For 2016 and 2017, I recapped my year through photos that had never been posted. The only rules were that I had to be in each photo, and I had to share at least one photo from each month. I’m doing it again for 2018, even though I think it’s getting weaker every year. Enjoy!
Okay, now that the photo part is over, time for a reflection of what I’ve gathered from this journey. First, I’ve noticed I have so many photos from the first half of the year, but almost none from China. It’s not just that I don’t have pictures of me; I just don’t have many at all. I’ve found that one of my biggest struggles in the latter half of the year is maintaining a work-life balance that makes me happy. I find that far too much of my “free” time is spent thinking about work, doing work, or feeling guilty that I’m not being productive enough. Such is the life of a teacher, I guess, but I can’t say I love it. So I’m calling attention to it here and challenging myself to find better ways to compartmentalize?
Another thing (and maybe a continuing trend) is that I wish terribly that I’d taken more photos in Nicaragua. I have waaaaay more from Nicaragua than China, but in the wake of my evacuation, I’m left wishing I’d pulled out my camera and photographed anything and everything. There are people I love who I don’t have pictures of, and who I won’t have pictures of unless and until I go back. At the time, a) I was just living my life and not worrying about documentation, and b) felt like I had plenty of time left to do all this and get proper closure.
This was a hard year. A wonderful year, but a hard one. I said goodbye (but not really) to a place I love and people I love, had some unexpected but joyous reunions with family and friends, and was thrust rather abruptly into a challenging new job and culture. In the middle of all that, Thomas and I got engaged and started planning a wedding from afar.
I honestly have no idea what 2019 will bring (beyond getting married, anyway) and I’m a little terrified about it. I suspect it’ll be a pretty pivotal year, and one that may hold some tough decisions and changes. That said, I’m going to try to roll with it as best I can and embrace the opportunities that come my way.
Wishing you all a wonderful 2019.