2018 Retrospect

A new year

So, as I’ve covered in the past I rank a “new year” rolling in on my birthday and not on the calendar year and this post will be about my thoughts on previous years and the years ahead.

A couple things have changed over previous recent years. Most importantly, it’s the the calmest and quietest year to date in probably a decade.

It has been 8 years since I met my wife
6 years since I married her

4 years of recovery

2 years of peace since being discharged from Dr’s care

This year the PTSD over the previous years has calmed to the point of not being noticeable and we both have enjoyed life more together than we have any time previously. We’ve spent more time together, had better conversations, and over everything we’ve done has been more memorable on a deeper level than years before.

We’re both very quiet people, and when we talk, we talk quietly and like to communicate more than triviality. We do talk quietly about everything and this is something that to me marks my wife’s full recovery from breakdown. Before, when in a fog, it was hard for her to have an opinion on anything. She certainly had them, but she was robbed of the ability to really express them. Whether the medication side effects or the illness, it’s hard to say, but now we can have nuanced conversations about whatever may come up, rather than traveling in silence.

We do more things together too, not just to pass the time, but to see and experience something new. Traveling, reading together, hiking, watching movies, cooking, and even working together.

It’s been a tremendously freeing experience to have her back again, both to enjoy life more, and even more so to be able to enjoy life together. There is life after mental illness, or perhaps during?


This blog I’ve also mentioned a big goal has been to finish paying for all the debts the Hospital Years have accrued. This is also going very well, and part of the reason I have so little to write over the past two years. With less to worry about on the home front, I’ve been free to pursue paying off all debts and future planing. It’s not completely payed off, but over the last year or so we’ve been able to put about $15,000 towards it. We’ve now expanded the goal to paying off the debts and paying off the house so we can move to a house that will suite us better – most specifically a house with a large workshop that will allow me to tinker at home.


Usually I post a year end memorable movie list, but this year I’ve actually had less time to watch movies, so the list will be shorter.

Widows (2018), The Monk (2011), Christine (2016), La Haine (1995), Andrei Rublev (1966), Annihilation (2018), Vazante (2018), Sharp Objects (2018), and it will qualify as last year and this year, Game Of Thrones. My internet in rural VA is not good enough to watch in a acceptable video quality, so I waited until the entire show was released on DVD before watching it. It’s a daunting time commitment but very memorable and will undoubtedly be a high mark of fantasy for years to come.

I’ve watched a lot of older classics, many not especially memorable to me, but ones that should be watched for the sake of history and appreciation. I try and make sure I watch a bit of old and new.

I’ve tried to take more time to read this year as that’s a calming activity. I have finished quite a number of books and try and make a point to read 10-20 minutes a day at minimum.


On the automotive front, the custom black station wagon has had more staying power than any car I’ve owned previously. I’ve put 20k miles on it and have had it over 2 years now. Every car we’ve looked at replacing it with was eventually rejected as just not special enough to justify replacing the one of a kind creation. I’ve spent more time with it than all cars previously in my life. I won’t say we will never replace it, but it is proving difficult.

I did get Viva to build me a customer steering wheel to commemorate how rare this car is

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