So this ended up being another “Year in Review” post. Probably won’t be the last.

  • i love cake because
  • every new beginning comes from
  • why do love cake?
  • i love cake so much
  • is angie’s list really free?
  • why do you like cake
  • i like cake because
  • why i love cake
  • re4nik
  • harveigh the cow died
  • give the reason why you like cake
  • meaning of sacrifice in the 21st century
  • harveigh cow died

These are just some search terms people this year filled in their search engine of choice (we must not assume it was Le Google) and happened to stumble upon my blog. I don’t know if any of these people ever visited my site again. I’m assuming the person who was searching for “re4nik” (what even is that?) most likely hit “back” as soon as he or she found a picture of a purple polka-dotted cow holding on to a really disgusting-looking chocolate cake. But I would hope that the others stayed for at least 30 seconds? Well, I’m not sure about the Angie’s List person. I don’t even know how my site came up for that one.

The ones that touched me the most are the search terms that mention Harveigh the Cow. Even though she is now long gone from this earth and according to her human mommy, is with Jesus, Harveigh is still a part of my life. Every time we YouTube videos of cows, she’s there. But more than that, every time I use my cell phone, she’s there on my home screen. I haven’t been able to let go. She was the cutest little heifer I ever did saw.

I’ve already kind of done a year in review of 2018. I can’t say I can add much more to that. Hajj, beginning to run, and getting a job where blaming the bureaucracy is a legitimate reason for not meeting targets. That pretty much seems up my year. I thought of going through each month, because let’s face it, I live in Indiana and there’s really nothing to do this time of the year and it’s cold and I just got my wisdom teeth taken out, and…

….

Okay, because I am so bored, I ended up scrolling past my posts from this year and I totally forgot another kinda huge deal, but the fact that I forgot about it is also really telling.

2018 is also the year that I rid myself of social media for GOOD (I mean it this time; I meant it also the last time, but I also wasn’t aware of how pernicious it is), not counting WordPress which really is not that social and WhatsApp so that I can communicate with my sister in Canada because I don’t have an international data plan anymore. But for all intents and purposes, no social media. FINALLY!

Sure, I have lurked from time to time. But I’ve stopped lurking people I actually know, mostly it’s just restaurants because I have a tendency to order things I end up not liking. It’s nice to know in advance what my food looks like. Also, if fish is the only thing that’s on the menu, I need to know if it still has its head on. I am not making that mistake again!

I think it’s been about 6 months since I deleted Facebook and I have to say, I do not miss it at all. I will never go back, INSHA’ALLAH! Every time I see Facebook in the news, I’m like, “I should have never rejoined back in 2015” (I only did because of my previous job).

In its stead, I’ve begun to write more about the things I want, which may be less interesting to other humanoids, but from its beginning, my writing never was primarily for the enjoyment of others. Blogging always has been a way for me to process my neurosis in a way that forces me to write legibly and with some regard to consistency and flow.

And when I’m not blogging, I’ve found media outlets that actually report on what’s going on in the States and the rest of the world. I still visit HuffPo regularly mostly to see how ridiculous society has become. Washington Post’s new ironic masthead is “Democracy Dies in Darkness” and I’m like, “Umm, yeah, you are part of the reason!” HuffPo is like the TMZ version of it all. Don’t believe me? I’m sorry, friend, you are not truly woke.

So in many ways, 2018 has been an eye-opener for me.

With regards to my faith, visiting Madinah especially has given me a physical location for my connection to Rasulullah (SAW). Man, being in the same building in which his body is buried and his mosque being the last place I visited before heading back home, it brought and continues to bring a visceral aspect to my faith that I just did not have before. I have to make sure that I actively remember those memories and replace them with the usual negative ones that run in my head.

With regards to my health, I have begun referring to myself, albeit in jest, as an “athlete.” I am being “forced” to choose nutrition over (lack of) caloric intake because I need proper fuel to run. And who knows, maybe 2019 will be the year I finally become serious about weight training. I know that if I want to continue to run, I cannot neglect it. Moving from weight loss/fear of gaining weight to enjoyment/accomplishment as a motivation to exercise really forces one to change their relationship with food. I can’t say I have conquered this decades-long battle, but I do think that running is helping me with it. Finally, being stronger is more important than being the thinnest I can become. But I know I will have constantly have to check-in with myself to make sure that I don’t let old habits and ways of thinking creep back in. A half-marathon is my ultimate goal, but I am not giving myself any deadlines. I’d rather be consistent in my running. Even if a 10K is the farthest I am able to run, it will still be an achievement.

With regards to my vocation, if you will, I work with a great team and finally have structure. I still consider going back to school (as a student) to pursue a doctoral degree. But I am still in the advice-getting stage. I’ve thought about what a change this would be, if it were to happen. When I went to get my Master’s, I was 26 and unmarried, and also very naive. Now that I am soon-to be-32 and married and also not within driving distance of schools I would be interested in attending, I have to keep this in mind, as well. But Alhamdulillah, I get to use my degree in Religion and even to some extent my degree in Economics (as rusty as that is) in my job. After years of being made to feel I should have been more practical, that’s a nice thing to get to say.

I’m looking forward to the rest of this week. Even though everything in Indiana will be closed on Christmas Day, I can’t help but be excited that we’re hitting our third anniversary in just a few days. I’m also looking forward to eating cake. I can’t remember the last time. It must have been during Thanksgiving. Man, that is a long time for me.

I’m also really excited for 2019. I’ll be turning 32 (and am noticing my skin already looks it). I’m looking forward to run my first 10K race in March. I’ve already signed up for a 5-miler the day before my birthday. Yeah, that’s how I want to celebrate my birthday now! What am I? I really don’t know how I can top Hajj, but improvement is not always about achieving things you can readily share in snippets with others. I still have my faith, Alhamdulillah, and there are many ways in which I can work to strengthen and deepen it. I know for sure I want to continue the Uwaylim track. I may not be able to become an Islamic Scholar as I one time naively believed, but I can become a little scholar :)

So even though the federal government in the country in which I live is in a partial shutdown — if I get into my thoughts on that one, this post will never end — there’s still a lot to be grateful for and excited about.

Mostly, I’m just really excited that I am finally well enough to enjoy my much-desired chocolate cake!

P.S. I think this was my first ever post where I got to check all 7 blog categories. Yeah, man! Two-thousand eiiiiiiiight!

4 thoughts on “So this ended up being another “Year in Review” post. Probably won’t be the last.”

  1. This was fun to read, I smiled a lot. Happy to say that since I met you there hasn’t been a cow that I came across that didn’t immediately remind me of my cow-crazy friend on the inter webs. (Including some gorgeous abstract cow art in Minnesota that I’m so mad I forgot to take pictures of.)

    I’m excited to see what kind of content you’re inspired to make this year!

    Liked by 1 person

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