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    2018 Reflection
    • I thought I'd make a thread for everyone to reflect on the past year. The good, the bad, the ridiculous. Major life events, etc. Was 2018 a good year? Why? Why not??

      For me, 2018 was a really high stress year, and a very busy year, but I think it was a good year!

      Early 2018 I actually became an employee at my work. I was on a temp work contract that expired 4 years ago, and every time hiring me got brought up, it was always "if management notices he's here and we're not busy, he's gone". So, I just flew under the radar. For 4 years. That finally ended this year. And with that, some raises also came my way, which I'm obviously happy about. Haha.
      I also had my first legit site visit. Kinda stressful. At that point, it's on me to measure everything, make sure there's no surprises, etc. If something doesn't fit right in the machine, it's my oversight. Big problem.
      A month or two after the site visit, I completed the design. My first solo generator, so it was a big deal! Just a few weeks ago, my job was recognized as one of our bigger success stories of the year, given how quietly it went together with no hiccups. Stressful process, but it all came together perfectly, and I'm very proud of that.

      Mid 2018 I started renovations on my basement. This took me about 6 months of every single weekend, and many weeknights. Started in May, finished on my birthday in October. Haha. I'm generally a very frugal guy. I buy what I need, and not much else. I agonize over a $30 video game. Haha. So going to the hardware constantly and spending hundreds every single weekend for a better part of the year was super stressful. Haha. But, it was worth it. Even if it was hard.

      Again, somewhere mid 2018, started playing Siege with @Big Daddy Biggles @JP the Neurotic @Rambo. I'm noting this here because it's honestly been a big part of my year. We've played a lot of rounds. There's been a lot of salt (which we're leaving behind in 2018!), a lot of team kills, etc. It was a good destresser and a good way to unwind when I was generally always moving and always busy. Sometimes you just gotta slow down, throw a grenade at a teammate, and have a group tea bagging session.

      Late 2018 the girlfriend paid off her student lone, and all of her debt. I think she put something stupid like 35k across student debt and credit cards within like a year and a half. Being rid of that opens up some doors for 2019. Very excited!

      Also late 2018, we finally got statistics on ZU working again, and for another consecutive year, the forums are still growing! Nice little success story! So thanks to the community here for making 2018 a good one for the forums! And a big thank you to the leaders within the community for welcoming the newbs and helping them get comfortable here. And of course, to the mod team for keeping this ship afloat!

      All in all, I think 2018 was the busiest year of my life, and probably the most stressful year, but I still think it was a really good year. And I'm really excited to see what 2019 brings.
    • This is going to be a tough post to write but I feel like I need to get this all out and leave it all in the past forever.

      2018 was a shit parade of a year.

      The first half was spent dealing with my wife's cocaine/alcohol addictions and dealing with her stealing money to go get it. I also almost lost her to two separate car accidents due to being high and/or drunk. Dealing with that nearly drove me insane and I had no idea what to do with my life.

      Then on top of that I had to deal with a brain tumor that resulted in a surgery that could have killed me (thankfully it didn't but it was not a pleasant experience).

      Then my wife had her first spinal surgery which was both a blessing and the first step into what is now happening in life.

      The blessing came in the form of her not being able to go out on her own anymore and kicking her addictions.

      The other half of that would be that due to a complication she was in extreme pain all the time.

      This resulted in another surgery which, after her almost dying in the hospital from puking into her own lungs, caused her left foot and ankle to be paralyzed. Now on top of working a full time job to make sure we don't lose our house, I have to pretty much do everything in our house to keep it running. I know its not her fault and I do accept what this is, but I'm just horribly tired as I have to get up early to help her get around.

      Honestly, one of the greatest things to come out of this year that has helped me through all of this is playing siege with the boys as Ty already mentioned.

      I just want to let you guys know ( @Ty., @JP the Neurotic, & @Rambo ) that all those nights playing probably saved my life. You guys gave me the escape I needed when things were tough and I honestly can't even begin to thank you all for that. The best thing about 2018 for me (other than my wife and I being alive) is getting to know you boys better. So thanks for being there even if you didn't know the extent of it at the time.

