In Retrospect

I have mixed feelings about 2018… and overthinking various moments and decisions of the year which recently came to its end won’t help, that much I know. I also know I’m not the only one in this situation; like many others, I’m trying to focus on accomplishments, positive outcomes and lessons learnt from those less than pleasant moments. In spite of everything else, I still manage to hold on to that feeling of contentment I was mentioning in December.


I started the year away from home, after several years of refusing to leave the town over the holidays… and this time, I didn’t regret it.


I did get plenty of chances (more than I actually wanted) to contemplate the white, frozen vastness last winter, both by the sea and in the mountains.


In fact, March arrived with more than flowers… it also brought blizzard, ice, a thick paralyzing layer of snow and surprisingly low temperatures for the area. How can anyone still ignore these frightening climate changes?…


We’ve become so used to seeing spring win the battle, in a burst of beauty, hope and renewal. Sadly, it’s no longer that easy to differentiate between the four seasons.


One good thing about 2018 is that I did manage to travel – less than I wanted, but more than I expected. Everything fell into place, and after having cancelled this trip to Germany so many times over the past 2-3 years, I finally made it back there. It wasn’t what I expected, it was so much more… a great road trip and a beautiful reunion with someone very dear to me.


I haven’t actually travelled to any countries I haven’t visited before, but I did get to discover new places and see the old ones in a new perspective. Travelling to Greece was entirely different than my trip to Germany, but it was equally amazing and fulfilling.


Over here, there’s no better time than summer if you want to break free and relax, at the same time.


Most of my photos used to be taken during trips or on special occasions. But I managed to find so many everyday life moments worth capturing this year… Aside from helping me be more appreciative of little things and let them make a difference, this sort of activity is so calming. I enjoy taking a walk, especially when I’m stressed or angry, but if I focus on taking some photos, I stop overthinking and obsessing about everything that’s bothering me… at least for a short while.


We don’t always get the chance to travel as much as we’d like or to see all those amazing places on our bucket list, but even a one day trip locally can be refreshing and fun. That’s something worth remembering.


Winter came early this year. For the first time since I live here, it snowed in November… real snow, covering everything for several days, not just a few errant flakes. Well, that was a surprise, and not exactly a pleasant one, in spite of the pretty white scenery.


Winter came, than it was gone, than it returned, and so on… Let’s just say it was looking a lot more like Christmas at the end of November than it did on Christmas day, as you can see. But it was perfect for a nice walk by the sea, all too necessary after all those delicious meals. Yes, I did indulge, like so many others… And this is how we lazily crawled into 2019 – with good food, good wine, good times and good people.

Then there’s the other side of 2018, the one which made me a bit more humble, and a lot more grateful for being in good health, for still being relatively young, and for having the people I love most still alive and well. Three persons I knew passed away in 2018, one of them right on Christmas Eve… While I wasn’t very close to them, they were all closely related to someone very dear to me. I know that at least two of these persons wished to have more time, they clung on to life with every bit of strength they had and fought to the very last second, leaving behind grieving families.

Yes, it was a humbling year. We generally take our life for granted, when in fact it’s so fragile… we open our eyes and start appreciating what we have when we see how easily we can lose it, when we see the pain such a loss brings to others, less fortunate than us. We will eventually be in their shoes, one way or another, so we might as well enjoy and appreciate our good fortune while we have it.

Finally, Ann-Christine, while I have no image to illustrate it, I know exactly what moment in 2018 I’m most grateful for; and I really don’t mind playing favourites with this one. I called the second time, the phone rang, just like it had seconds earlier, but this time my friend answered. Everything was fine. While driving to my place for New Year’s, my oldest, closest friend got into a car accident. I was on the phone with him while it happened; I heard everything until his phone lost the Bluetooth connection. I didn’t know what was happening… but I felt what was happening. In spite of reasonably assuming what must have happened, I was terrified until the moment he answered and told me he was fine and was out of the crashed car without a scratch.

It’s times like these when priorities shift and what is really important becomes more clear than ever. Like I said, I have mixed feelings about 2018. In many ways, it was a year of learning – learning more about myself, learning new things, new skills, learning how to grow up a little bit more, and learning a little bit more about growing in general.

May 2019 be a better, more peaceful year for all of us!

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23 Replies to “In Retrospect”

    1. Hi. I think you got the wrong Ana, you linked to my blog instead of The Abstract Muse, so you might have to try again and let her know. That being said, this was a lovely read. 🙂


  1. A very enjoyable post, Ana, in spite of the accident at the end. That was a unique experience for you to listen to it all happening over the phone. So much emotion must have been coursing through you. A very terrifying scene but also one of mystery and gratitude.
    I love all your photos. They blend in perfectly with your text.
    Have a very Happy New Year! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol! A Happy New Year to too! 🙂 ❤
      It was an emotional moment… while I regret that accident had to happen, I don't regret having witnessed it that way (I know how strange that must sound).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ana, it doesn`t sound strange at all to me. You had no choice really in this. Well, you could have hung up but that would have been inhumane. In some strange way it was a privilege for you to witness this scene. I think such extraordinary incidents which cross our lives, enrich them as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is correct, sooner or later the shoes will change and we must be grateful as long as we can still walk. I also like how you’ve realised that an hour away can mean as much as an exotic destination. I wish you an excellent year, Ana!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am also glad your friend was okay –
    And enjoyed the way you integrated the pics from the year with your words
    Absolutely loved the way the pic went from ice snowy in February to the flowers of March – felt beautiful
    As did the rest!
    And cheers to a great 2019

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Amy. Nice topic for this week’s Lens-Artists challenge, I enjoyed reading some more about your trip, and your photos and the flute music were such a treat.
      A happy 2019 to you too!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Sigh, I really love how you manage to capture the beauty of daily life and the drudgery as well. I feel for you. Heaven forbid should the line totally dead, pardon the expression. Take care and here’s to a better 2019 year that sounded futuristic when it was Y2K.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about the line being totally dead (no worries, I’m partial to dark humour). In that brief moment until the phone started ringing, all I could think was, “What if…”, so many what-if’s.
      Oh my… I remember Y2K and how I used to think that by 2019-2020 I’d probably be a fossil 😀 (nothing worth living for at such an age, I thought back than).
      Like you said, here’s a better year!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A thoughtful and lovely review – with a happy ending despite the frightful accident. I cannot even imagine the feelings rushing through your mind in that moment….So glad your friend is OK and your lives are still connected in joy! Wishing you the very best for 2019!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Ann-Christine. Those moments were terrifying, but at least that experience came to as good an ending as possible.
      A wonderful 2019 to you and your dear ones as well!


  6. what a truly frightening moment it must have been to be in the midst of a phone conversation during an accident Ana. So glad your friend was OK. I too hope for a peaceful year for all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was scary…. but thankfully he’s fine and we’re able to see the silver lining.
      Who knows, perhaps we’re also lucky enough to get that peaceful year we’re hoping for, Tina! 🙂


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