I HAD been dreading 2018 for most of my adult life.
Because it is the year I had to say goodbye to my 30s and accept the fact I was now 10 years closer to 50.
An even more horrifying thought.
However, 2018 has surprisingly turned out to be a cracker of a year.
It started off with a bang — actually managing to make it to midnight — followed 30 days later by the best birthday bash a gal could hope for.
And it meant I could dress up as Roxy Hart from one of my all-time favourite musicals.
I seriously felt the love — thanks to all the weird, wacky and wonderful people who are crazy enough to be my friends — that I didn’t have time to be worrying about my age.
After all, it is just a number.
A couple of months later, five of my colleagues and I were awarded a real-life Quill.
One of the most prestigious journalism awards and something I never thought I would ever achieve in my lifetime.
And while it was bittersweet because the content we had won it for was quite possibly the worst story I have ever had to write in my career, it was recognition for our accurate and sensitive portrayal of such a horrific event.
The first half of the year was all about Phantom as EMTC staged its biggest show to date.
And I was lucky enough to score my biggest role to date in Madame Giry (aka ‘‘the mean ballet mistress’’, according to my girls).
Performing 12 shows over three weekends was a wild ride and an experience I will never forget.
Not long after the show finished, I was dared to take on the Sweat versus Steam challenge.
And as everyone knows, I take dares very seriously.
So, thanks to the help of athletics coach Laurie Edmondstone’s tips, I started training for a 5km run.
The most I had run continuously in my life was 800m and that was in high school and even that was an effort (I was a sprinter you see).
But against all odds, I ran through pain, frustration and searing heat over 12 weeks, coming out the other side 5kg lighter and able to run 5km without stopping.
Again, another accomplishment I never thought possible.
That would have been enough to consider 2018 a fabulous year. But there was more to come.
Musical theatre is my passion (and really the only thing I do just for me) so I thought I’d give Echuca-Moama Theatre Company’s new show — The Addams Family — a crack.
I really didn’t think I had any hope of scoring a lead role, but I just wanted to be involved in a black comedy musical with some show-stopping songs and spectacular dance numbers.
When I got the call to say ‘‘You got Morticia!’’, well that was just the icing on the cake (of course, after I realised I hadn’t been Punk’d).
And that high didn’t stop when a few days later, I got another phone call to say I had received a Walkley Foundation’s Our Watch Fellowship.
Which means next year is already looking good.
This year has given me so much and for that I am grateful.
So my New Year’s resolution is to give back. Give back to this wonderful community I live in, give back to my friends and family who have helped me (and put up with me) along the way and give back to those less fortunate than me.
And this is one resolution I plan to actually keep.
Happy New Year.
■Mama will be on holidays for the next two weeks.