In my workshops whenever there is a follow-up module we always start with “what have we achieved since we last met” reflection… And usually there is “some” progress… people have put in some effort, they have evolved, progressed… So, what have we, as intelligent (ironic tone here) species, achieved since my last review? What will the year 2018 be remembered for?

Well, when a year starts with a chicken chaos and KFC closing down half of its 900 outlets in the UK, due to a supplier change, there is not much hope for the rest of the year, is there?!! “The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants,”KFC said on Twitter.

Apparently the word “Nomophobia” has been crowned Word for 2018 by Oxford Dictionary… I thought “ah another Greek word”… coming from “Nomos”, which means “law” and “phobia” which means “fear”… Fear of Law?? I was immediately interested and I was WRONG! It actually comes from “No”, “Mo” from “Mobile” and well phobia… which the dictionary defines as “a fear or worry at the idea of being without your mobile phone or unable to use it”. Apparently it was selected in a public vote that called on its blog readers and social media followers to choose from a shortlist of four words they thought best summed up the year. And since we are on the social media subject… a “no likey” vote goes to Facebook … the data of up to 87 million people was improperly shared with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica– many more than previously disclosed. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said “clearly we should have done more, and we will going forward”. Ah well, that will sort it out… But this has been another common theme for 2018… Leaders around the world and across all industries just say “sorry” and move on… and we have the memory of a gold fish…, don’t we? Corporate Accountability and Responsibility are ZERO. (Read https://drmariakatsarou.blog/2018/05/08/sorry-the-ultimate-get-out-of-jail-free-card/)

2018 was a year of … true love… between…Trump and Macron, Trump and Kim Jong Un, the UK and the EU while we are still waiting for Mrs May to shout EUreka of the ‘best’ deal… oh and yes, of course Harry and Meghan. It was also a year of …dance… where “Floss” has now gone beyond the thread you use for your teeth hygiene… and the Dancing Queen makes a comeback AKA Theresa May during the Tory party conference and not only.

Meanwhile, the US launched military strikes alongside UK and French forces aimed at reducing Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities in the wake of the gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma. In addition, the Trump administration’s severe crackdown on immigration resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents by the government and Melania Trumpmade a fashion statement during a trip to a migrant child detention centre wearing a jacket with the message “I really don’t care, do you?” By the way, has Trump started building that Wall all by himself or not yet?!

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin and the King of the Universe, Stephen Hawkins, both left us at the age of 76. “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die,” Stephen Hawkins said. “I have so much I want to do first.” “However, if I were able bodied I would choose Marilyn Monroe, Einstein and Galileo.” Count me on that dinner Stephen and can we also have Freud and Frida Kahlo please??

Since November, a total of 239 people have reached the UK by boat, which Mr Sajid Javid (appointed Home Secretary in April 2018 and former Managing Director of Deutsche Bank) has characterised as a “migration crisis”… Am I missing what the definition of a “crisis” is or is he referring to the fact he had to cut short his holiday?! I won’t make any comments, I will instead present you with some figures:  according to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) Spain has taken in 56,200 irregular migrants arriving by sea so far this year, Greece 28,700 and Italy 22,500. Overland arrivals in Greece have climbed sharply to 14,000, a three-fold increase on the same period last year.

Too many losses unfortunately this year… I cannot not mention the fires in the resort of Mati, back in my country (Greece), where I have spent several summers during the 1980s… mere devastation… followed by the wildfires in California in November… followed by the terrible Tsunami in Indonesia… the planet is fed up with us lot and will either drown us or burn us down… We may have escaped a potential nuclear catastrophe with the meeting between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump when they met in Singapore on June 12, 2018. But who knows?! Who has control of that freaking red button?!

On a lighter note, the Spice Girls reunite albeit without Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) who seems to be going through a self-awareness phase regarding her musical talents (the what??) and decided to focus on her loss-making fashion business.

So, what was YOUR highlight of 2018?

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