2019 in Retrospective
2019 has been, what is politely called, a roller coaster. A whirlwind could also count. Or, you know – just plain old batshit crazy. Either way – here’s my 2019 in retrospective!
At the very end of 2018, me and the boyfriend had found out that we needed to move. It was the second consecutive time that we rented an apartment and, after about a year, the owner wanted to sell and as a consequence of this, we had to move.
While struggling to keep up with the gigantic amount of correcting I had to do, we were looking at houses multiple times every weekend, going for second visits on three different occasions, and even considering maybe building a house…
On the second of February 2019, we went back to visit a house – this time with my parents. The location was perfect in regards to both of our work, it was relatively new, relatively cheap… We put an offer in that same day, and it was accepted!
Unfortunately, the rest of February was a lot less fun – that’s to say, I got stuck in a lovely circle of angina, laryngitis, throat infection, and back to the angina. Something about not going to the doctor in time, overdoing it for months on end, and stress always hitting me in the throat…
Either way, February went from two fun days to feeling like absolute crap for weeks on end.
You know that saying, of hitting a wall? That was this entire month. It wasn’t quite a burn-out, but it was definitely too close for comfort. That basically resulted in me spending the entire month of March making comfort food, fruit salads, and of course: getting a lot of comfort reading done!
(With special thanks to the colleague who let me buy almost her entire collection of Baby-Sitter’s Club books!)
I’ve participated in a couple of readathons through the years, but April was the year where I really fell in love with one – namely, with the Magical Readathon, organised by Book Roast on YouTube.
Other than basically flying through books because of this challenge (and because, you know, Easter break), the majority of this month was still largely spent recovering from overdoing it during that academic year’s first term, and largely failing at that… (I am me, after all!)
Luckily, there were some lovely moments in there as well – me and the bf went on a weekend to Eindhoven and Valkenburg (we had rain, snow, sun – everything!), I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in years in Lille, and there were some family get together as well…
May was the month where, thanks in some part to being inspired by Maud over at My Passion Projects, I decided I would start learning again. In other words – in less than a month, I started and completed 5 different courses through Coursera (with excellent grades, I might add!).
This was also the month where we actually got the keys of our house – you know, the point where little old worry ward me could finally be at ease that we would actually get the house and nothing would go wrong with it. One thing scratched off the live list!
June – July
I remember nothing. I mean, I worked – a lot. I corrected – a lot. Prepared some classes. And some more. And then some.
We moved house, cleaned out the apartment, started living in the new one. There was a friend’s wedding in there somewhere as well. Other than that? Nothing.
August was a busy, busy month – we spent a week and a bit road travelling through Northern Wales, then there were two weeks of absolutely maddening amounts of correcting (again, I know), then my birthday as well as the stress of the new academic year almost starting up and knowing I would soon have to teach 2 classes that didn’t even exist yet? There was a fair amount of stress and non-resting…
This seems to be a reoccurring theme, but throughout the second half of the year, there’s quite a lot of “I honestly don’t remember”. I mean, I know September happened. I know I taught a lot of classes. I know I was really proud of myself for actually taking (at least part of) the weekend off. I know that stopped real quick. I averaged 100 hours of work per week – but I survived somehow.
The point where things went slightly beyond okay, beyond do-able, and beyond crazy? All this month. Working hours per week went slightly up. It was fun. (also, my parents stayed over at our place – that bit was actually fun)
November went downhill – fast. I was working approximately 16 hours a day, minimum, and what hours I wasn’t working, I was either on my way to work, back from work, or thinking about work. It wasn’t good. And it didn’t last long.
By the last week of November, a colleague asked me how I was doing – I started crying in the middle of the teacher’s lounge. The weirdest thing? I still wanted to go back to teaching after that – my colleague’s actually had to send me home, and told me I could only come back if I’d gone to see my GP.
Suffice it to say, I spent the next 2 weeks sleeping approximately 20-22 hours per day. I guess I was a little tired? And apparently, the past 8,5 years of non-stop pushing myself, and never really allowing myself a break? They took their toll on both my body and my mind.
If I still hoped to get back to work relatively quickly, the reality of December showed me that wasn’t quite reality – or realistic. Instead, I got to spend entirely too much time sleeping, talking to and working with my GP, my psychologist, my osteopath…
Trying to figure out exactly why I have this incessant need to be perfect, to make sure I’m doing more than anyone else, and then still feel as if I’m not doing enough. Why I still feel inherently less than and insufficient.
None of this was really all that conductive to a holiday spirit – and then my grandfather passed away two days after Christmas. I mean, we kinda knew it was coming – but it still shattered me. This is the man who made me practice the violin, who helped me with my homework, who was one of the kindest people
And then I got sick (from being so tired? From sadness? From “this is just my life right now”?) – sinusitis and bronchitis – you know, that fun stuff.
As I said – 2019’s been something of a roller coaster – I’ve been whipped from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other more than I care to acknowledge. There’s certainly a couple of things I’d be more than happy to leave behind in this year, before we move on to the next…