Well, That Was a Year

2018 Collage

If you follow this blog with any sort of regularity (and thank you for that, by the way, that’s very kind of you!) you know my 2018 is ending on a real down note.  At the beginning of the month we rather unexpectedly had to have our absolutely adored kitty, Weegie, put down.  The fallout from that was that Mr. Finger Candy and I just sort of drifted through the Christmas season, present in body, but nearly totally absent in soul.  For someone who never shuts up, I’ve had a hard time articulating why this particular death has hit me so hard.  I’ve lost quite a few beloved pets over my lifetime, and even more adored people, and yet this is the one that’s broken me.  I suppose this is what some well-meaning dumbass would optimistically term a formative event, and I’d begrudgingly have to agree – I certainly don’t feel like the same person I was at the beginning of the month, a change not necessarily for the positive.

But there’s no better time than the start of a new year to hit the reset button, and I’m looking forward to trying, trying again in 2019.  Because even without the heartbreaking events of the last month, 2018 was a wild roller coaster of big ups and bigger downs.  Sometimes actual roller coasters, even!  It just didn’t feel like the most cohesive of years, and I flubbed quite a few personal goals.

But supposedly we learn from our mistakes and all that good stuff, so I thought it might be helpful to look back over the hills and valleys of 2018 and take note of the things that worked, the things that didn’t, and hopefully find a path through 2019 that’s a lot less fraught with grief than 2018’s.  To a better year for all of us.

The Good

I started off the year on a positive note, promising myself that I’d limit my wax and beauty purchases to a small handful of orders from favourite vendors.  My discretionary spending was quite out of control, and my scented wax stores were fit to bursting.  So I put myself on a casual low buy, which though no real direction on my part morphed into a regimented no buy; there were a few months there where our financial behaviour could best be deemed as stupidly tightfisted.  But there just didn’t seem to be anything I wanted to buy, and besides, saving money felt better than buying stuff, which was kind of the point of reining in my spending in the first place, no?  Anyhow, this one was a proper New Years resolution, the kind you make with every intention of breaking, but somehow, I held fast.  Now, with three lovely, highly anticipated orders in my hot little hands (and hot little warmers) I’m set for another year of waiting and watching and planning and melting. 🙂

2018 Wax Collage

2018 is also the year I taught myself a video editing program, upped my photography and video game and started our YouTube channel, Park or Perish!  Amusingly enough, I can lay all three of these newly acquired skills at the tender little furry paws of our cat, Weegie.  There was a time (oh, just the last four or so years) when our sweet baby beast would NOT abide by either her fur mama or papa sleeping for any longer than it took for her soft food dish to run dry (roughly every hour and 45 minutes.)  So I’d find myself awake at all inhospitable hours of the very early morning, with precious little to do.

Then one morning as I sat there just staring at the sky, literally trying to will the sun into cresting the horizon, I suddenly thought about all of the photos and video I had shot of our Disney vacations, and wondered what more I could do with them (other than drive you lovely readers bonkers, that is.) 😉  And so that morning I downloaded a little iPhone-based editing program called iMovie and edited together my first project (a collection of photos of Weegie looking unbelievably saucy, of course, backed by Tom Jones’ What’s New Pussycat?)  Since then I’ve produced 27 videos for Park or Perish!, and some of them aren’t even all that bad!  I particularly like sound editing – it’s incredibly satisfying when two tonally disparate clips finally snap into place (nearly) seamlessly.  This is a major milestone for me; as I’ve mentioned a time or 20, I am unbelievably tech-unfriendly.  That I could even find the program in the App Store in the first place was something of a miracle.  Here’s the most recent video I posted, a fun round-up of our adventures at Disney this past year.  I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Speaking of Disney vacations and saving money (now there’s a couple of antithetical concepts) we were able to enjoy two of the former this year precisely because we prioritized the heck out of the latter. We eased up a bit on our “Disney or death!” approach to discretionary income as the year wore on, but generally, if we had two cents to scrape together, we’d throw them into the vacation pot.  It was through this kind of financial nit-pickery that we were able to take two Disney vacations in 2018, both fully (and reassuringly) paid off before we had even stepped foot in a park.  We also became Disney annual passholders this year, because it made the most financial sense given the extent of our plans.  Every little bit helps, and I was incredibly proud of us for hitting this Disney financial goal.

