Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2022: Year in Review

Photo by Matt Hoffman on Unsplash

 1. What did you do in 2021 that you'd never done before?

* Decided to leave a job I liked for a new job opportunity (oh, the angst! It's going okay. I like the new job and miss the old one.)
* Got Covid-19 and was admitted to the hospital overnight -- severe shortness of breath
* Got Flu A 

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I love new year's resolutions, even if I don't keep them all! . 

Last year was the first time I didn't really make resolutions. I was just not feeling it. This year, I do have some specific things I want to do:
* Walk 20 minutes a day (already being tested because the weather is damp and drizzly).
* Meal plan (I'm sorry--are these the most boring and middle aged resolutions ever? Yes they are.)
* Yoga with Adriene in January
* Finish revising & query my novel (I'm stuck--it's mental)

I am going to try a word of the year this year, and my word is "Delight." I just want to get excited about small things and celebrate without reason. As I look back at 2022, it was a hard year for our family (for reasons I will likely detail below). It had a lot of bright spots, especially a summer with a lot of vacation time, but we had a lot of illness, loss, some financial strain, and switching jobs was a huge source of stress for me. Ready for more delight in 2023.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
David's dad passed away on Christmas day. My mom's cousin Pam whom I always liked and admired also died earlier this year. 

5. What countries did you visit?
Stayed in the U.S. and didn't venture too far--vacation in Chicago, trip to West Virginia, family reunion in Indiana.

6. What would you like to have in 2023 that you lacked in 2022?
Good health for all of us!

7. What events from 2022 will remained etched upon your memory?
Sledding on our driveway, Coco's pride in her gymnastics meet wins, Zuzu's ninja competitions, girls singing in church choir, Genevieve's fall that knocked out her tooth, Genevieve's fall that split open her face and required an ER visit and stitches, adopting Blossom, taking the girls to see Frozen on stage at the Fabulous Fox theater. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Wow I feel like I have nothing to say here. Switching jobs took up a lot of my mental and emotional energy in the second half of the year, but I'm not sure that was a big achievement really. I wish I could say I completed a creative project, but that also did not happen. 2022 might be the year that we got through, finding our footing as we re-entered post-pandemic/endemic world, working to get into a rhythm, and keeping our heads above water.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Failure to finish revising the previously mentioned novel, probably due to the fact that then I'll have no excuse not to send out queries and I dread doing that because if nothing comes from it then what? Ugh.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Covid in March: one night in hospital, severe shortness of breath and exhaustion for fourteen full days. 
Flu A over Thanksgiving weekend: stayed in bed for four straight days with fever, body aches, and cough. Coughing and congestion continued for three more weeks until I finally realized that it wasn't gradually getting better and then I saw my doctor and got meds for a sinus infection. It was December 18 before I felt like myself again--just in time for Gee (who had also gotten Flu A) to come home from preschool with Hand, Foot & Mouth. Thankfully the rest of us did not get it.
Meanwhile, David had a mild case of Covid in March, rehabbed a shoulder injury to get back out and pitch, shattered his elbow when he fell playing outfield in June, had surgery on elbow in July, spent all of November complaining of cold symptoms, and will be having shoulder surgery in January. We are falling apart!!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Blossom's adoption fee from the rescue organization & the registration for Eliza's Little Free Library. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My neighbors were sooo kind this summer when David had elbow surgery--brought us meals and gift cards. It was really kind. Also David's sister Erika and the way she cared for his dad in his final months/weeks/days. She was amazing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
All the racists and misogynists who are elected to Congress and Elon Musk

14. Where did most of your money go?
Montessori preschool & groceries 

15. What did you get really excited about?
Working from home 1-2 days per week. I actually love going into the office, but that break from the rush of getting up and ready and out of the house before starting work is such a mental relief.

16. What song will always remind you of 2022?
that Kate Bush song from Stranger Things "Running Up That Hill"

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? sadder in this moment--losing David's dad has been hard.
thinner or fatter?  NO LONGER ANSWERING THIS QUESTION BECAUSE ITS IRRELEVANT... as I tell my kids, the way you look is the least interesting thing about you.
richer or poorer? poorer (see preschool & groceries)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
writing and creative projects

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
screen time

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At home with my parents and MIL. It was better than Christmas Eve of 2021 in terms of child behavior, but Gee had a fever and cough so we didn't go to church, the kids' Christmas pageant the night before was a bit anticlimactic, and with all the illness in December, we never fit in a visit to Santa. But we had a nice (white!) Christmas. My favorite was actually the day after Christmas, when we played Nintendo switch and then played board games and watched Glass Onion while Gee was napping. It was the low-key day we really needed.

21. Did you fall in love in 2022?
with our new pup, Blossom

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Season 2 of Sex Lives of College Girls. Mindy Kaling is a genius. 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Not putting energy in this direction.

24. What was the best book you read?

Top 5: 
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Matrix by Lauren Groff
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford

Let's make it a Top 10!:
The Change by Kirsten Miller
Joan by Katherine J. Chen
One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke
The Island by Adrian McKinty
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

I also spent a lot of time thinking about these two (both fantastic on audio):
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green
All that She Carried by Tiya Miles
Tell Me Everything by Erika Krouse

25. What was your favorite musical discovery?
I listen to all the same stuff + Taylor Swift's new album. Maybe I need to get more musically adventurous, but honestly, it's fine.

26. What did you want and get?
a job with a higher salary & work from home flexibility

27. What did you want and not get?
I can happily say I have nothing to put here!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I barely watched any films this year, but just over Christmas I watched and enjoyed both Glass Onion and Emily the Criminal (both on Netflix)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 42 and we were in Indiana for our family reunion. Next year, the reunion has been moved up a week. My mom is convinced it will destroy our record of excellent weather, but maybe it will also give me a chance to celebrate my birthday a different way?  

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Finishing my novel.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2022?
Not-so-dark academic.

32. What kept you sane?
David, female friendships, wonderful neighbors, grandparent visits, high quality healthcare

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
adoring Harry Styles and on team Meghan & Harry

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Overturning of Roe v. Wade

35. Who did you miss?
My friend Erin (she moved in 2021 but I miss her in 2022!). 12yo Eliza. 

36. Who was the best new person you met?
A new friend at work & new friends in book club.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022.
2022 has reminded me that 3yo are as challenging as 2yo but in a different way. It has reminded me not to take my own health for granted. It has reminded me that a dog who loves you best is a total mood-booster. It has reminded me that girls' nights out are great, but girls' nights in with stretchy pants are even better. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
It ain't alright, the hardness of my head,
Now, close your eyes and spin around
Say, hard times you could find it
Ain't the way that you want
But it's still alright.
Late at night, do you lay around wondering?
Counting all the lines ain't so funny now
Say, times are hard, you get this far,
but it ain't the way that you want
I'll be damned if this old man don't 
Start to count on his losses
But it's still alright.
from Nathaniel Rateliff "And It's Still Alright"