Looking Back on 2018: A Good Year, Really

Sunday, December 30, 2018


I started last year's year-in-review post like this:
"I've been pretty lucky to have a few good years in a row. What does it say about me if I'm perpetually living in fear of waiting for the other shoe to drop?"
In fairness, nothing bad has happened; that other shoe hasn't dropped, per se (& thank goodness for that). But 2018 wasn't quite the year that the last three or four have been. As 2018 draws to a close, I just feel... tired. Exhausted, really. I feel like I can't keep up with my own life. I feel like I can't get anything right. I am, in short, having a hard year.

But I'm trying to count my blessings, too. There are so many, even when things don't feel great - & looking back on 2018, there have indeed been plenty.

I started the year at the Women's March & continued with activism throughout 2018, in various ways - mostly by writing to my members of Congress on a regular basis, & of course by voting in the midterms. It was a difficult year, politically, but I did my best to stay connected & future-focused - & found a new-to-me podcast, NPR's Up First, to help me stay in the know.


We went on our honeymoon to Costa Rica in May, with 10 days together to explore, relax, & eat all the tostones we could find. We befriended the seaside bartender at our beautiful, luxurious hotel; we posed with a toucan named Bob; I spent a full hour standing beneath a mango tree watching monkeys swing from branch to branch. (Read all about it.)


We attended the weddings of friends & loved ones, including two here at home, one in Geneva, NY, & one in Lakeside, OH. It was a fairly low-key year for weddings, without us ever needing to travel too far out of town for any of them - & each of them was unique, joyful, & so much fun.


We took a few low-key vacations,beyond those wedding weekends: We visited friends for a weekend in Pittsburgh, PA, & spent a few wifi-free days in Bear Hollow, PA. We also spent Thanksgiving in Hilton Head, S.C., Mike's first holiday with my family.


We celebrated our first wedding anniversary with 24 hours in Ann Arbor, MI, just because. We didn't know much about the city going into it, except that, as Ohioans, we're supposed to hate it - but it sure was cute! We stayed at an adorable B&B (the real, old-fashioned kind, not the AirBnB kind) & said cheers to many more years together. Blog post to come!


I attended my first weekend retreat, a decision that was way outside my comfort zone & extremely, well, uncomfortable for me in so many ways - but also a really lovely, gratifying experience full of lessons learned & interesting women met. (Read about it here.)


I traveled a bit for work, including to New York in February. It was a heck of a time to visit, given that there was a huge snowstorm that kept most of my coworkers from coming into the office. For a change, they worked from home while I worked from the office! I also attended the Women in Digital conference in Columbus & locked in two work trips for early 2019. Stay tuned!


I wrote my mental health story for Cleveland Magazine, published in their August "Best Doctors" issue. I haaaate the photo that accompanied the piece (bummer because it was such a cool photo shoot!), but I'm really proud of the piece itself & so appreciative of the support I received after it ran. (Read the story in Cleveland Magazine.)


I started riding at Harness Cycle with a particularly terrible first ride that made me feel absolutely terrible about myself & my abilities - or, rather, my inabilities. I was committed to try again, though, & now I'm well on my way to 100 classes. (Here's that story.)


I had some great Cleveland adventures, including attending Brite Winter for the first time, rocking out at the InCuya music festival, going to lots of great blogger events, seeing Hamilton for my birthday, sitting very close to the stage at a Taylor Swift concert, checking out the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art, hosting a little get-together during Taste of Tremont... it was a good year for adventures.


And there were more adventures, too. Like seeing the podcasts My Favorite Murder & Serial live with friends, or going to a Lake Erie Monsters game with girlfriends while our husbands & boyfriends played board games at home. Like being part of a fun book club with some of those same girlfriends. Like the Halloween party where Mike & I dressed up as Aaron Burr & Alexander Hamilton (the musical versions, of course). 


I became an aunt - twice! My "brother," Paolo, & his wife, Ulda, had a baby, Gianluca, who is absolutely the cutest, smiliest little guy I've ever seen - though they live in Spain, so I've yet to see him in person. And my best friend, Christina, had her first baby, a sweet little girl named Cara, in the fall, though I haven't yet met her, either. I love them both so much from afar.


I enjoyed lots of visitors, including co-hosting a baby shower for my out-of-town BFF, Christina, in June; a visit from my friend Sammi (accompanied by a Jimmy Eat World concert!) in July; some quality time with high school friends just last week... I miss all my out-of-town friends but feel so lucky for the visits, when they happen.


We said goodbye to loved ones, first my dear friend & mentor, Rabbi Lynne Landsberg, who passed away in February after a long illness, & then Mike's sweet, wonderful grandmother, Mary Ann, who died just this month. They were both hard & painful losses that we will feel for a long time...



We hosted Christmas at our home, our first time doing so, & it went really well, if I may say so myself! There were 10 of us - our first Christmas without Mike's grandma - & while it was difficult to fit everyone in, not to mention difficult to celebrate without her, it was a really festive day together.

And that's it, I guess: That's what I can remember of the year, at least. I also wrote about some of my personal achievements in 2018, & the best books I read in 2018.  

What will you remember of 2018 - & what are you looking forward to in 2019?

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