      I also want to thank @Lady Sunshine for helping me though this year. You were always there when I needed someone to vent to and I appreciate everything you've done for me. Love you hun.

      And really, I just want to thank all of you on the forums who read this. You guys were amazingly supportive and always gave me encouragement to keep on going even when I felt like I couldnt anymore. I say this lots but I love you guys and am so grateful to know you all.

      So ya, 2019 is going to be a much better year as there is very little that can make it worse then 2018 was.

      Sig & Avvy by Lady Sunshine, the most wonderful girl in the world
      Come check out our little business - Birdie B Bath Bombs
    • 2018 has been a pretty awesome year for me.

      In November 2017 my dad passed away following a short battle with cancer. Christmas felt like we were making it up as we went along, and my mum and I went into 2018 still tying up loose ends and getting our lives back on track.

      Throughout the year we've moved onwards and upwards, completing a number of projects in the house. DIY was always my dad's thing, but he taught me plenty of skills over the years which I was able to put to good use.

      One of the first was to reorganize the laundry room, which was home to a washer, dryer and chest freezer all squeezed into an impossibly small space. We also had another small freezer in the garage. We replaced both freezers with one large one in the garage, freeing up enough space in the laundry room to put the washer and dryer side by side (they were stacked before), and I installed a countertop.

      Next was to clear out and organize my dad's workshop, making it much easier for me to work on more projects.

      Next thing was to get an electrician to check all of the wiring, some of which needed bringing up to code and there were a few unauthorized modifications. With everything certified and necessary remedial work completed, we moved on to redecorating.

      Of all the skills my dad taught me over the years, wallpapering was not one of them. So to YouTube I went, and with some trepidation approached the task in hand. To my surprise, after a couple of weeks I had managed to redecorate both bedrooms to a reasonable standard.

      And that was going to be it for now. My time to relax. Until my uncle told my mum about his new dishwasher, and we happened to have a lot of dishes to wash that day. So next thing I know I'm ripping out a kitchen cabinet and installing a dishwasher. It was so worth it though, no more washing dishes by hand!!

      Next the garden needed some attention, and one area in particular was a mess. I jokingly suggested it would make a nice pond. Turns out my mum had been thinking the same thing. So the hottest, dryest summer this country has seen in my lifetime saw me outside with a spade digging a massive hole. Me and my big mouth :lol: But it turned out great, it looks good and even got a mention on the ZU podcast!!

      Our chicken coop was slowly falling apart, and I was planning on building a new one next year. But before I knew it I'd designed one in my head and so I figured why wait until next year?!

      But one thing stands out above everything else. Even more than the pond :lol: I hadn't seen my extended family since I was a very young child. This year we planned to change that, and in October we made it. We had a big family reunion, and it felt so good to finally meet everyone (I was too young to remember the last time I saw most of them, and some weren't even born). It's going to be a regular thing from now on, we can be a proper family again.

      And so we reached the end of the year with a sense of achievement, it was very satisfying to look back on everything we've done.

      @Ty. Congratulations on everything you've done, it sounds like you've had a really successful year. And your basement looks amazing now!

      @Big Daddy Biggles I'm sorry you've had such a tough year. You're an awesome guy and you don't deserve everything life has thrown at you this year. But you got through it and I hope 2019 is a much better year for you.


      The post was edited 2 times, last by Skywing: Missed a word! ().

    • 2017 ended with Foo and I flying from Ireland to Edmonton to visit our families. We were in Canada for just about two weeks, and the trip reminded me of everything I was missing in my life. Big things like being around friends, family, and a strong network/support system. Small things, like favorite foods, snow, and forced air heating (feeling dry and warm and comfortable rather than slightly damp, warm-ish, and pretty consistently uncomfortable). And NO MOTHS! The trip hit me really hard, and on my way back to Ireland I knew that after the next trip home to Canada, I probably wouldn't be able to force myself to go back. I knew then that I'd be moving back to Canada by the end of 2018.

