2019 – Reviewed

Well. 2019.

There’s a lot to say.

On the whole, I’ll be glad to put this year in the past, so I can focus on making 2020 an improvement! It’s not that 2019 was completely awful, it certainly had some amazing highlights, but the year was marred by a bad dose of Glandular Fever. It meant that the whole year felt like I was barely awake, and when I was awake, it was filled with aches and pains. Now that we’re coming to the end of the year, I’m starting to feel much more like myself again, so I have some perspective on just how rubbish chronic health conditions can be.

I also had another skin cancer removed from my noggin. It wasn’t so bad, but my whole face swelled in reaction, leaving me with the best black-eyes I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t painful, so much as tedious explaining to people who were concerned my new marriage was a little rough!

There was also a tonne of time spent at specialists offices, as they tried to get to the bottom of my health issues. So far, no diagnosis, but the search continues. I’m getting very well versed with blood tests and can tell the nurses EXACTLY what vein will be their friend. Lets hope they work out what the bloody hell is going on sooner rather than later. If nothing else, this year has made me realise just how important it is to have the best people around you, for the good times and the shitty times.

I’m glad I’ve got my friends, and I’m the luckiest girl in the world to be able to walk beside my husband, sharing our lives together. We’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for each other.

2019 was welcomed with my little Nerd Family, celebrating by swimming for almost the entire day. It was an amazingly casual, lazy, friendly day that I wish we all had more time for.

It’s with this Nerd Family that our card game, Curious Humans, has started to take off. We’ve completely sold out Edition #1, and published not one, but two expansion packs. We travelled down to Melbourne, and attended the board game convention PAX. It was our second year attending, and it was good to see some people return to our stand telling us how much they’ve enjoyed playing. To see this game so successful is something I’m proud to be involved with.

Work this year has been exhausting, both mentally and emotionally. In a year where my health has knocked me around, and when work has taken so much of my time and my remaining energy, its reassuring to know that my friends are just like the stars. Even though I cannot see them all of the time, I know they’ll always be there.

I’ve flown over 94,000 km, visited 20 cities in 6 different countries. I’ve travelled for 76 days this year and for this Christmas break, I’m enjoying simply being at home.

It is an honour to work alongside my colleagues. After 9 years, many of them have become close friends. It was then so utterly devastating to say goodbye to Julie, when she suddenly lost her battle with cancer. What she lacked in subtlety, she made up for with energy, warmth and humour. It wasn’t unusual for her to tell her customers to “Oh, just fuck off!” but they loved her. Just how much she was loved was demonstrated by the funds raised for the Mater Foundation, in her honour.

Work has taken me back to the US for another IBM conference in San Francisco, and then through to both Atlanta and Toronto for the release of our latest version of the software. I was involved with our Roadshow and had to present our new technologies in front of thousands of folks. It’s a damn good thing I’ve become very comfortable with public speaking.

While 2019 sounds like it’s been all trials and tragedies, Barry and I did manage to get in two small breaks. We spent a few days down at Byron Bay, chilling out with the hippies. We also spent a week in Coolum chilling out with our Nerd Family. 12 of us hired a house overlooking the beach and spent the entire week relaxing and having fun together. “Nerd Fam Vacay” was held over Easter, where we all managed to scam an entire week break, for only 3 days of annual leave. Although I was fatigued and fighting Glandular Fever, I had such an amazing break away.

Of course, one thing I’m always glad to return to is my own bed, my own shower, and my little boggle-dog, Jamie. He’s comfortably snoozing at my feet as I type this, and I’m trying to cherish every day we get. He’s now 14, and he’s starting to show his age. He’s become the epitome of a Grumpy Old Man, grizzling and groaning when something isn’t going to plan. He is now profoundly deaf, and quite unsteady on his legs from his partial paralysis last year, yet he has not lost a moment of time and knows exactly when dinnertime is. He bounds around the house like a pup, whenever there’s food on offer!

2019 was a big mix-up for us, as Baz began his Medical career. He has worked bloody hard this year and seems to be enjoying the challenges. After 4 weeks spent at Kilcoy doing his first ‘observership’ with a GP, he’s had some impressive and encouraging feedback, and is looking forward to Year 2 in 2020.

The mothership also had a few trying periods this year and at one point due to a brief stay in Hospital. It coincided with my own stay in hospital, so we were both walking wounded together. Everybody is now on the mend, and hopefully 2020 will stay a ‘hospital free zone’. Barry is still pointing out my significant lack of concern about PPE, when doing home reno’s. We haven’t done a huge amount this year, but we did manage to clean up downstairs and put up a nice hardwood screen.

Richmond had a tough year, losing almost their entire senior crew through injury. As luck would have it, they all recovered in time for the important game in September, and they took home the trophy again. They’re keeping most of their squad for 2020, so it’ll be another competitive year for the Mighty Tiges!

2019 has been exceptionally slow with the 501st Legion. I only had one troop, as health really got in the way of all of the major events this year. Toward the end of the year, however, I was starting to feel a little stronger so volunteered to join the Movember Team at work.

Moustache-growing is never going to be a skill I will possess, so instead, I elected to do MOVEmber. I pledged to run 60kms in November to raise money and awareness for Mens Health, and Mental Health awareness. My first run was a challenge. I thought I’d made a dreadful, terrible mistake. I’m not a runner! But, as in all things, persistence pays. Not only did I reach my target, I ran 67kms, despite the heat and smoky conditions in Brisbane. The Movember team raised over $7500, with our efforts, and daggy ‘tashes!

Running long distance was not my only ‘First’ for 2019. I got to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time, and organised “How to Host a Murder” at Nerd Fam Vacay. We had psychopathic nurses, mobster nuns, and a magician with a fluffy toy rabbit. An amazingly fun night was had! It’s a shame I don’t have more time to spend playing board games, as its fun to escape into a ‘Chose your own Adventure’ story!

Another first was turning 40. I’m still coming to terms with my age, as I don’t feel like I am a grown-up yet. I’m still doing stupid things, like playing dress-ups and getting too excited about Dungeons and Dragons, and playing with the dog. I guess one day I’ll realise that it was all a big sham, and you’re never defined by a number anyway.

2019 was also the year I discovered I had a significant allergy to cats. In May we adopted a little calico rescue, called Pixel. She is the most adorable, and daft, little cat. She brightens up every room, but sadly, with my allergies and health as bad as it was, we elected to find her another good home. Pixel is now living with ‘Wexi’ and Sarah – being as loopy and daft as a cat can be. I love the occasional updates we get. It seems she’s found a wonderful furr-ever home!

2019 has been a big year for concerts and events, the highlights being:  Eddie Izzard  John Mayer  Book of Mormon  Tim Minchin

Barry and I also got to help celebrate with Alex and Chels, and Lexi and Sarah on their wedding days. It’s heartfelt and wonderful and I wish both couples every happiness and success together.

I’m looking forward to 2020 for a number of different reasons. I’ve got tickets to see Ahn Do, and see Ash Barty at the Brisbane International. However, first and foremost, I’m hoping that next year has better health than this year – and all signs so far are quite positive. So, while 2019 seems like it flew by, there’s so much that’s happened since I sat down last year on New Year’s Eve.

What I have realised though, is that throughout my life I’ve been mostly blessed with good health. This year has been tough, but not as tough as many have it. I’m thankful to be surrounded by incredible friends and have such strong support around me. So, wherever you are, thank you for being part of this year, and part of my journey.

Wishing you all a very safe, successful and healthy 2020.

Jac xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *