What worked (or not) in 2018

For the past few years, I’ve used Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2-question template for evaluating the year past. As I sat down this year to ask “What worked for me in 2018?” and “What didn’t work for me in 2018?”, most of the answers come in mixed bags. Some part of my system worked, while another part didn’t. Unfortunately I don’t see any quick fixes for the latter, but please pipe up if you see a glaringly obvious solution (or a splendidly clever one!) I’m overlooking. Untitled

Finances: We paid for a year of college. Granted, we had significant help from my parents, but we did it.  We are one (hopefully) sixteenth of the way there. Hooray! I credit automated transfers to savings, the January Money Diet (in the past found at Happy Simple Living) and including the kids in some of our frequent talks about the budget.  It’s hard to include them without freaking them out, but for the most part, we walked the tight rope, and they have some understanding what the budget looks like.


Reading: I read a ton of books.  What worked here was leaving them lying all over the house, using the library’s audiobook loans while driving the kids all over town, and a brief slump into a turtle phase while I was trying not to think about Jonah’s leaving for college.

We became a house with cats again: This one is really a mixed bag.  We adopted two cats at the end of 2017, and one of them got terribly sick. (Like $1000-vet-ICU-bill-and-then-euthanasia sick.)  It was heartbreaking and expensive, and for twenty-four hours we thought we were going to be the source of a local rabies outbreak. How’s that for irony?


Anyway, we adopted a third cat and have been a happy home with two cats again, except for the allergies and cat litter. It turns out that two cats pee twice as much as one cat does. (Who knew?) Anyone have a brilliant solution to the cat litter problem? Anyone? Bueller?

Devotional reading: A challenge from our priest last Christmas spurred me to read the Bible chronologically this year. We happened to be on ancient history, so much of my school prep dovetailed with the old testament in a really enlightening way.


Exercise: I was having a good exercise year until the first of October, when I broke my toe. You’d think I would have just upped the yoga and waited to heal, but instead I sat around feeling sorry for myself, and I lost two months of fitness while it healed. Now I’m back to where I started a year ago. I think the problem is that I really have one good block of time I can count on every day, and I’ve been using it to write instead of exercise. I need to carve out a second chunk of time and make movement a priority.


Screen time: This is the one area that abjectly didn’t work. As I have used my phone for tracking more things (and children), it’s harder not to pick it up at every spare moment, and it’s really hard to tell my children to put down their devices when my face is glued to a screen. So here’s to big changes in 2019.

What about you?  What worked for you (or didn’t) in 2018?

5 thoughts on “What worked (or not) in 2018

  1. Congratulations on paying a year of school down!
    Sorry about the kitty death and euthanasia. Does the library have a book on litter boxes? That is probably a huge money maker for someone if they could get litter boxes to be memorable in a ‘look at me doing stewardship,’ way, not the ‘ugh, this stinks too much for man and beast – oh no, the beast thought so too!’ kind of way.

    Didn’t Sam also have a hospitalization? or was that last year?
    Also that scary polio like virus. I heard him on the World and Everything in it Podcast, as well as on CNN. When one spouse suffers or serves well the other one was in for a weird ride and probably didn’t get to talk about it much.

    Also didn’t J figure out where to study last year? That’s so turtle inducing, I’m glad next year is Matt’s start application/make decisions year.

    I do sort of think that a parent struggling to control the magic hand computer while also trying to keep healthy screen time usage with the rest of the family is what we get, it’s like sharing your budgeting process while not trying to freak them out. Maybe take notes on it, take Sabbaths from it, and look for patterns and metrics? I think we all need more research on it, but it’s one potent little time suck all right!

    It makes my day when I see you’ve blogged, and gives me a topic to take on too. Once hospital brain clears up, and I get better at poo.


    • Happily Sam’s hospitalization was three years ago! But AFM is definitely scary and it’s good to see him serving well. 🙂
      I hope you heal thoroughly and quickly, friend!


  2. Pingback: What worked in 2018? – Our Curious Home

  3. Pingback: New Year’s Thoughts, 2021 | Learning As We Go

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