I’ve been putting off writing this post for the past week. I usually love writing these reflective blogs (past year’s posts: 2017, 2016, 2015), but this year, not so much. Out loud, I’m blaming the busyness of ending school on December 21st, then immediately diving into all the holiday crazy. However, internally I’ve been finding plenty of other things to do instead because I want 2018 to be a thing of the past and I don’t want to dig back into the less great things of 2018. It’s necessary to reflect and learn, so, here goes!
Where I was (December 2017)
- A year ago, I was very intentionally navigating the never ending challenge of work-life balance. It wasn’t easy, and thankfully I have amazing friends around me who constantly check in.
- Professionally, I was coming off of a fulfilling year. And personally, I was having a bit more of a rough time. But, I was hopeful things would get better (spoiler: they didn’t get any better until the very end of 2018).
Where I am (January – December 2018)
- I was so fortunate to participate in our district’s Teacher Leadership Academy, led by the amazing Amy duo, Amy Hunt and Amy Illingworth! I learned a lot about being an effective teacher-leader, working with Difficult People, and how to say “I’m not going to take that on.”
- Fueled by Coffee and Love: The Refill was published in July 2018, and I had the opportunity to share a bit about it on KUSI’s Good Morning San Diego and host a release party at Project Reo Collective.
- I had the opportunity to share my love of teaching and technology all over the US at various summits and professional development opportunities. Some highlights include Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix, Chicago, and Greenville, SC.
- “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I did a full re-read of the Harry Potter series in November and December, and I loved immersing myself in the magic again. It was so helpful to escape reality and the stress of life. I had to make a big choice this fall, and ultimately decided to end a 10 year relationship; though there are moments of sadness, overwhelmingly I feel happier and healthier. Along the way this year, I’ve had so many friends encouraging me and sitting down to have heart-to-heart chats about relationships and life. Thank you, friends.
- I ended 2018 at a freezing cold New Year’s Eve party, surrounded by friends! I couldn’t ask for more (except maybe a heated blanket).
Where I’m going (January 2019 and beyond!)
- New year, new me, right? For once, it really feels that way. After the stress of 2018, it’s as if a huge burden has been lifted. I’m ready for new opportunities and adventures! In the fall, someone asked me what 1 year in the future Mari would want for current Mari; that helped me put a lot of my life into perspective, and helped me make both hard and fun decisions.
- In February, I turn 30, a gigantic adulting milestone. As my gift to myself, I planned a fun trip to New York City! I’ve never been, and it’s time I do something awesome just for myself.
As I planned out this post, I scrolled through my entire year on Google Photos. It’s fun to reflect back on the fun adventures I’ve had, and remind myself that, despite some setbacks and dark clouds in 2018, overwhelmingly it was filled with incredible friends. I’m really looking forward to 2019!