On a global level, it’s been a challenging last couple of years. As humans, we seem to be again making a turn of the wheel that gleefully encourages the rise of Nazism and its cousins under the guise of self protection (oh, my borders/money/white privilege/job I never wanted anyway!). Gun control isn’t a thing that anyone with the power to change the status quo wants to tackle. R. Kelly is still out there free to rape little black girls. As a result, in 2018, I drastically cut down my news consumption and really got into cat videos. Among all that foolishness out there in the world, I was determined to find some good things about the past year. Which is why I’ve made a list of some of my personal bests of 2018.
Nutpods: These little things are a miracle of the coffee and tea creamer variety. No, they are nothing like actual milk or cream. But if you find yourself on the Whole30 eating plan, Nutpods are completely approved for that. Plus it adds a delicious nutty flavor to your coffee that makes up for the lack of milk-based yumminess. If you’ve given up dairy for any reason, these miraculous lovelies are worth a try. The Hazelnut flavor is my current fave.
Red wine: Oh, how I used to take or leave thee… Now, I’m trying to make a glass of red wine something I indulge in at least twice a week. I swear it’s not a result of needing to be numb to the world’s foolishness. There’s some study out there that says a glass of red wine with dinner is good for the heart. Drinking a glass of rioja while curled up with a good book has to be even better.
A successful NaNoWriMo: Writing a novel in a month. I suppose I’ve technically done it before, but for NaNo 2018, the book I had finished by November 30 was actually well…finished. When I re-read it, the novel felt complete and didn’t need another six months of editing to make it into something I actually liked. I proved to myself that I can do it and do it well. I even had a glass of red wine to celebrate.
Good Spanish bread items: Spanish food isn’t quite to my taste. After spending a few months in Madrid eating just about everything put in front of me, I gave up trying to find anything I actually enjoyed (except this really amazing lentil soup). But since I had to eat, I fell face-first into a local bakery and didn’t look back. For months, I had a veritable orgy of olive bread, pan con cereales, caracoles con pasas de uva (amazing raisin roll things shaped like snails), spinach empanadillas, empanadas de pollo, and so much more. I basically came back to the U.S. bread shaped.
Giving myself permission to love in ways I haven’t before: Part of 2017 and most of 2018 were a revelation for me. These months gave me a different type of insight into myself. I clearly saw the parts of me I was leaving behind and the version of myself standing in front of me. An identity I embraced as a teenager, through my twenties, and during most of my thirties didn’t feel right any more. My “lesbian” box no longer fit, so 2018 saw me decisively climbing out of it and into a different space. For now, “pansexual” feels right. And why not? If it’s good enough for Janelle Monae…
Ending 2018 not knowing that sometimes it’s necessary to express a cat’s anal glands: I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.
I embraced all these life-expanding things about last year and, even with the f*ckery of what will surely come in 2019, I plan to enjoy the ensuing days as much as possible, universe willing.
Happy New Year to you. Find joy. Be love. And try to reduce your own as*hole tendencies whenever possible.