My 2018: year in review

Overall 2018 was an amazing year for me, one of big change, self development, more time spent with friends and what felt like gaining a new sense of freedom.

In 2018, after a year of desperately trying to get a new job that would enable career progression and a shift towards doing the type of job I want, I managed to get one! It’s a big step up in role and in salary. I get to do what I love (most of the time) and make a step towards the career I want.

Whilst I didn’t do it for the money (I mean I work in the charity sector!) the jump in salary has given me a new sense of freedom. I can now afford to save for a house and save for travelling. I now feel much more secure in my finances (for example my car broke down 3 times this year and I could afford to fix it).

And getting a new job at a commutable distance has meant we now know we’re staying in the area long term so we could leave our dark ugly cold house and move to a lovely warm, bigger and bright (and cheaper) flat! I love our new flat so much, I can’t believe I survived in the old place for so long.

I no longer needed to spend hours hunting for jobs and applying for them allowing me more time to do the things I want to do and not feeling guilty about it! I’ve also been lucky to have made many lovely friends over the past couple of years and in 2018 I’ve been enjoying spending much more time with them (mostly through playing board games!). I’ve also learnt it’s ok to let go of friends from my past, people who I simply don’t have shared interests and values with anymore.

There have been some really difficult moments for me this year. The move to a new job took its toll (turns out I’m not great with change and I really miss my old team). But I’ve settled in now and started to find my place and more confidence. My family also lost two of our dogs in 2018 (who I grew up with as a teenager) unexpectedly which left me heartbroken.

But overall it’s been a brilliant year and I’ve overcome the challenges I was hit with. I’m feeling happy and grateful for everything I have and I’m geared up ready for 2019!Here’s a bit of a review of what I got up to last year.

Geek

Top highlight was definitely seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play in London. It was brilliant! Whilst when reading the script I felt it had many flaws, onstage the actors brought it alive and made it feel real in a way the script never could. My other top highlight was getting the epic Lego Hogwarts castle set for my birthday from my partner, feeling very spoilt!

I also joined not one but two D&D groups! I’m so happy to be RPGing again.

Books read: 25 (completed my target yay)

Top 10 Favourite books in 2018:

  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (so excited for the second book coming out soon!)
  • Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas (So interesting! And I’m not a sociopath but this sociopath writer’s perspective on people and the world has enabled me to better accept myself)
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (brilliant epic fantasy)
  • Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (I’m upset how long it has taken me to discover this book, I should have read it as a teenager especially as I adored her Song of the Lioness series)
  • This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (memoirs by junior doctor, fascinating and terrifying to read first hand what’s happening to the NHS)
  • How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (must read for any feminist)
  • Scythe and Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (books 1 and 2, original, thought provoking and brilliantly written dystopian YA)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd (the diaries of Logan Mountstuart who lived in every decade of the 20th century and had a very interesting life, from hanging out with the top writers and artists of the century to being a spy in WW2)
  • Wilding by Isabella Tree (nature writing, for me it was one of those few books that shifts the way I look at the world)

Favourite films and TV series watched in 2018:

  • Stargate Atlantis
  • Brooklyn 99 (so in love with this show)
  • Coco
  • Black Panther
  • Annihilation (bizarre but really interesting concept)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (amazing and heartbreaking!)
  • Deadpool 2
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (loved this! My kind of film!)
  • Crimes of Grindelwald (not as good as I hoped but I still enjoyed it)
  • Mortal Engines
  • The Greatest Showman (Hugh Jackman and brilliant music!)

Favourite board and video games played in 2018:

  • Fantasy Life (3DS)
  • One Deck Dungeon (mini dungeoneering board game, me and my partner play this all the time)
  • Human Fall Flat (hilarious video game multiplayer)
  • Deception (murder mystery party game)
  • Scrawl (drawing party game)
  • The Resistance/Avalon (traitor party game)
  • 7 Wonders (group board game)
  • Mansions of Madness (Lovecraftian storytelling board game)
  • T.I.M.E. Stories (RPG board game)
  • Camel Up (gambling board game)
  • Unstable Unicorns (adorable card game)
  • Terraforming Mars (economic sci fi group board game)
  • Lords of Waterdeep (worker placement board game set in D&D universe)
  • Root (adorable strategic battle board game)
  • Tiny Epic Quest (adventure board game)
  • Dixit (party card game)
  • Stardew Valley (beautiful 8bit farming/adventure game now ported into an app)
  • Reigns: Her Majesty (app where you play a queen navigating the politics of court and ruling, was addicted to this for a while!)
  • Towerfall (multiplayer fighting game)

Nature

A great year for nature, one highlight included having robins nesting in our garden right next to our back door! I took part in Inktober (drawing every day in October) where I followed a wildlife theme. I managed 16 out of 31 days which I’m still really proud of, meaning I’ve done far more drawing in 2018 than most years previously!

Here’s what else I got up to.

New UK wildlife species I’ve seen:

  • Silver-washed fritillary butterfly
  • Green hairstreak butterfly
  • Purple emperor butterfly
  • Black hairstreak butterfly (very rare!)
  • White-faced darter dragonfly (very rare!)
  • Great Northern Diver (a.k.a. common loon)
  • Curlew (finally!)
  • Bewick’s swan
  • Nightjar (it was magical to hear its churring sound)
  • Short-eared Owl (my winner!)
  • Chinese Water Deer
  • Fallow deer (not seen them in the wild before)

Due to getting a new job and moving house and spending a lot of money on my car we haven’t been able to travel much this year in the UK and not at all abroad, sadly. But we have planned many of the things we want to do in 2019 once we’ve saved up!

Here’s some of my favourite places in the UK we visited in 2018 (local and far away):

  • Symonds Yat, Forest of Dean
  • Cornwall (my favourite place)
  • Old Sulehay nature reserve
  • Knettishall Heath Nature Reserve
  • Kayaking on river Ouse at Huntingdon
  • Brampton Wood Nature Reserve
  • Chartley Moss Nature Reserve (a floating peat bog!)
  • East Carlton Country Park
  • Hills and Holes nature reserve
  • Rutland Water
  • Gilbert White Museum and Winnal Nature Reserve in Winchester
  • Wild swimming in the river Welland

I hope you had a great 2018!

The Geeky Hippie x

This post received a Nice Job Badge on Normal Happenings. Thanks!

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