So 2018 ends. So 2019 is about to begin.

Cue the “Circle of Life” song from the Lion King. Another year is upon us.

And what did we learn from 2018?

Maybe nothing. Maybe a little. Maybe a whole lot of something.

For me, 2018 was a year of making good on promises — to myself and others. I promised myself and my family that things would be different after we moved from Appalachia to North Carolina. Then I had a hard time moving forward. In 2018, I read a lot and somehow found the courage and motivation needed to fix things that I knew needed to be fixed but was too scared to do so.

Ditching the booze

For my kids, this was the biggest issue of contention with them, especially my daughter. After several false starts of trying to stop drinking alcohol, I started again in July — July 8 to be exact.

It’s not easy being alcohol-free in a world that honors wine-time for mom after a hard day with the kids, or has events specifically made around cozying up to a pint of your favorite beer. Let’s face it, after-race beer is divine.

But I found it disturbing that my kids would see root beer and other sodas in glass bottles and act like they were drunk. Or that we’d have discussions about the dangers of alcohol, but there I was with a drink in my hand — preaching against the very thing I was doing.

Now, almost six months of being sober I can see a change. My body composition is a little more slim, probably because I lost all those calories I was drinking. My complexion is more normal and my hair looks healthy again.

The fact that I don’t wake up with a hangover is nice. I do however hate the fact that I am now a carb addict, and will eat any and all cookies on site. From what I hear, that’s normal when ditching alcohol.

If you ask me what my favorite drink is, I’d still say Bloody Marys. I like them virgin through, with lots of olives and maybe a pickle. Celery is meh.

Changing Careers

I will be honest, I have disliked being a copy editor for a while. You just sit in the office, move stuff on the screen, and get told a lot about how your job is an obsolete profession that monkeys can do.

After reading Rachel Hollis’ book “Girl Wash Your Face,” I knew that I had to change my career. I had tried so many times and failed that I just stopped trying. Hollis reminded me to keep at it.

I landed an editor’s job at a small weekly in northeastern North Carolina. I get to write stories, take photos, deal with subscribers … pretty much a bit of everything. I missed doing this so much.

Redefining Fitness

This year, I got a coach to help me stick to my fitness goals.

I needed someone — who wasn’t a family member — to keep me on track. While having my kids workout with me is great, I have also dealt with frequent name-calling and put-downs by some family members and friends. At times, it got to the point that I let the negativity affect me and it derailed my fitness goals.

I’ve known Andy at for about five years online through the Sub-30 Club. So, we did 12-week plan to help me get back into shape.

I can now say that I run 4 miles without needing to stop when the weather is right. I’ve trimmed down a bit and feel a lot better than when I was floundering around on my own.

Andy won’t be able to help me train for GORUCK events or Tough-Mudders. We did, however, work out a new plan that says “Cross-train today” so I don’t forget. My current plan is 16-week and incorporates strength and yoga workouts into a 5-day a week running plan. This time, we’re going to work on improving my speed and overall fitness level. The goal is to do a half marathon in April. I have it already picked out, I just need to officially sign up.

This time, I’m also getting my daughter involved. She wants to run more than her usual 5ks, so we’re working on getting ready for either an 8k or 10k. We just need to find a race.

I hope you had a great holiday. May your 2019 be awesome! I can’t wait!!