top pictures from my instagram with the title 2018 Annual Review

2018 Annual Review

I want to follow a traditional template for this year’s annual review1. Last year, I did a month by month summary, and the two years before that, I didn’t do a review at all. So this review will answer the following three questions:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What did I learn?

What went well this year?

saarubia wedding

Wedding – I’ve never planned a wedding before and never before have I been part of the details of a wedding. That being said, the wedding turned out pretty good! I’m still so glad I handmade the invitations, I absolutely love them. I’m still glad I went with simple, rustic, DIY centre pieces for the table with the added fresh flowers. I loved my wedding dress. The food was delicious and my henna was gorgeous and super extra (just the way I wanted). The wedding consumed a large part of my attention in 2018, so I’m glad it didn’t end up being a disappointment for me.

Travel – I took 4 trips to 4 places this year; one was brand new, one was sorta new, and two were repeats.

In February, we as a family flew to Pakistan for about a week to attend my cousin’s wedding and also do some wedding shopping of our own. It was the first time I visited Pakistan in over a decade. A lot has changed and a lot hasn’t. It was fascinating to see that blood ties can feel (and be!) so strong when you’re together and then fade from immediate attention when you leave.

In July, I flew to Waterloo for a weekend to attend a high school friend’s wedding ceremony. I’ve been to Waterloo a few times for different reasons, but it was the first time I flew into Waterloo – it’s such a quaint and tiny airport.

In October, Saad and I made a trip to Edmonton to visit Bobbi and Travis, attend The Mosquers together, and visit a close family friend’s newborn daughter. It was our first official trip as a married couple! Although a quick jaunt to Edmonton isn’t all that big a deal, it was nice.

aurooba + saad at haleakala summit during sunset

In December, Saad and I had a 2 week honeymoon adventure through Hawaii. A recap of that is coming soon, but it was a lovely time. We explored 3 islands: Oahu, Maui, and Big Island.

Relationships – I went into the year with a few relationships that felt strained and tumultuous, and I really wanted to sort those out. Overall, I achieved this goal and it has made some parts of my life much more pleasant than they used to be. 🙂

Saad and I got married and lived together for 5 months and thrived! There were arguments for sure and adjustments in our day to day habits to accommodate each other, but overall there were no surprises. What we’ve learned and known about each other in the past 3 years was still true and still good.

What didn’t go so well this year?

Health – I simply didn’t take care of myself at all in 2018. I didn’t eat well, physical activity was at an all time low (with the exception of my honeymoon in Hawaii), and my immune system was quite weak. I suffered from stress induced insomnia, unexplained fatigue, and all sorts of stress related stupidness.

Career – Except for a couple projects, I didn’t work very hard on the business. Priorities shifted around a lot, I was often too focused on my personal life and let work related things slide, etc. My work life felt unsatisfactory overall, although there were definitely some bright spots.

What did I learn?

I didn’t anticipate how much of an impact a wedding would have on my day to day schedule and ability to concentrate. The wedding itself was not quite as consuming as a lot of the things, people, and relationships surrounding it. I was completely unprepared for it. I definitely need a better way to manage shifts, big events, and situations like that in my life.

The amount of stress I felt impacted every aspect of my life and looking back, a lot of that stress could have been avoided if I had been more vigilant and protective of my time and boundaries. My mental health is incredibly important and not protecting it (from a sense of obligation, politeness, or misguided affection) made things tough. I need to maintain and uphold my boundaries more strongly.

Eating haphazardly and giving up my walks because of how ‘busy’ I was, was stupid. Never again. I need to take better care of myself going forward.

In Conclusion

2018 was the year I got married. That’s how I will remember this year.

Aside from that, this year was more of an exercise in what not to do rather than ‘what a great year!’

I had a lot of fun with the wedding. I did a number of DIY projects and brought together a lot of friends and family. Many fond and happy memories were created for sure. The wedding invitations and the rustic centre pieces are some of my favourite projects I’ve done in a while.

However, aside from the joy I felt at having married Saad, I came away with a feeling of incompleteness. A lot of things I did felt incomplete in 2018; like they were never-ending and constantly dragging on; this was incredibly draining.

I want to emphasize that the year didn’t feel particularly bad while I was living it. It’s when I look back on it and see the trends that I realize how stressful and hectic this past year was. In the moment, it just felt like everyday life, y’know? I was swept up in urgent things and not so focussed on what I wanted overall (this concept will be familiar to anyone who’s read 7 Habits).

So there you have it, folks. That was my 2018.

Now onwards we go into 2019. I’d really love for it to be a great year, and I feel pumped and excited to make it so. Stay tuned for my one little word and goals for 2019.