Today I took down my 2018 Beauty and the Beast (live-action) calendar and have my Thomas Kinkade Disney calendar all ready to go above my desk. Yup, you know what that means. A new year is upon us–yet again.
I’ve done a New Year’s Resolutions blog post every year since I started this blog back in 2015. One thing that seems consistent with these few blog posts is this: time goes by so, so fast. Faster every year. Honestly, ever since I graduated from high school, life has just whizzed by. I think it took me all this fall semester to register that I was a junior in college and only had about a year and a half of school left. When I first started Lumerit in the spring of 2017, I thought school would never, ever end. Now I wonder what my life will be like when it’s over and I hold that Bachelor’s degree in my hands.
Well, I don’t know yet. All I know is every year that passes I’ve changed a little bit and (hopefully) become more adult-ish. I’m afraid that’s the best I can do–keep trying to be a better person than I was last year.
Anyway, I usually give a quick review of how I fared in my year’s resolutions and what I hope to achieve in the next. This year, however, I want start by listing a few things that stand out from 2018.
First, here are some new “things” (books, movies, music, etc.) I discovered in 2018:
- Call the Midwife – After rewatching Downton Abbey, I needed a new British show to watch on my own. Per a friend’s recommendation last year, I watched the first season of Call the Midwife on Netflix, but it wasn’t until the summer of this year that I really got into the show. All of a sudden I couldn’t stop talking about it and watched it every second I could take control of the TV remote. It’s not exaggerating to say I’m obsessed. And this summer was also when I found the soundtrack on Spotify–every song is so emotional, I just can’t.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – When I saw that Lily James was starring in the Netflix movie adaptation, I was immediately hooked. But first I got the audiobook from the library and listened to it with my sister. Then we watched the incredibly darling movie. I hope to review this book on Literature Approved in the New Year, but until then, I just want to say that it taught me so much about World War II and its effects in a very new way.
- The Giver – My sisters and I actually watched this movie on New Year’s Eve last year for the first time…and we were amazed. Not only is the soundtrack amazing (I love me a good movie soundtrack 😉 ) but the story was so captivating and the cinematography was beautiful.
- The Greatest Showman – I know right now you’re either thinking “not you, too!” or “yesallssss, she knows what’s up!”. Well…yup. 😉 I heard the hype, I saw the movie. It wasn’t love at first sight (mostly because I was thrown for a loop–it was much different than what I thought it was going to be) but it grew on me. Rather than being centered around the circus, it was about an insecure man seeking affirmation from all the wrong places and learning to find joy and contentment in where he was.
- Harry Potter – After reading the Hunger Games two years ago, I decided the next “bandwagon” series I should read was Harry Potter–and finally find out what all the hype is about. WELL. I’ve been slowly reading the series (and watching the movies) throughout the year (in my defense, books 4-7 are each more than 500 pages!) and I’m currently reading the 7th and final novel. It’s not a perfect series by any stretch of the imagination, but it really is amazing. I just love J.K. Rowling’s characters and the world she built. I can’t wait to write an all-encompassing book review when I finish Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows next year! 🙂
Second, here are my top three highlights of the year:
- Jane Austen Summer Program – Celebrating the 200th anniversary of both Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley at this four day conference this summer was just absolutely amazing. Not only did I get to do it all with one of my closest friends, AnnaScott, but I got to attend my first ever Regency ball (in a dress I sewed myself–with some help from my cousin, Erin)! I danced to songs from the Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Wives and Daughters films and could not have been closer to heaven.
- Cousins moving from Seattle to Raleigh – This Christmas we stayed home (instead of visiting relatives from Canada like we usually do) because we have family that live here. My Aunt Andrea, Uncle Steve and cousins Jessica and Jeremy used to live in Plano, Texas, with us when I was much younger, but we eventually went our separate ways. However, after my family and Jeremy and his wife Erin moved to Raleigh four years ago, we were determined to get everyone else here. And it worked! Jessica and Jon and their little family moved here from Seattle this June and my aunt and uncle are moving from New York next February. It’s going to be like my childhood days all over again–except this time, we’re playing with Jessica and Jon’s kids instead of being the kids ourselves! 🙂
- Trip to NYC – One of the most magical things that happened to me this year was the spontaneous trip to New York City Mom and I took–all so I could meet my favorite childhood author, Gail Carson Levine, in person!!! There was a signing for her new book (a prequel to the beloved Ella Enchanted) half an hour from where my aunt lives in New York and I was determined to get all 13 of my books signed by her at last. Looking forward to sharing more details about this dream come true next year as well!
And finally, now that I’ve given you a peek into my wonderful 2018, I want to share my goals for this year and how I did:
- Read 30 books. With two days to spare, I finished reading my 30th book of the year! This is double the amount of books I read last year, so I’m very pleased.
- Edit The Whistler Daughters and send it to a literary agency. Surprisingly enough, I did reach this goal. It was rejected, but I’m really glad I tried.
- If nothing much happens with The Whistler Daughters, edit and self-publish Bridget Returns. I did edit Bridget Returns and sent it to a few peers for thoughts, but I didn’t get anywhere near self-publishing. However, I edited The War Within and also continued writing in Endeavoring. I’m proud that I worked on so many projects and made writing a priority.
Goals for 2019:
- Read 40 books. Within this goal, I want to do something new, which is complete a 13 book reading challenge I found online. This challenge lists certain criteria for each book (i.e., book published before I was born, three books by the same author, book in the backlist of a favorite author, etc.).
- Finish writing Endeavoring.
- Work toward self-publishing either Bridget Returns or The War Within.
Well, I guess I’ll see you next year with the outcome of my goals! Until then, let’s keep in mind this wonderful quote from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it…yet.”