And as if by magic we’re in the second week of 2019. At the risk of sounding like your grandmother, last year disappeared in a heartbeat, and each year seems to be going even faster than the last. Whilst I’m not really one for setting myself a massive list of resolutions (because we all know that they would be out of the window by the 10th) I do think it’s important to take a look back at the year. This for certain is not a ‘2018 was the best year of my life‘ post, but its a round up of the highs, the lows, and all of the bits in-between.
As expected, January started off pretty slowly. The first few weeks of a new year really do take some getting used to don’t they? Trying to refrain from eating a cheeseboard every day; and forcing yourself to stay off the Prosecco until at least 4pm. So, I attempted Veganuary, and as much as I loved the challenge, at this point it just wasn’t for me. This month was relatively unexciting but ended on a real high when I interviewed for a new job which I was offered the same day.
After a very slow month, February started with a bang. On the 1st of February Adam and I headed to Dublin for a fantastic weekend of drinking Guinness, Irish dancing and whiskey tasting. Walking over 15 miles each day, its safe to say I was exhausted when we arrived back in Sheffield. However, no rest for the wicked as after a week back in work I was off to Liverpool for a girl’s weekend celebrating my Step Mums 40th Birthday. It was a booze fuelled pool party (yes, you read that right) filled with new friends, laughter, dancing, and far too much vodka.
March started a little turbulently. Still without an official start date at the new place, I actually interviewed for a different job at my current workplace and was offered this one also. I had big decisions to make and to make fast. After a couple of sleepless nights, a few tears and a lot of stress; I took the promotion in my current office. Confident I’d made the correct decision, I really enjoyed throwing myself into my new roll. Half way through the month Adam and I enjoyed a lovely day out in Lincoln, wandering around the cathedral and eating far too much cake. March ended with a fantastic bank holiday weekend consisting of a day exploring London, a lantern festival and approximately 47 chocolate eggs.
April was a pretty slow month – a combination of coming home exhausted from my new role and trying to save a few pennies, it was a few Saturday nights in front of the TV rather than weekends away. However, I did attend a really lovely event hosted by Viking Stationary; a crafty afternoon filled with lots of interesting workshops.
May kicked off with a wonderful 27 Degree 3 day weekend. There was plenty of alcohol consumed and far too much junk food. I did also have a wonderful day out in Bakewell, walking to Monsall Trail. Is there any better way to spend the bank holiday weekend than a long walk followed by chips and ice cream in the sunshine? Towards the middle of the month I was invited by the lovely people at Easy Hotel to spend a night at one of their brilliant hotels. We spent a couple of days exploring Newcastle, it was my first time in the city and it will most definitely not be the last. The final weekend in May I took a trip to Manchester with my mum and sister to see the wonderful Sarah Millican and she did not disappoint. A night of pizza and belly laughing was just what the doctor ordered.
The first weekend in June saw the annual Peace In The Park festival which is held at Pondarosa Park in Sheffield every June. The sun shone down on us as we enjoyed a chilled afternoon drinking beer and listening to bands. On June the 18th England’s world cup journey began, and the country came to life. For the first time in as far as I can remember we were doing well. The sun shone down, the pubs were full and there was a magic in the air. The final weekend in June saw the start of my birthday celebrations with a trip to a local gin festival. The English summer was like nothing else I’ve know this year. Gin in the sunshine – is there a better way to kick off your birthday?
July took a hard but wonderfully pleasant hit on my annual leave, kicked off with a four-day birthday weekend. I spent the night in Liverpool; eating, drinking and shopping my way around the city. The fantastic UK summer continued to shine throughout July meaning the month was filled with plenty of evening walks to the pub for cold ciders. There was a buzz in the air; the weather was fantastic and England were doing well in the world cup. We celebrated the first birthday and Christening of my friends baby towards the end of the month which was an afternoon filled with toddlers, sunshine and lots of gin (There seems to be a theme here, right?)
After months of battling with severe joint pain, numerous trips to the GP, 5 sets of blood tests and lots of crying into tubs of Ben and Jerry’s, I finally managed to get an appointment with a rheumatology specialist. Who managed to confirm the opposite of everything my GP had been telling me for the previous 6 months. Unfortunately, I do have Arthritis and quite frankly, its shit. I was placed on a weekly medication routine and sent for a number or scans over the coming weeks. Thank heavens for our NHS. However, August did end on a high when I took a trip to Rome with my sister and mum. We spent 3 nights in the beautiful city enjoying all the sights, food; and of course, wine. The final day of August changed the direction of my life completely. I found out I had been accepted on to a course at Sheffield Hallam University to study Law – starting the following month. Less that 24 hours later I was sat with my manager handing over my notice to quit. What a month.
The final four months of the year were a blur. There is only one word to describe September; busy. It was the month I started University as a mature student and the month I had to start actively looking for somewhere new to live. Still coming to terms with the Arthritis diagnosis and learning how to handle the medication alongside the flare ups. I did spend a wonderful night in London, watching the Book of Mormon, which is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the west end. The last week of September brought me to an induction week at Uni. The prospect of sitting in a classroom filled with people 6 years my junior, fresh from sixth form and new to alcohol, struck the fear of god into me. But I knew this was something I just needed to do.
I threw myself into university and I loved it. It was the first time I’ve felt like me in months. It was a clean break, a fresh start. Away from negativity. Sure, the work is hard but it’s a challenge. I had been in a job I could do with my eyes closed. I’d let myself become comfortable, and breaking free was such a relief. We finally viewed a new flat we loved. It wasn’t much more money per month and it is so much bigger. The landlord agreed we could move on the 3rd November so the latter weeks of October consisted of packing boxes, numerous trips to the charity shop, and even more trips to IKEA. After 6 weeks at university I finally put stopped putting it off and got myself a part time job. Sure, waiting tables isn’t exactly living the dream – but it pays the bills and gives me a little to put away for some adventures. We moved into the new flat; it was everything I wanted it to be. We’ve got more room, it feels much more safe, and my neighbour even talks to me.
December consisted of lots of shifts at work, paired with my first set of assignments made for a very busy month but I loved it. The house is starting to feel like home, and I had the ultimate ‘treat yourself’ moment and bought myself a car. Back on the road after 2 years of not driving was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. Christmas was spent exactly how it always should be, filled with family and friends, lots of wine and mountains of roast potatoes.
In all honesty, when raising a glass at midnight on new years eve, I was happy to see the back of the year. Although there has been a few wonderful highlights of the past 12 months, there’s been some unbelievable lows. So here’s to a 2019 filled with good health, family, friends and adventure!