Reflections on 2018

It’s that time where everyone is starting to look back on their year, inclusive of Spotify Wrapped (nobody panic, Taylor Swift is still on my list of top artists), Snapchat memories and Instagram’s ‘Best Nine’ (just around the corner, I’m sure!). Well, I won’t make any exceptions to the rules, I’ll just natter on for a few hundred words about what an absolute whirlwind of a year it’s been. Which, let’s be honest, comes as no surprise to anyone who is even acutely aware of my life.

I flicked back through my previous blog posts to find my end-of-2017-new-years-resolutions update (not too far, given the significant lack of posts from 2018) and thought I’d kick off by looking at what I have achieved compared to what I set out to achieve. Spoiler alert: I definitely didn’t achieve everything…

1. Run at least a half marathon distance race in every single month of 2018. (I say at least, because I’ll be running a 20 miler race in March and the full marathon in April). I’ve actually signed up to all but one month for these. (Hit me up if you know of any good half marathons in August 2018!)

Ok, yeah… this didn’t happen. I managed to run the distance in 6/12 months… and lost a fair bit of money on the ones I signed up to and didn’t run, but I’m still pretty proud of myself for what I’ve achieved running wise this year.

I’ve rattled on about running so much (did you know I ran a marathon, huh?) in both a good and a bad light. And yes, I adore it, it’s the best stress-release I know, but it can also be the world’s biggest pain in the bum. It can hurt. It can make you cry (a lot). Training for a race can suck all of the fun out of it. And for a few months, I just gave up on it completely. But it’s all ok, because I got a new personal best in my most recent half marathon earlier on this month! 😉

2. Obviously, complete my first marathon in April 2018. Preferably below 6 hours!

I did complete my first marathon in April 2018. And I hope to complete my second in 2019… we’ll see!

3. Run at least 500 miles overall in 2018. That’s 42 miles a month, or 9.6 (ish) miles a week. Hopefully my half marathons will help cover a bit of this distance!

Another one I didn’t quite hit, but I’ve racked up over 350 miles so far this year so, while it wasn’t what I set out to achieve, I certainly can’t sniff at that.

4. Reach new PBs (personal bests) in 5km, 10km, 10 miles and Half Marathon.

This one makes me smile like an idiot. Because I achieved all of these. I am so beyond happy and proud of myself!

5. Run a race abroad – I’ve kind of ticked this one off by booking myself in to run a half marathon in Germany!

Reader, I did not run the half marathon in Germany. But it was a great weekend away anyway!

6. Goodbye overdraft. I’m paying it off and I’m kissing it goodbye.

Check me out, I’m totally debt-free! (If you don’t count the student loan…)

7. Not owe anyone money. Luckily I only owe my sister, but soon I’ll be done with that debt!

I no longer owe anybody any money. (Apart from the whole student loan thing, again…)

10. Blog three times a week (up from two). I’m organised enough that this should be a relatively easy step up, but I’m not going to push myself if I find it too much of a struggle.

Ahaha. Say no more…

11. Not letting work, blogging or anything else get in the way of my relationships. I want to spend more time nurturing relationships with those close to me, spending more time with friends I care about and less time scrolling through pointless newsfeeds. (However fun that can be).

I’m going to be honest here. This was a really stupid one. This was me trying to blame blogging, (or my phone), for the (obvious) breakdown of a relationship that was never going to work out. This was not the fix to the problem, because this was not the problem. Turns out I’m an incredibly social person, who can quite happily forget about their phone for hours, when in the right company.

12. Grow as a blogger. By this I mean: work with brands on my wavelength, grow my audience, step up in terms of the quality of content I produce and network more.

I quickly de-prioritised my blog last year, but that’s ok. It’s still here and so am I, so nothing has been lost. The world kept spinning!

13.  I also want to do more reading in 2018. I got a kindle for Christmas, which will allow me to read on my train to/from work easily. To motivate me, I’m going to put £5 into my savings account for every book that I finish in the year.

So I’ve done a fair bit of reading this year (though could definitely have done more) and it’s been great. I did the whole £5 thing for a little while but spent the money at some stage…

There are also a number of things that happened this year that I didn’t have as resolutions, or even anticipate. Wrapping up in the least cheesy way possible…

  1. I got a new job, progressing in my career and developing personally too. Woohoo!
  2. I moved to Oxford. And I love it here.
  3. I made new friends, who have quickly become incredibly important to me.
  4. I rediscovered my love of poetry – and even started an Instagram account for it. #LAME but it’s @lillysarahrubywrites if you want to read any of it.
  5. I stopped being a sad person. I mean, yeah, I still have the occasional sad day, but it’s pretty amazing to feel as wholly happy as I feel now. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: coming off the pill is literally the best thing I could have done!). Of all the things I’ve achieved this year, overcoming what I thought was a part of me that I couldn’t get rid of has to be the thing I’m the most proud of. And I didn’t really *do* much to make that happen, but what I did do has made such a difference.
  6. Last, but not least, is meeting the most wonderful man in the world. (No bias here, right?) – I’m going to try to keep it short and sweet while also shouting about him from the rooftops! And without sounding a bit weird, the words of my ex boyfriend ring in my ears. Because he told me that the person I wanted didn’t exist. He told me that I was asking for the impossible. And I believed him, belittling myself in the process. Then I met someone who is everything I want without me having even to say what that is, let alone ask for it. I met someone who wouldn’t dream of telling me that I don’t deserve the best they can give. The thing I least expected from 2018 was to feel this secure, both in myself and with another person. To know that I am completely ok on my own, but I’m the best version of myself with him. I don’t usually spout stuff about how everything happens for a reason or that fate exists or even that things like love at first sight exist. And maybe all of that is still absolute rubbish, but I find myself much more convinced of it recently.

So that’s 2018. And all I can say is I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for me. New goals/resolutions to follow, I’m sure…

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