What 2018 taught me – a reflection post

So, I’m sitting here and feeling rather reflective as it edges ever nearer to the end of one year and the start of another. If you read my Why I never have a New Year’s resolution post then you will know that I’m not into the idea of making changes and having resolutions just because a new year has arrived, but, I am all about reflecting on what has happened in a year and being grateful for the good and willing to learn from/ let go of the bad. So, that’s what I’m going to do here. Like the sun setting in the image above 2018 is rapidly reaching it’s end, so I’m going to share with you what I am most grateful for this year and what I am happy to be leaving behind. I haven’t planned this post so I’m interested to see what comes as I start writing. I hope you enjoy reading this!

Ok, shall we start with the positives? I reckon that’s best, always better to begin on a good note.

personal growth

I have felt so much better within myself this year, probably more so than any other year that I can remember. 2018 has been the year where I took the pressure off and just allowed life to go on. By that I mean, I am an undeniable control freak. I crave perfection and I get super stressed if I feel like things aren’t as they should be or are taking too long to get to a certain point etc. This year however, I seem to have been able to just accept that ‘it is what it is’. I have so much to be grateful for and I have finally been able to accept that rather than be preoccupied by the ‘yes that’s great but this and that needs more work’ thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, those thoughts are still there, they always will be because that’s me but I don’t view them as negatives anymore, instead they are motivation to keep working hard to achieve what I want without allowing myself to be dictated to by what I don’t have. I don’t know how this happened, maybe it’s just a sign of getting older. I definitely didn’t plan on doing this (even though I knew it was needed) but I’m so grateful it happened because I have definitely seen how beneficial it is to my mental and emotional state!

beyondthefrontcover was finally brought to fruition

Creating a blog is something that I have wanted to do for probably about 8 years now. I began to seriously consider it 2 years ago and it was at that point that multiple notebooks were filled with name ideas, colour schemes, blog post ideas and so on. It was only this year however that I actually created it and sent it live. Why did it take so long? Well, because I did what I do best and talked myself out of it. I managed to think up every possible reason of why people wouldn’t want to read it and forget to consider all the reasons why people would want to read it. I wouldn’t fully admit that though, not even to myself. Instead I decided that it was because I didn’t have the time, or I couldn’t think of the perfect name, or I had to focus on other things. You name the reason, I attempted to convince myself at some point that was why. It wasn’t though, in actual fact, I was afraid to do it, fearful of a bad reception or no reception at all! But eventually I realised that if I created it and put it out there for myself first and foremost then everything else would fall into place along the way. It seems to be getting there, albeit slowly, so fingers crossed that continues into 2019!

Realising that what I want to do is as important as what I have to do

I used to call it procrastinating when I was at Uni. You know, that familiar feeling of having to start an assignment but not knowing where to begin so you stare at a blank page for ages before convincing yourself that the reason you can’t start it is because the household chores absolutely must be done first! It’s not procrastination though is it? I don’t think so, not for me anyway. I think I have been guilty of doing what has to be done first rather than prioritising what I want sometimes because I felt bad. But that’s just silly! Ever since I have calmed down and realised that it is ok to read a bit of a book or do some writing before I clean the bathroom I have not only been happier and less stressed but I have been more productive overall as well. Win win! And guess what?! The world hasn’t ended if the wash basket remained overflowing for an extra day because I read a couple more chapters of a book.

My friends and family

This year more than any other I feel so grateful for my friends, family and boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been grateful for them but this year more than any other I have actually paid attention to it. I have realised that quality time is so important and has such a positive effect on how I’m feeling. So, whether that is cooking a meal with my boyfriend and having a chat, grabbing a coffee with a friend when we finish work (even if it’s only for half an hour), or delaying driving home from my parents house for an extra hour, it all counts and it all makes me feel happier than I would if I skipped it or didn’t make the time for it. So, even if I’m tired or my to-do list is jam packed I’m going to make sure that I continue to find the time for the people that are important to me! Whilst I’m on this subject, I want to quickly thank those people for finding the time for me as well (you know who you are)!

So, those are my highlights, my stand out moments of 2018 that I am most happy and grateful for. That’s not to say that this year has been a perfect year however, (does such a thing even exist?!) so I’m now going to share what I’m looking forward to leaving behind as this year draws to a close.

People that don't deserve me

Thankfully this list is super small! However I have realised this year that there are a couple of people who have shown themselves to be different to what I believed them to be. It’s hard enough to spend enough time with the people that bring positivity to my life and actually care about me so I definitely don’t have time for those who only bring the opposite! To be brutally honest, I’m not even sad about this. Why? Because since I distanced myself from the negativity I have discovered how much happier I am and how these people took away from my life, they weren’t bringing anything to it! When I look at it in that way, I have benefitted rather than lost anything.


This one relates to the personal growth section above. As much as I am ending the year feeling much more comfortable within myself, it definitely didn’t start that way! The past few years were a struggle for me with insecurities and lots and lots of doubts and this year didn’t begin any differently! In fact, it was only towards the end that the improvements really showed themselves. So, yes, I’m definitely happy to be turning my back on the doubts that I brought into 2018, they can do one!

I’m coming back to continue writing this post after a good hour and about 4 coffees. Why? Because I have been wracking my brain trying to think of anything else negative that I’m happy to be leaving behind as the new year arrives. I can’t think of anything else though, and that makes me smile because it shows that 2018 has been a really good year for me. I literally have double the amount of things to be grateful for versus those that made the ‘negative’ list and I didn’t appreciate that until I wrote them all down.

Therefore, I’m not going to spend any more time looking for what I’m grateful for or not grateful for. Instead, I’m going to wish everybody a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! I would totally recommend that you spend some time reflecting on what 2018 means to you, both positively and negatively. You might end up feeling surprised like I did!

As always, I invite you to share any thoughts with me. Thanks for reading and bring on 2019!

Until the next time…Jess x



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