Generally speaking, 2018 was not as remarkable a year as 2017. My daughter was born at the end of 2016, so 2017 was a year of transitioning into parenthood. In addition, I began a new and very different role at work. There was a
2018 was more about going with the flow. Even my word for the year, cultivate, indicated a lack of novelty. It wasn’t a bad year at all, but in sitting down to write this post, I’m definitely not as struck by the decisions I’ve made in the last 12 months. Nevertheless, there are some choices worth sharing in the hopes they help you too.
paying off my last student loan
Certainly paying off my loans wasn’t entirely a decision I made in 2018. I’ve been paying more than the minimum and throwing extra money at my undergrad loans occasionally since I graduated in 2007. I wasn’t nearly as dedicated to getting rid of the loans as some awesome people I know, but I still managed to make my final payment last spring. It has been very, very nice to not be paying for college anymore.
taking the summer “off”
For the first time in our professional careers, neither Brian or I went to work this summer. It was a good thing too, because it turned out to be one of the most full and fast summers I can remember. Between required school trainings and travels to see family, we were away almost as much as we were home. I am grateful that we had the freedom to spend time with E and the foresight not to schedule the additional obligation of employment into July and August.
This summer, Brian and I took advantage of the generosity of his parents and traveled to South Carolina for a few days. It was our first trip as a couple since E was born and it was really nice to get away alone. We soaked in as much culture, food and history as we could during our time and we’ve already made plans to take a child-free vacation in 2019.
participating in my workplace health programs
Last spring I was made aware of a program offered by my employer through my insurance. Mine is through MIIA, but apparently many states and employers offer similar opportunities. MIIA’s Well Aware program provides monthly health-related challenges (exercise, drinking water, mindfulness, fermented foods, decreasing sugar, etc) that are rewarded with prizes and, if you complete enough challenges, gift cards. It’s been really fun to try some new healthy habits and get rewards in return. I highly recommend seeing if your health insurance and employer offer something similar.
using my teacher discount for Todoist Business
Todoist is one of the most essential tools in my life and I adore it. I’ve been using it to track all my to-dos (from grocery items to grad school assignments to work meetings to plans with my husband) since at least 2014. This year I discovered that Todoist offers a 70% discount on its business plan for teachers and students, making it cheaper than the premium plan I’d been paying for. I’ll definitely continue this approach to purchasing Todoist in the future; I’m happy to support an app that I rely on and help fund the improvements they continually release.
Missed last year’s post? Read Six of the Best Decisions I Made in 2017.