The Ponder Effect | What can we learn from 2018?
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What can we learn from 2018?

Before we forge ahead with resolutions for the new year, we would be wise to stop and reflect on the year that we are ending, both on a personal and a collective level.

The best way to reflect is to write. Joan Didion, Flannery O’Connor, E.M. Forster—all of them have asserted in one way or another that they have no idea what they think until they discover it by writing. Over and over again in my own life, I have found this to be true. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re a “good writer” or not. All writing is good when it brings you closer to your authentic self. So, open up that journal or go to town in the white space below. Or do both. Let yourself write to think about the past year, and in doing so come closer to the person you want to be in 2019.

Here are a few prompts to get you going…

What happened in my life, and what didn’t happen in my life?
What were the low points, and how did I respond to them?
What were the high points, and why were they high?
Ultimately, what did I learn about myself, who I am, and who I want to be?

What happened in our collective life, and what didn’t happen?
What were the low points, and how did we respond to them?
What were the high points, and why were they high?
What have we learned about ourselves as a people? Who are we and what do we want to be?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

10 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    December 30, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    2018 was difficult for me to watch the news so I got off twitter and instagram for a few months- it was wonderful.
    I got a new job, which I love and was able to fit in quite a bit travel.

    What didn’t happen was my goal to start meditating. I signed up for headspace, but only managed six sessions.

    Low point, finding out my dad has cancer again. Dealing with it through counseling, supportive friends and family, and sometimes, just not dealing.

    High points were watching my young children meet milestones and seeing life through their eyes. They are exhausting, but have my husband and I laughing on the daily.

    As I approach 40, I’m finding that I have more ailments to deal with, but I’m also more confident, and have started sticking up for myself, which makes my husband happy.

  • Anonymous

    December 30, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    After wondering about it and thinking about it for a number of years, I finally resigned from my job to be more physically present (and hopefully mentally!) to raise my family. I’m terrified of this next chapter and creating a new identity as a mother who does not work outside of the home but I am also elated and feel a sense of joy creeping into my life. I’m so proud of myself for finally coming to a conclusion after much thought, talking, counseling and encouragement from my wise husband and moving into this next chapter of my life. I know it will be it’s own challenge but I’m looking forward to what 2019 will bring with the additional time to devote to my children and maybe even myself!

  • Varina Willse

    December 31, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    I wanted and expected 2019 to bring me answers. They did, but they weren’t the answers I wanted. And those answers are now breeding only more questions and uncertainty. I am trying really hard to be okay with that.
    Here’s what I am learning and re-learning about myself:
    1. I can’t do it alone.
    2. I don’t want to do it alone.
    3. I can’t control other people or most of life.
    4. This is enough.
    5. Expectations are a double-edged sword.
    6. I am living proof that it’s going to be okay.
    7. I can choose to show up.
    8. The ground is beneath my feet. Shared air becomes living breath. I am alive. I am loved.

  • Anonymous

    January 3, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    2018 taught me 99.9% of the time the story my anxiety and panic tells me IS WRONG.

  • Anonymous

    January 4, 2019 at 9:18 am

    I learned that I am enough. It’s okay to strive to be a better husband, father, friend, leader, and individual but I am enough already and always.

  • Anonymous

    January 4, 2019 at 11:03 am

    I learned in 2018, yet again, that life is precious and fragile and can be gone in an instant. It teaches me to reach out to people when I feel moved to do so and not worry if it’s not a good time or will not be well-received. Reach out anyway! Most likely it will be appreciated. We all need to help and support each other.

  • Anonymous

    January 5, 2019 at 8:18 am

    I was reminded in 2018 that service to others is the best way to gain perspective about what is most important in life. I learned that I have to actively work on the relationships in my life. Love is an action not a feeling.

  • […] not, would you like them to be? I am reminded of a post on the Ponder Board a few weeks ago. A kindred soul and fellow ponderer out there wrote, “I was reminded in 2018 that […]

  • […] are reminded of something someone posted on our last PONDER BOARD of last year: 2018 taught me 99.9% of the time the story my anxiety and panic tells me IS WRONG. […]

  • Anonymous

    June 7, 2020 at 9:59 pm