I don’t usually do a formal year in review (in fact, I never have), but since 2018 was such a wild and amazing year filled with changes and firsts and new adventures, I thought I’d share what my year looked like. But instead of giving you a chronological overview (which is how this post started) I decided I’d hit the highlights, which are now presented to you in no particular order.
Sold my house – became 100% debt free!
In January I said farewell to the house that I had lived in for 13 years. I had bought the house with my ex-husband in 2004 and had been living there on my own since 2007. The house had been a constant burden to me from the moment I took sole ownership and it was such a relief to be able to sell it – and actually make some money on the sale! Because I’d gotten my finances in order a couple years prior I was able to make all of the necessary repairs to list and sell the house – and pay cash for all of it. I walked away with a profit and said goodbye to debt. Yep that’s right, I am now 100% debt free!
Quit my job
This was probably the craziest and riskiest thing I did all year! After 18 ½ years and 4 different positions at the same company, I decided to move on. The thing is, at the point I decided to leave I had no plan for what I was going to do next (I know, crazy, right?). I had been unhappy for quite some time and realized that things were not going to change for me (this is a long story for another time). So I crunched the numbers on how much money I actually had (because I had banked all of my profit from the sale of my house). And then I crunched the numbers like 12 more times and felt comfortable that I could just go, and then figure out what I wanted to do next. So that’s exactly what I did. Keep reading to learn what happened next!
Fulfilled my lifelong dream of going to Paris
I had dreamed of visiting Paris my entire life (read more about that here). So I booked a trip for two weeks in July and headed to France and Italy. By myself. I planned all the transfers and knew at least which cities and areas I wanted to visit. And then I got over there and mostly just winged it. There are loads of posts about my trip on the blog, but here are a couple of my favorites if you’re interested in reading about my adventures:
Started a company
I didn’t think about work (or my lack there of) while I was in Europe, and even after I got back there was still a part of me that thought I would start looking for a job at some point. You know, just go back to doing the same old safe thing, with a 9-5 job and 401k contributions. But then a couple people asked me about consulting. And then I got a wild hair and thought, what if I could just do the parts of marketing that I really enjoy? And do it on my own terms? I knew I still had enough money to get me through to the end of the year, so I gave it a go. And I’m proud to say that today I have 5 clients that I have done projects with or am currently working with. It’s still scary but it’s also exciting, and I’m loving the flexibility that comes with being self-employed.
2018 was also a year of firsts for me! I think it’s exciting, when we are adults, to still be able to say we’ve accomplished some firsts.
My nephew lives in San Antonio and in March of 2018 we celebrated his first birthday! I feel like this should make the list because it gives me an excuse to share this adorable photo of him, and if you’re a parent, you understand how important a first birthday is. I’m just a proud auntie who was glad to be part of my nephew’s special day, even if he won’t remember it.
First Forklift Operation
This is the silliest of them all, I know. But have you ever experienced the joy of tooling around in a forklift while your parents cheer you on? No? Actually one of them cheered me on while the other looked in nervously, hoping we wouldn’t get caught. Well, maybe your idea of fun is different than mine. It still makes the list of firsts.
I want to say I ran my first 10k, but technically I completed my first 10k race. I ran as much of it as I could but also walked some. My training slowed significantly as the race got closer because I was having trouble with plantar fasciitis in both feet and some issues with my right hip. ButI made it in the mile time I was hoping for and I finished. Yes, more accurately, I finished my first 10k. And also my last 10k. I have come to realize that I am more of a 5k gal. My brain and my body much prefer shorter distances. And I’m ok with that.
My niece Zoey and I had our first sleepover! She is 2½ and being around her brings me the greatest joy. We actually had 3 sleepovers during the late summer/fall. Some were better than others (have you ever sucked boogers out of a toddler’s nose at 2am?). But we watched Moana and Finding Nemo and Coco countless times, played with Play-Doh and Paw Patrol stickers (which I still find in the most random places) and did craft projects.
I crossed two more states off my list in 2018: Pennsylvania and Maine. In April I went toPittsburgh, PA to present to a group of clients along with several of my co-workers, but I arrived a day early and was able to explore the city a bit with a good friend who was also attending the same meeting.
Then in October I was up in the northeast visiting friends, and after our time together I ventured up to Portland, ME for a couple of days. It was an amazing adventure! You can read about the whole trip here.
So that was my year! I’m excited to see what will happen in 2019 – things are already off to a great start!