      At the end of 2016, I gave up the rest of my life for my career. At least, that's what it felt like. And in 2018, I decided to give up my career to get back to the rest of my life.

      Foo and I moved back to his hometown in August, I found a minimum wage job as a cook (a far cry from spectroscopist), and we found a nice place to live for now. And ... things started really improving! Maybe this is a weird thing to say, but I'm warm, and comfortable, I like my bed, I like my job, I'm more physically active and I'm pursuing old hobbies. And new hobbies that I've wanted to pursue for a while! I'm still not in the best shape of my life, I might be making less money than I was as a chemist, but I've made a big improvement over where I was a year ago. My life is rewarding again. It's not perfect and I'll have to figure out where to go from here, but I think I'm headed in the right direction and no complaints so far!
    • 2018 was kind of a shitshow for me lol but also awesome in comparable amounts.

      Actually, looking back, I think 2016 and 2017 have been even worse... 2018 is just the year I've started being more aware of how I'm feeling and what I go through. It's the year I actually started functioning halfway healthily in terms of pain reception lmao.

      I left a community I considered another internet home - that turned out to be invalidating and kinda abusive. And... surprisingly for me at the time, I felt my health improve lol.

      I got pushed into entering university at last. Not a degree I want, and I plan on switching. I felt crappy and exhausted a lot and it exacerbated negative feelings when I was feeling down. But I did finally start moving forward again and interact more with people IRL. No meaningful friendships made lol but... it's a step, and much better than school heh >>

      I met and talked to many new people online, impactful drama hurting me and others notwithstanding, I think this was pretty good and I'm glad for all the new friends I've made.

      I hit rock bottom with family drama and it doesn't look like it's gonna end soon but... also I managed to start fighting back, not staying silent. It's been an issue for me during it and I'm done doing that.

      I had a freakout fueled by drama and constant really, really negative feelings about potentially having diabetes, given several symptoms and my own eating behaviors. But it pushed me to finally tell my parents to take me for an exam and... well, it's all good lol. So are my sisters for that matter. All in all that dealt some of my worse feelings a pretty big blow and while it's not perfect... it's a noticeable improvement.

      I... think 2018 won't be remembered as my best year lmao, but definitely as one I took steps towards improving myself, actually *feeling* hurt and recognizing it? And trying to do something about it all instead of laying down. I'm not in a great spot but I think I'm in one where I can fight to be where I want to be. And I will. I want to change and keep growing up. Here's to 2019 being a lot better on that end :3
    • 2018 wasn’t exactly the best year . I’m thankful that I have incredibly supportive parents and amazing friends but my self-esteem is ...not great .

      The biggest issue by far though was the loss of my grandfather all the way back in January. The worst is how it seemed impossible to move on when one part of your family decided that greed was more important and kept throwing everyone involved into legal matters . Well I say legal matters but it was more of constant harresment of threats to create legal matters that they would never win .

      But we got a cat so fuck yeah .
    • I feel like 2018 was a year of transitions, and a year where I was functioning alright but the ones around me were suffering. About 5 of my close friends had such a tough time, especially in the last few months, and I am so glad I could be there for the people I care about.

      ----

      In January 2018 I was two months into a new temporary job close to home. I was recently out of a very emotionally-damaging relationship. I was just beginning to get to know someone special to me. I had made a few very important ZU friends, and I was active online and with my friends from home. I also made a pledge not to drink for a while, and to try harder to be healthy.

      Fast forward to summer - I was hired at another company for a much better job, which meant I could move out from my parent's, move to a different state, and start a very high-stress and important job. I started a relationship. I felt nervous but confident. I had dropped 12 pounds and felt good about myself.