Passholder 1

And speaking of those two vacations, they were wonderful; some of the best moments of my year were had at Disney World.  It’s just where we go to cut loose, explore and have an awesome (frequently margarita-enabled) good time.  We are so fortunate to be able to enjoy such incredible vacations – some people can’t swing a single lifetime trip to Disney, let alone two in one year (actually four in 365 days, but who’s counting besides ourselves and every single one of our friends who has jokingly enquired as to whether we plan on just moving into Cinderella Castle full time (dare to dream!)

Character Collage

Just about my favourite moment of the year was spending Halloween, our 14th wedding anniversary, bombing around the Magic Kingdom rock star cosplaying as two different video versions of Tyler Joseph, the lead singer of twenty one pilots (the October release of Trench was another neon yellow bright spot in an otherwise pretty gloomy year.)  I can’t speak for Mr. Finger Candy (who was the recipient of most of the delighted compliments, including a number of longing and appreciative glances from one very interested lady and a couple of even more interested dudes) but I loved playing rock star for the day, even with that black gunk smeared about my neck and hands (black stage makeup, by the way, and no, it wasn’t difficult to take off at the end of the night.  Messy?  Yes!  Sooty black water droplets allllll over the bathroom.  But not difficult.)  Also, my man looked hella hot in his meggings and shorts combo, and no, I’m not remotely joking.

Tyler Two Pilots Collage 2

The Bad

Losing our beloved cat.  Taking her to the vet one snowy Monday morning, knowing in my already breaking heart that we wouldn’t be bringing her home again.  Holding her paw until the very end.  Lots of uncontrollable sobbing.  That was my December.  I don’t wish to ever experience another one like it (oh, that we could control such things!)  But isn’t she adorable?  Gosh, at one point she was a complete LARD; look at that tummy!  That’s some serious Weege the Hutt action right there.

InstaWeege

Losing Weegie also brought into sharp focus the good relationships in our lives – the people who have been there for us at this awful time, in supportive ways big, small and occasionally virtual – and those that are no longer worth our precious, middle aged time.  It was really its own special kind of compounding heartbreak to realize that with some people, we just didn’t rank, not even in the midst of our grief.

On the other, infinitely more positive hand, this event clarified the truly excellent relationships we do have in our lives, people we are so profoundly grateful to call our friends.  They are such fantastic humans, a realization ultimately worth so much more than the one about the social boobs.  I actually feel sort of hashtag-blessed. 😉

But getting back to the crap, after making incredible strides towards improving my health in 2017, I backslid in 2018 HARD, maintaining my diet and exercise regimen for most of the year before apparently just giving up altogether in the last three months and gaining 25 pounds.  I apparently like to eat my stress and grief.  And everyone else’s as well.  I aim to jump back aboard the treadmill express in the new year, and overhaul our diets while I’m at it.  Please stop the rich holiday food, I want to get off!

And this blog?  My beloved Finger Candy, which turned five impressive years old this year with nary a whisper of fanfare?  I have no idea what this blog is even about any more; I’m not even sure if nail art is my preferred focus.  I’m in a state of blogging flux; I hope to find some solid ground soon.

Okay, that’s it, 2018 – you’re drunk, go home.  Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.  And cheers to 2019 as it makes its hopefully spectacular way in.  Happy New Years, friends.

