Here’s to applying the ethic of ‘better late than never’ for this reflective 2018 post. I can’t resist an excuse to look back; to muse on all the rich stuff last year had to offer. In fact, I’m cracking open my journal right now to help me write. Lucky you.

2018 had a pretty good highlight reel..

  • I turned 27, a fine age.

  • I went to Nepal and led my first overseas mission trip.

  • I went to my first conference, in New Orleans.

  • I ran my first 5K (though confess that a current New Year’s resolution is to start a running routine again, I fell out of habit).

  • I gained a boyfriend, Nate. He’s kind of been a wonderful part of my whole year.

  • I visited Nate’s family in Alberta, and he came to hang out with mine in England (a slightly longer commute from Vancouver).

  • I moved house, changed housemates and completely changed job roles.

  • Places I visited included Seattle, London and Banff National Park.

  • I returned to England twice - Summertime and Christmas time.

  • I gained my fifth nephew (Jesse, our family is richer with you in it).

  • My camera kit added a family member too - a wide angle lens (this is a big deal people).

It’s fun to type all this out and reflect on the joy that 2018 gave me, but I also want to voice that I found 2018 to be bravery-demanding too. I had a heap of fear dissuading me against going to Nepal, realising I’d been carrying quite a bit of baggage from not properly healing from previous overseas mission trips. Getting to know Nate has been marvellous, but also one of the most vulnerable, self-reflective things too. It’s included a queue of opportunities for me to be bold and brave. Changing job roles felt unsure and foolish (though exciting too, which I’m a sucker for), and I spoke in New Orleans which I felt under-qualified for. So here’s to 2018, a year that felt like courage was rewarded.

As 2019 gets comfortable I find myself enthusiastic to seize an opportunity to adjust some habits in my life. Y’know, read more, watch TV less - that kind of thing. My biggest hope this year is to become a better cook. I’d love to understand food more and feel that’d help me live out some of my conscious-living convictions (like better understanding how to ‘eat in season’, and to be clever about avoiding food waste) but mostly so I can be more hospitable. Hold me accountable world.

Bethan Uitterdijk