As December winds down, I usually take a look back at my journals and my planner and my blog posts . . . to review the year-nearly-finished; to remember what happened and how I felt about things. I like taking stock. Reminding myself where I was back in January. Understanding how I got . . . here now, in December.

I find it to be a really nice and settling way to end one year . . . before beginning the next.

If I had to describe my 2023 in one word, it would be . . . stability. While it was a good year for me, personally, it seemed to be a really terrible one for the world, collectively. And, as has been the case for the last few years, that constant contrast remains a tension in my life. It’s hard to say “2023 was a stable year for me” when it was such a terrible year for so many people in the world. But . . . the only year I can analyze and reflect on, really, is my own. And, well . . . 2023 was far better for me than 2022. Which was better than 2021. Which was actually not all that much better than 2020, but there you go.

Anyway. 2023 seemed to be just . . . stable. No big excitements. But no major disappointments, either. I’ll take just a nice, normal year – a year of stability – any time. (Because they’re not always like that.)


As I mentioned yesterday in my one little word wrap-up post, I had a year of . . . allowing space for myself. I did a lot of personal reflection and thinking-things-through. For a while there, my journal was full of entries where I whined about a persistent “funk” I was feeling, and So.Many.Words about “feeling stuck.” But . . . those emotional months led to some personal breakthroughs in understanding and forgiveness and moving forward. This “process” might not have been pretty to watch (or live through, actually), but it has put me in a much better place (space?) to head into a new year.

Some notable things about 2023:

  • Our lives are finally looking quite a lot more like they did before the pandemic happened. We went back to the movie theater. We’re going to parties and gatherings regularly again — and we even hosted a much-smaller version of our winter solstice party last week. I run out for “quick errands” without a second thought now. We go to concerts and restaurants and events. This strikes me as good – but a little weird. I thought there would be more lasting changes to the way we live, somehow. And . . . there really haven’t been.
  • We lost our power in an ice storm in late February. 56 hours without heat . . . is a lot of time to be without heat! Enough time that I . . . well. I didn’t always behave like a grown-up. But . . . it did get us thinking ahead to the “next” ice storm. We bought a really nice generator and hired an electrician to hard-wire our house to accomodate it, should the need arise. (Which pretty much guarantees we’ll never need a generator. So it goes.)
  • After years of discussion and much gnashing of teeth, we finally replaced – and upgraded – our dock up north. (The upgrade is a “deck” that extends off the side of the new dock.) It is so nice and we’re so glad we finally did it. Best of all, we’ve hired the putting-in and the taking-out parts of the dock set-up, and that is worth every penny!


  • You know what else we finally did? We installed the cool and very fancy house numbers we bought last year. (They sat in a box for over 12 months. We’re like that sometimes.) It’s nice to finally have house numbers again!
  • When it comes to hobbies . . . I knit consistently all year, but not as intensely as in past years. Not as much output, for sure. I spent more time embroidering, and a fair amount of time painting or otherwise dabbling in my “studio.” And I’m fine with that. As far as reading, I signed up for NetGalley and ended up reading several ARC (advanced reader copies) of books this year. I enjoyed doing that, and plan to continue in the future. And I’m thrilled to report that my garden came back to life brilliantly after last year’s devastation (the roof siege and the deer).
  • I spent a LOT of time learning about Medicare. So much time. (It is so dang complicated!) Our mailbox was heavy-laden with promotional sales pitches from every possible medicare plan on the planet — for months. (Because Tom turned 65 in December, and then I’ll be following him 3 months later.) We ended up working with a Medicare consultant (a “perk” provided by our financial advisors), so now I’m confident with our choices and all the steps we need(ed) to take to get signed up. (But, truly. This process is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.)


  • If I had to name one thing that really bugged me about 2023, it would be my regular and recurring bouts of insomnia. At least 2 or 3 times a week, I wake up at 3:00 with “busy brain” about . . . something (The-State-Of-The-World is a frequent middle of the night topic for me; other favorites include The-Pointlessness-Of-My-Life or the running list of Minor-Things-I-Can’t-Control). Always looking for ways to quell the dark, middle of the night brain activity. (So far, solutions elude me.)

So. Nothing really over-the-top exciting in 2023. But nothing devastating either. A fine mix. A good year. Stable. In the best possible ways. (I wouldn’t mind if they all looked like this, y’know?)

Join me tomorrow for my annual Year-in-Review Lightning Round (always a good time).