2018 Year in Review

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2018 was intense.

From a last-minute work trip to Spokane and putting kitty to sleep during week one, straight to this last 30-minute window where I’m banging out a stream of consciousness blog post, this year has been non-stop full steam ahead.

Existing in the world at large was pretty difficult this year. US politics were an embarrassment on the global stage and a daily affront to my values and sensibilities. Families torn apart at the border, a frat boy rapist on the supreme court, high school kids turned activists begging for gun control, and a President who has made a non-stop mockery of our government institutions are a few highlights that pop to mind. However, there was a little bit of hope from the women’s movement, midterm elections and the incredible stand-up comedy pumping out of this time. Given this, next year I am choosing to focus on doing good in my own backyard for maximum impact while I cheer on the professionals to deliver us some kind of impeachment trial in 2019.

Career wise this was the most extreme, insane, challenging, satisfying year in my life. I was brought on as a full-time employee in February — right around the time the board of trustees approved the logo design we finished tail end of 2017. From that point forward it was flat out to October launch of a new company brand. I accomplished huge company wide projects, coordinated with a ton of outside vendors, navigated the bureaucracy of my own company and launched a new brand platform website. I was mentally exhausted but challenged and pushed to unknown limits! This year I felt proud of myself and more confident in my abilities than ever before.

In small business land, I opened this spanking new website. I also took work experience and translated it to a collaboration with Meg Link to design a professional logo and simple brand guidelines for 9999Bananas. I also took about 7,000 photos, created four new themed calendars and won my first mini legal battle. With my main job approaching livable intensity, I am hopeful for a bit of creative juice back to dedicate to this creative side project.  I have big 2019 goals to be sales ready by June with additional products and a good booth design so I can tackle the flea market challenge! I am also hoping to return to blogging so my half-finished essays can eventually find a home. Bourdain’s passing this June only strengthened my resolve to spend more of my time CREATING and less time consuming and critiquing. I have tons of travel, bucket lists, and cooking challenges to keep me motivated because our time on this planet is S.H.O.R.T!

Personally, things were also in hyper drive in 2018. Some of my oldest and best friends tied the knot in Ohio, North Carolina, and Boston. All three weekends were wonderful vacations to fun locations with much-loved time catching up with folks I don’t have time to see in our new phase of small children, busy careers and ever expanding geographic distances. I also repeated much loved yearly trips to Florida with my aunties (with a side of Harry Potter World), Philly to see a Villanova game, and upstate for Easter and August. Both my nephews came for a weekend with Aunt Anna, I hosted a bunch of Air B&B folks, protested in the Women’s March, and Villanova Won the National Championship. I also spent 10 days in the magical country of Iceland marveling and checking northern lights and glaciers from my bucket list. 2018 – you were certainly not dull!

Most significantly, in 2018 I found love again. It’s something I hadn’t thought to feel but it has certainly colored all these other events in rose colored wonderfulness. It has been an indescribable pleasure to have a kind, funny, kindred-spirit partnership through everything. This has certainly been the most active dating of my life with boat cruises, road trips, adventures down the Jersey shore, taping of the Colbert Report, museums, long walks, several full seasons of tv, movie dates, concerts, plays and endless delicious food together.  Obviously, a man who comes packaged with three teen girls and a complicated overall life situation certainly added to the intensity of this year emotionally, but honest communication about my expectations, emotions, fears and joys was yin to that yang. While often challenging, it felt quite lovely to balance my quiet solo (plus kitten) household with a bit of childish energy, water slides, and Bob Ross sweet 16 parties. Plus, the kids gave me excuses to cook elaborate dinners and set “tea party tables” as Emma calls them. But most importantly, I found a straight man who legitimately loves Broadway musicals, old fashioned style, and watching terrible B movies (Krull forever) in bed with cookies. Who knew I could get so lucky?

Here’s to you 2018!!!