      Fast forward to the end of 2018/now. I'm realizing what I want out of a job and what I want out of life. I'm trying to make long-distance work, which is one of the hardest and most emotionally-draining experiences, and sometimes it can devastate me, confuse me, and make me want to drop everything else in my life. I want to switch jobs. I've been isolated, and I miss being closer to home. I've let myself go physically a bit and I've let myself be lazy and it's not helpful for keeping my spirits and priorities up. I'm not unhappy; I'm getting great experience here, I'm learning how to live on my own truly, and I have amazing friends and an amazing person. But it's definitely not all sunshine and rainbows and I'm trying to stay strong and push through. I also realized I have more anxiety over my mortality and death, and it has been a bit of an issue when it comes to forms of travel other than driving (mainly airplanes and boats).

      ----

      Reflecting on 2018 I'd say I'm proud of myself for not giving up. Proud for going outside my comfort zone, for knowing I usually give 110% effort. I'm also proud for being able to keep my emotions in check the vast majority of the time, even on days I feel like I don't have as much control. It's been about 5 years since I've been on any medication, and it's not always easy. For me it's a personal choice not to be on medication, and feeling like I can function without it and developing strategies for times when I do have bad days has been a very personal success. What I want to do going into 2019 is be even stronger. Make sure I keep the friends from 2018 and hopefully make a few more.And most importantly, be confident in my decisions for what will make ME happy first. It took until I was 27 years old to realize that I matter. And sometimes I lose sight of that, and I don't want to. I like being my priority - for me that just means being aware of how I feel and allowing myself to have emotions. Telling myself it's okay to feel certain ways about this. To communicate my feelings to those closest to me and not be afraid to ask for advice. I'm afraid of a lot of things and it's a barrier I still need to breakthrough to really feel I have a grasp on my life going forward, and I'm excited to continue to chip away at that.

      @Keith @JP the Neurotic @Big Daddy Biggles @Pennington @Kae - These people are.. phenomenal. All so different and all so special to me. Those days I've had where I didn't know how to function or even get out of bed, these people got me through that. I would not. be. where I am now without them. I love you all more than you know.


      "Defense against the dark farts, am I right?" -Pennington
      | This spot reserved for Dark Link Reigns |


    • 2018 was a very tough year but did end on a more positive note.

      I'll start with the bad. Back in February, My brother in law, one of my wife's three brothers had passed away. It came to a shock to all of us. Sadly he succumbed to his addictions (addictions we never realized he had). I've been so close to the family for so many years that I felt like I had lost a brother too and had known him since he was a kid.


      The summer had brought what was supposed to be very happy news. On fathers day my wife told me she was pregnant with our third child. Sadly, maybe a month afterwards, her pregnancy ended up ending through a miscarriage.


      I would say all this bad news helped kick start our decision to finally move later in the year and get ourselves both closer to work and closer to my wife's family. The whole move process was very tiring and stressful but our quality of life feels so much better now. Work and family are only 10 minutes away. Now my wife's brothers can stop more often for game nights instead of us having to plan weeks in advance. My kids love the new house and love being able to get home much sooner after school.

      Here's hoping 2019 will be a much better year.
    • 2018 was alright. Not bad, but not exactly interesting (to other people) lol.
      January, I moved back to my hometown, which was the most entirely unlikely thing to ever happen before I met Andy.
      February, started working as a cook in a local lunch restaurant, where I still am now.
      July, Andy and I got our own place.
      December, a friend gave us their old car, 2004 Ford Focus, because they have a brand new company truck (he co-owns the company) and his gf's car is coming from QC (they're driving it back after holidays with the family). He didn't need the car or have space for the car. We have both need and space.

      That's about it.
      -avatar created by RealmWings~
      Come check out the new book club! The Do Over Book Club
    • Late to the train, as always.
      But better late than never.