12 thoughts on “Well, That Was a Year

  1. It has been a powerful year for you. I have loved watching you work so hard and cheering you on as you got your health and finances in order. I know you will rock 2019. Are you considering changing the blog? Or maybe just kind of morphing it into a lifestyle blog? I am interested to see where you head and I will continue to lurk and comment as long as you’ll have me. 2019 will be a big year for all of us. ❤

    • Thanks so much, Julie, that means the world to me to hear. 🙂 And you know, I really don’t know what I want this blog to become. For years now it’s been slowly morphing more into a lifestyle blog, but I’ve never quite found that thing that clicks totally. I AM very much looking forward to trying to follow along again with your reading challenge, and I like coming up with inspired-by nail art, so that will definitely be sticking around.

      I guess we’re all trying to figure out what to do next. I know you’ve taken a step back (or sideways) from your blogging life, and Jay is somewhat reconfiguring hers…if last year was the year we all tried to rein in our spending, is this the year we all finally discover our blogging purpose? 🙂

  2. Oh, Sandra! I’m so sorry to read about Weegie! I haven’t been regular on the blog, and just been popping in to post, so I didn’t know… It’s a big blow and an awful way to end the year, and I’m sending you lots of love and good vibes so the new year somehow makes up for all the bad this year.

    I’ll also be sticking around to see what direction this blog takes. The important thing is that you enjoy this little piece of your universe and make of it something that pleases you. Happy New Year!

    • Aw, thank you, friend, that means a lot to me (your kind words, AND that you’d stick about!) I’ve really no clue what this year is going to bring blog-wise. Like you, I pop in and out (mostly out) and I always feel like I’m playing some weird game of catch-up when I do show my face again. Happiest of new years to you, too, I hope you continue having tons of fun with your little one. 🙂

  3. It certainly was. And that decorated sheet cake is something too, ostentatious comes to mind, it’s insane. Looking forward to whatever you bring to YT or the blog next year. Mine is morphing into more bookish posts with occasional other reviews, it’s a lot easier on the finances. The books will be library acquired, so it will only cost me reading time-a commodity I will happily spend.
    Cheers to you, your beautiful furry friend <3, the treadmill, and whatever 2019 has in store.

    • Well, that’s an excellent idea – highlight those library services! I actually just bought three books, my first book purchase in maybe three years. I’ve just been reading off my bookshelf, or off the Patterson-laden community bookshelf downstairs, and I’ve actually done pretty well (kinda heavy on the Stephen King, but I can’t quit him, even if I wanted to, which I don’t. So there.)

      Yeah, my blog feels adrift, and it has for quite some time. I’m really down on my post count for the year, although I know that my posts got exponentially huger as the year went on; I topped 2,000 words on probably two dozen posts in 2018. But people just don’t want to read that much, much less about Disney (my Disney posts are wildly unpopular, which I wouldn’t have thought; still won’t get me to shut up about the place, though!)

      • I received a Barnes n Noble gift card for Christmas and think an excursion there will be required soon. I rarely by books either because I have a whole library collection at my fingertips. But I do love to gift them, this time, I think I’ll treat myself.
        Looking forward to seeing whatcha’ got!

        Since we’re talking blogging, what’s your opinion on this new WordPress editor? There’s some pros, but I cannot stand that I need to go block by block to make my text color uniform, it’s driving me crazy not being able to select all and modify to black. What an epic waste of time! I wish there was a feedback button on that.

      • Is that a change only visible through the mobile editor? Because I only ever edit on my laptop. The one time I tried to publish from the road, it took about two hours because I had no clue what I was doing and couldn’t intuitively find any of the editing functions. I suppose that’s what you mean – it’s not hugely user friendly.

      • No, I never use the mobile editor unless I absolutely have to. I just got a message one day saying to switch to the updated editor. It’s a configuration of blocks which you can toggle up + down btwn, but its lacking a lot of little things I used prev. Maybe you just never switched?

      • I remember a while back there was a change notification…perhaps I just ignored it? Although usually they just ram these “improvements” through regardless of what their customers indicate they would actually like; surprised it hasn’t just bounced me over to the new one automatically.

  4. So sorry about the loss of your kitty!
    I hope 2019 will bring you more good things than bad. Looking forward to seeing where the year takes you – be it nail art, wax melts, Disney stuff, or whatever!

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