The year 2018 in the rear view mirror at first glance looks uneventful; at least personally speaking. But like for many in the world, it has been tumultuous to say the least.
I changed jobs after exactly six years to the date. For those who’re mired in (legal) immigration uncertainty, you may empathize that such decisions aren’t taken lightly. Whether it was a dopaminergic decision in an attempt to look for something new & exciting or a need to find a more fulfilling workplace or simply an itch to do more substantive work, only time will tell. For now, I only know that it was a big decision not taken lightly and had kept me up on a few nights. But as my Sleep Cycle app will attest, the quality of my sleep has gone up drastically in the last few weeks.
On the personal front, my parents visited from India for an extended visit of nearly two months. That’s the longest they’ve stayed with us. Popular Facebook-ian myths may narrate this as a joyous and bonding time but reality was something else. Nothing too melodramatic, as is the case with our family, but a sense of maybe we don’t have much in common after years of growing apart, literally and figuratively. Their deteriorating physical and mental health also hasn’t been easy to watch but we have avoided parenting them and have been there for them to the extent we can.
On a more closer personal front, life has been chugging along great with my wife and son. The kid is now 7 years old and is enjoying not only school but also his two primary extra-curricular activities - martial arts and piano. Or as I see it, fodder for his body and mind. His highlight of the year was winning two golds and one silver at the World Kuk Sool Won (WKSA) tournament. He’s progressed greatly in his swimming lessons too so we have cut back on other sporting activities that have had us get up early on Saturday mornings for the past 5 years.
Our dogs unfortunately could’ve had a better year. Leo is still experiencing infrequent seizures and is now on twice-a-day medication and Lucy had two surgeries in a span of two months. One that involved extracting all but seven teeth and second that started with an ultrasound and ended with surgery to remove stones from her bladder. She’s also diagnosed with Cushing’s which can only be medicated. Hopefully, the worst is behind them and they lead better lives in 2019.
We went a bit more green in our lives by getting solar panels installed on our roof. To date, 71% of our electricity consumption has been powered by solar energy. We also got rid of the pesky monthly mortgage insurance thanks to a tip we read on Apple News, of all places. I read 15 books, mostly a mix of fiction and non-fiction, this year and as always I hope to read more next year. We watched 44 movies; 7 of which I rated 5-stars. We cancelled HBO and Hulu halfway through the year and relied only on Netflix. While the rest of you were going crazy over dystopian shows, we decided there was enough of it in the real world and escaped to the safe confines of mindless drama such as ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Riverdale’ although ‘Death in Paradise’ is a nice escapist detective show. It truly was the idiot box year for us but we slept better. In terms of travel, we enjoyed our vacations to Death Valley and the Oregon Coast and we hope to continue our National Parks pilgrimage this year too.
Overall, it was a year of sudden spikes of activity and low points of despair and frustration, much like the stock market. I, for one, am looking forward to a more steady 2019.