2018 was … well, it was a hell of a year. It started off with grand intentions. I was nearly ready to launch the UX Compendium, a product I’d been working on for over a year. My wife and I were going to start another Whole 30. I had prepared a publishing schedule for UXcellence, and I was volunteering as an editor at A List Apart. Then a family member was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, and everything changed.

For the first six months of the year I focused on taking care of my wife and son as best I could so that my wife could do the hard work of taking care of her family. When the cancer finally ran its course in early July, we took our time to mourn, rest, and recover.

I released the UX Compendium in late July, right before leaving for a week-long trip to Michigan to visit family. The plan was to promote the heck out of it when we returned home. But when we got back, we found our dream house on a random house hunt and ended up putting an offer on it shortly after. So we spent the second half of the year preparing our old house for sale, negotiating on the new house, moving, and finally unpacking. (We also took a trip to Disney World in the middle of all that to celebrate our 10th anniversary.)

2018 was less of a whirlwind and more of a hurricane. It was intense, emotional, and exhausting. Every time we got a chance to catch our breath, the winds would start to pick up again. It’s only in the last few weeks that we’ve started to get our feet back under us and get used to a new normal.

I hope we won’t live another year like 2018 again for a long time, if ever. While a lot of the year was hard, there were some bright moments that I’ll be happy to look back on:

  • Celebrating our 10th anniversary in Disney World;
  • Selling our old house only a week after putting it on the market (and getting multiple, competitive offers on it);
  • Getting settled into our new house and hosting the family Christmas there, and;
  • Reading the entire Harry Potter series with the little man and watching his love of reading grow.

I couldn’t have planned for the year we had. I didn’t want to lose someone so close. But 2018 is over. We made it through. Hopefully 2019 will be a fresh start.