      2018 was very stressful but on a hindsight, all in all a good year.
      I was unenployed and trying to all 2017, after finishing my german courses in December -16
      In March I started through a time-work company in a call center as tech support for electronic cash terminals. Not that much of my field, I have engineering degree on Logistics, 5 years of work experience in technical wholesale purchases and kind of a negative image of whole finance sector and deep mistrust to backers and such. And there I sit, learning basics about the hardware and software we have and about how electronic transfers work on very deep down level.
      And to add the list, I am introvert, to an extend sound sensitive, very socially awkward, shy and it's almost impossible for me to start conversations and I hate calling people on the phone. I prefer text. And I am put to work in open office with 30+ unknown persons and on the phone for 8h a day. It really was out of my comfort zone, both feet on the chaos and no steady footing for me. But I didn't have a choice. It was my first job in Germany, after about 70 applications and rejections
      My options were to push through even tho I hated the job. Otherwise my wife would have had to give up her time with our daughter and go back to work while I stay home with the daughter. I really wanted to grant this to my wife since it's her only child and for me the third.
      I was taken in on company's own pay roll on June, as a company policy after 3 month "getting to know each other " period. As everyone new, I got a single year limited contract, which will or will not be prolonged next June and if, then I have a chance to get full contract on June 2020.
      I was terrified of the phone and it got so bad that I got cramps to my tummy every morning I had to go there, but I pressed on, got more confidence, got to know the hard- and softwares better and got some routine during the summer. In September I was sill complained, that my calls take too long and I take too long for the after-call documentation. It hit me hard in a way, I was doing my best and all I could was fail (so I felt at least) but I got no further feedback either. But I was that pedant that I hadn't gotten negative feedback inside nor outside of the organisation, means that I didn't do mistakes. That's why I was given rights to do my own swaps (in case we can't help customer to fix the machine, we can swap it).
      Also in September I decided I need some connections outside these 4 walls I call home, so I created a profile on some odd forum site called Zelda Universe or something and started lurking lol
      It's been a blast, as a newcomer I can verify, Newbie Central works. It is one of the key factors why I am here and plan to stay. Another is this amazing community, the people and the atmosphere. I've mentioned this few times in other conversations/threads, but this feels like a safe haven from general toxicity that plagues the internet and esp most of the forum sites.
      Professionally 2018 got it's climax a week before my vacation, in the end of November, in form of End of Year Discussion. I finally got feedback from the job done, and it was to my surprise all positive. My bosses are very pleased to my progress, I've developed in to one of the most efficient tech agents they have and they plan to train me onwards. I've been in the company now 9 months and they chose me to do stuff senior tech agents have been doing this far. It seems that just grinding the teeth, pushing against your own boundaries and doing the best you can do paid off.
      Not my dream job, but a good start and a good first german job certificate on the way it seems.
      Of course as a family we endured one more year of pretty darn bad sleeping baby so sleep deprivation hasn't eased it's grip, we survived one move gone bad and settled in.
      This year 2019 starts promising, but that's another tale to tell.
      As an end-note I'd like to thank everyone making this wonderful place what it is and being the wonderful person You are.
      Thanks for reading and see you around
    • The biggest highlight of 2018, was finally moving from my parents place into my own place with my partner in the Summer. We both seem to manage our money well enough, haven't yet had any financial issues on any bills. Got a nice little surplus building up for a rainy day/unexpected bill.

      Low point of 2018, basically having my entire job taken from me. Going from actual work which gave me a sense of satisfaction.........to literally uploading emails for other people to work. Hardly a satisfying job, and one i'm keen to get out of. Unfortunately, not in the place i'm in though.
    • One thing I forgot to mention about 2018 is the fact the I really stepped up my baking game, especially bread. I’m a bit of a fiend and I’ll do anywhere from 4-10 loaves at a time. A lot of our deep freeze space is taken up by bread. I started making the bread because it’s waaay cheaper than buying bread (plus, I know what’s in it).
      I was reminded of it because I wasn’t feeling the greatest at the start of this year and didn’t make any bread! So we bought a couple loaves and it was a big shock/slap in the face reminder of how expensive it is to do that.

      Also, at the beginning of 2018, I would make a lot of other stuff as snacks and to cut costs (savoury muffins, power packed chia oat bars, sweet treats, etc). But I fell off doing that about midway through the year, which is probably my biggest disappointment of 2018.

      Going forward in 2019, I’m hoping to step up my game again and get back on my weekly bake schedule!
      -avatar created by RealmWings~
      Come check out the new book club! The Do Over Book Club