As the sun sets on 2018 I look back at all that has happened, good and bad, with the hope that 2019 will be even better!  Some of the good things that happened in 2018 were:

I restarted this blog!  I had gotten away from it because I was letting myself get consumed with work.  I was working a ton of overtime hours, and by the time I got home and on the weekends I had no desire to be in front of a computer.  I’m still working overtime, but I have gotten better at organizing my time for each project and can spread out those extra hours so that they are more manageable on a daily basis.  Remember, work is only one part of your life, and really should be the part that allows for you to enjoy the other parts of your life!

Last February I made that decision to get myself back into shape.  One evening on the way home from work, I walked into the local boxing club and signed up then and there.  The next morning I took my very first boxing class.  I thought I was going to either pass out or throw up.  But neither happened, thankfully!  And I kept going!  About a month later, I added in some personal training sessions.  And I started to track my food consumption.  By summer I was down 16 pounds and had gained a lot of muscle tone!  I am going to be honest, I wish that the lowest weight I obtained was the right weight for me.  But I was really hungry from sticking to a 1,200 calorie or less/day diet and my body was really sore and tired from all the working out.  I ended up having to scale back because of an repetitive use injury issues, and ended up gaining back some weight.  Unfortunately, I gained back too much of what I had lost.  So I’m back on track again, but don’t think I’m going to go down to that low weight again.  I have come to accept that I am OK with not being “ripped” if it means I’m not constantly hungry, I’m happier and I’m not as sore!  Part of being in the best shape of your life is being in the best mental shape too!

That brings me to a third good thing that happened this year.  I spent a lot of time this year focused on my mental and emotional health.  I realized at some point during the year that I was very stressed and I needed to refocus my outlook.  I did a lot of reading and listening (I’m a big podcast listener) to topics such as mindfulness and how to de-stress.  I also took an honest look at my outlook on things and began a journey to be more grateful with myself, my life, and everything around me.  I feel that I’ve always been generally a positive person, but I know that if not careful, a lot of negative thoughts can seep into our brains.  I found a great journaling app that is geared towards positivity and focusing on the things you are grateful for.  I really feel it has helped me to look at situations and see the glass as half full.  The only negative is that now I more easily notice when others are being negative.  I am hoping that through some of my blog posts that are and will be geared toward positivity, these friends will want to improve their outlooks too!

This past year I did my first ever obstacle course race!  The Rugged Maniac!  It was an absolute blast!  I did most of the obstacles.  I skipped two that I felt could be dangerous for my leg. (I’ve had multiple surgeries on my right leg) I didn’t train specifically for this race other than my usual workout schedule.    I probably should have.  But others at my boxing club were doing it, and although I signed up a bit late, I figured why not try it!  And I loved it!  I will probably do it again next year.  I probably won’t be training for it next year either.  Well, maybe I’ll hit the treadmill or do some running outside.  That beginning part where we run for what seemed like forever was kind of difficult for me.  But with those 3 surgeries that I had on my right leg, running will never be easy. 

I’ve always liked hiking, but I don’t really get to do it enough.  I didn’t get to do it enough this past year either, but of the few times that I did get to hike, there were 2 times that were exceptional.  Both of them happened over the summer up in the Berkshires.  And both hikes were with my family.  One was actually a bit more of a stroll.  We walked through the woods for a bit, and then came to the river.  There was one spot that was a bit difficult, where we had to go down a really BIG “step” that was not that easy!  On the way back, we actually decided to wade upriver a bit so we could climb out where it was an easier path to get back to the car.  But the river itself was nice and cool on that hot summer day and the sounds of the birds and the babbling of the water were so relaxing! 

The second hike was actually extremely difficult!  Very steep!  It was probably a bit more than my parents, who are not spring chickens and who are not hikers, should have been doing.  But they did it, and they did it well! I was so proud!  Hiking is MY thing, but not really the rest of my family’s thing.  For me, the difficulty was having to carry my dog in a backpack the entire way down!  But at the end, there was this beautiful waterfall!  

This past year I went to a few concerts.  Two of the concerts in particular were exceptionally memorable!  First was a concert of both Peter Frampton and the Steve Miller Band!  The second was James Taylor!!  I know that for the younger people reading this, these artists won’t be as big of a deal to them as they were to me.  The crowd, including me, was singing along with all the songs being played! I have to say, the best part of those concerts was hearing James Taylor sing Sweet Baby James, and the entire place going crazy when he sang the lines “Now the first of December was covered with snow. So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston. The Berkshires seemed dreamlike on account of that frosting …”, because we were listening to these lines at Tanglewood IN THE BERKSHIRES!! 

Anyway, overall 2018 was a pretty good year! 

I bet you are wondering what the bad things were that happened in 2018.  Well, whatever the bad parts of the year were, they are behind me!  Only look forward!  Only keep the good!

I wish all of you a very Happy New Year!  I wish you more good than bad in 2019 and that you all accomplish everything you set out to do!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!