On December 31 my husband and I sat and reminisced about the last 12 months. Over our empty brunch plates and in our pjs at the kitchen table, we walked through all the things we’d experienced. We did it again yesterday when we sat down for our six months married dinner date, remembering how the first six months of 2018 felt like f o r e v e r in time, while the last six months felt like they flew by.
I’m almost ready to share about my word/theme for the year, as well as what I heard over Epiphany weekend, so I felt like it would be a great intro to how poignant and specific to me/this next year that word/theme/message really is by reviewing the last year.
One thing to keep in mind: I think it’s a gift I’ve been given, and have nurtured, to be vulnerable with my life online, but vulnerability requires boundaries. Everything I share has been shared with other people before the internet, and everything I don’t share is just between me and a few close people. This may not be the whole story, but my whole story is for God & my tight circle of people whose opinion really matters. Amen.
Moving along. 2018!
Picked a wedding date & a custom ring design, set up a meeting with our priest to move forward with that, Brandon went on a work trip for 10 days that felt like 10 years, a group of friends rented a house in Sechelt for a weekend (bless), I had the c r a z i e s t month of work at my old job that led to a stress induced sinus infection (doc’s words!).
My friends got the cutest puppy & I got to help house sit him! The ring we’d ordered wasn’t started, nor designed correctly, so Brandon got his money back and bless sweet Jesus we got a simple gold band AND GOT ENGAGED in the same day. Lent began, wedding decisions made and paid for, struggled to keep it together at work. Spoke at Freedom (a high school youth event).
Hit my one year working at my old job! Had the last straw at our rental (or last squirrel, I should say) so the Garden Gals moved mid month! Brandon left his job, I was having a real hard time with mine l o l o l o l. The people I worked with are AMAZING, but the stress & undiagnosed depression because of the stress was just the worst. Bless those people for being such bright lights in the darkness. Many laughs had about non-work related things while at work, even amidst all the madness.
Women’s retreat environment gathered & executed, didn’t even know I was in the throes of a deeeeep depression while trying to get through each day so everything felt hard. Even with Lent being over everything felt difficult. Started running. One of the Garden Gals left for home in the prairies. Started going to the diocesan marriage prep.
Aaaaaand stopped going to marriage prep (a very disappointing experience – more on this soon. We did a different marriage prep instead!). Moved in with my sister, had my bridal shower, finally realized something was definitely wrong with my health, photographed a wedding, doc confirmed “major depression” and told me to take time off work. Bachelorette weekend followed by figuring out how to get on EI while also paying for a wedding yaaaay. My bridal shower, that wedding, and my bachelorette are bright spots in a dark month.
Started counselling, had my 27th birthday, decided my only goal was to “do one thing a day” so I delegated almost everything about our wedding to other people. Bless our community for doing everything for us when I/we couldn’t. Did our engagement photos!
Brandon’s birthday/our wedding in the same day! Honeymoon at Sparkling Hills, Aldergrove Fair Days, went back to work part time. Marriage was great, but everything still felt h a r d.
Went to the air show! Started melting down a lot again. It’s kind of a blur, tbh, but I know I discerned to leave my job in order to get better. I also got my camera situation sorted because I’d broken it at the end of 2017… and then second shot a couple of weddings!
Shot a wedding, gave my notice, finished planning the men’s retreat environment & executed it. Started running again. Another niece was born!
Final days at my old job, launched new branding/website/blog – what a GIFT to have so much support! Shot a wedding! Booked all the things! Went to the pumpkin patch! Still a hard month, but I saw more of my brain making a comeback. Had a cyst on my ovary burst – awful, debilitating pain.
Gave up running because that cyst pain lasted w e e k s. Most of my days were just lying on the couch. November was difficult on a pain & depression level. BUT I also wrote an Advent devotional for engaged couples!
“Delight” became the word for Advent, a deeply felt gift after a gong show of a year. Depression sucks and this month was the first I felt PRESENT to my life for more than just a day at a time. Everything felt magical, even though some other personal things were weighing heavy on me. Started feeling social again, so I saw friends I hadn’t seen in a long time. Photographed a wedding. STARTED TRAVELLING FOR WEDDINGS AGAIN YAAY. Spent New Year’s with my husband.
Overall: A hard, hard year, with absolutely golden moments woven throughout. “The best & the worst all at once,” the phrase I came to say whenever someone asked about my 2018 in a nutshell.
Everything changed. My socializing, my address (x3), my income, my health, my friendships, my body (more on this soon), my ability to handle “normal life stuff”, my job, my relationship. And still – it is well. Not just after having come through depression and still be here, but in the middle of it, too. God is good all the time. I know those dark days are going to be used for gold.