Year In Review 2018 : 18 For ’18

I don’t like doing lists normally.  I find that they usually result in me scraping the barrel, but with no more imaginative way of summarising my year, let’s go with 18 things from 2018.

The Blog.

  1. Not doing one post a day is far more realistic for me, to the extent that I have no idea at all how used to do it.  Given that I’ve occasionally had Writer’s Block trying to do three posts a week the thought of having to do one a day now feels such a chore.
  2. This will be my 152 post of the year.  At the time of writing I’ve had 8790 page views from 6773 visitors.  Thanks to you regulars!  I realise that’s not many at all compared to a lot of you, but I’m still proud to reach that many people.  Most of my visits are from the UK (4000-ish) with another 2000-ish from America, and I’ve finally reached Nicaragua.
  3. That sodding lawn mower review is still my top ranking post.  Various other reviews make up the bulk of my top 10 posts.
  4. I’ve had 72 referrals from Twitter but am most pleased with the 28 from Facebook because that means you people out there are talking about my posts and that’s kinda cool.
  5. I wanted to do more videos.  That didn’t last very long.  It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy doing them, but they didn’t have the engagement that the effort was worth, and I have a new found respect for people that do this regularly.
  6. The lesson I’ve learnt from the blog this year is that reach can be further than you think.  I wrote a post about an Instagram follower I had that I found strange.  The point of the post wasn’t to call out the person, but more a comparison about online and offline connections.  Anyway, I now have one less Instagram follower and one less blog reader.  Given the anonymity of the reader/follower it’s an interesting reaction but whatever one thinks about that, remember that you can reach anyone – you never really know who your readers actually are and why they follow you.  For someone like me who hates offending people unless they deserve it, it kinda sucks to have done it by accident.

Work.

  1. This is the first year for at least 4 that I haven’t been supposed to leave my job.
  2. That’s all the more bizarre for me considering that at least two other people think that my job is theirs.
  3. Bullshitters are draining, and more so when you prove that they’re bullshitting to one person so they try someone else, and you have to prove it to them too, and then someone else…
  4. For the first time in my career, I’ve been saying that I don’t want to do things and that it’s not good for me to do it.  A point that people have said to me outside of work is that I can get comfortable and don’t push myself, that I just get swept along and go with it.  My pushback was always that I was happy, and it’s still a comfort, I suppose, that the point of being happy is proved by something then not feeling right and doing something about it.
  5. I have a plan for next year.  I know what I need to get out of it.  It feels selfish though, and I’m not sure that I’m happy with this way of thinking in more general life.  I reconcile it here against the fact that I work in a non-service industry where money is made to make shareholders richer, rather than working for a company where there is a greater good.
  6. Being able to define your own career and shape your own role is great when you have a clear direction of where you want to go.  Even when you do have that direction, I’m learning that often the most important piece is to have the influence over the people that can help you.  Wanting to go somewhere 5000 miles away is a hard slog when you have to walk, which can be necessary when you can’t convince anyone to give you a plane ticket or sell you a car.

Me.

  1. I went on holiday again this year.  Only the one, but for someone who didn’t have a holiday for over a decade of his life, putting together regular getaways is quite a thing.  I visited two new cities and one of those was in a new country.  I’m not sure I’ll return to either.  Kiev was a nice city, but didn’t leave me convinced that there was anything to go back for.  I visited Chicago for work which may have lessened my experience, but the sheer vastness of the city limited its charm for me.  It could have been anywhere.
  2. I ended the year having scored four goals at football in the calendar year.  I doubled my tally with a brace in the last game of the year after declaring at the beginning of December that I wouldn’t play in 2019 if I didn’t reach 3.  To put that in context, we play virtually every week and there will usually be at least 15 goals in a game.
  3. Earlier in the year I felt particularly run down and approached a lot of things with apathy or indifference; I was even occasionally looking for reasons not to do things that I enjoyed doing.  I had a blood test and was put on a course of high dose vitamin D tablets to attempt to remedy it.  My vitamin D is still a bit low, but not too bad, but unfortunately I still feel very run down.  If it doesn’t appear to be anything physiological, I might have to think if it’s something else.
  4. Perhaps tied to 15, this year has contained considerable memories of years past.  I try not to be backwards looking (and there’s definitely more to say on the subject in another post), but the vividness of times gone by has been stark.
  5. I feel like I’ve maybe got closer to my Dad this year.  We went to Kiev together, meeting my brother there.  I actually wasn’t going to go (it was a day trip to watch Liverpool play Real Madrid in the Champions League final and cost a fortune) but for all three of us to go was quite special.  We also did a lot of the living room refurbishment together, with only one minor argument which is quite good for around three weeks’ of work.  Given that his Dad died this year, I’m pleased with that.
  6. On more than one occasion I attempted beard growing, but still can’t get past the stage where it just looks a mess.

I hope that your 2018 has been a success.  My last 12 months haven’t been too bad.  I’ve tried to keep some stuff off the blog and while there has definitely been ups and downs, it has been a relatively calm year.  What I would say, on reflection, is that I still rate my time against the horribleness of 2015/16.  To that end, I’ll speak to you tomorrow, in 2019.

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