as much as I can before my end. More action, less contemplating.

9. What surprised you the most this year?

  • How much I loved solo trips. I knew I would like them, but hot damn do I love them. I love traveling and sharing memories, but solo trips are AHHHHHMAZING.

  • How terrible I am at making real life outdoor friends. My fear of rejection and my own self doubt really held me back in 2018.

10. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?

  • FINISH your hikes.

  • Don’t get dragged into your darkness.

  • Don’t give up on those fitness and food goals by March!

  • Eat more balanced

  • Be nicer to people

  • Stop whining about doing things

  • Plan ahead and get annoying chores and tasks done during the week

  • Go out and meet people. I'm good enough and people will not just reject me…