Every year during December, I spend a good bit of time taking a look back at the year ending . . . to help me get ready to step into the new one coming. It’s . . . just really my jam, y’know . . . this introspective Review Thing. I just . . . gotta do it. (Can’t help myself.)

And then, traditionally, I share some of the highlights of my review with you . . . during this final week of the year. (And, since 2020, I’ve peppered my review posts with photos from my Selfie Project . . . something I started when the pandemic hit and just haven’t gotten tired of doing yet. Turns out it’s just another way to “journal.”)

I always start here . . . with this song from the musical Rent . . . because that’s what I’m really trying to do with my yearly review: I want to account for my 525,600 minutes. For myself.

How do you measure . . . a year in the life?


So, how do I do this review thing? It’s pretty simple. I just . . . look back. At my calendar, my planner, my journals, my blog posts, those selfies. Anything that can remind me of where I . . . was . . . for the year. I look for themes, things I wanted to do (and either did or didn’t follow through with). I track the way I was feeling. I’m usually surprised by some of the things I discover — and some of the things I forgot. I also take a look at “the numbers” . . . those meaningless (unless they are meaningful for some reason) numbers that pop up at the end of the year.

They make an easy place to dive in, so let’s start there.

Ravelry . . . reminds me of what I knit in 2022. A few sweaters. A few shawls. A couple of little elves. Some hats. (Ravelry doesn’t tell me that I also knit a bunch of blanket squares, or ⅔ of a cardigan. But I did that, too.)

Spotify . . . tells me I listened to a ridiculous number of hours of music across 16 genres, which apparently qualifies me as a “Musicologist.” (It also points out that I have a clear preference for the Foo Fighters . . . and Harry Styles. But I already knew that.)

Goodreads . . . tells me that I read just over 27,000 pages this year (which is very consistent with my page counts from year to year), with the longest book clocking in at 816 pages (that would be The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois, by the way). My average star-rating was 3.8, which seems about right to me.

Peloton . . . enthusiastically announced that I “crushed 2022!” (Because of course that’s what they’d say.) They also told me my favorite instructor was Emma Lovewell . . . and that the “ride” I did multiple times was Emma’s “Foo Fighters” ride. (No surprises there.)

This year, even the Washington Post sent me “my numbers!” They tell me I read 333 stories on 81 topics by 257 authors (which is way more information than I want anyone to have about my reading tastes, actually). Further, they tell me my reading history shows that I am “Stylish & Opinionated” (apparently based on my reading preferences: #1 Lifestyle, #2 Opinions, and #3 Politics). 

According to the NYTimes, I have a 94% solve rate in Wordle (which I only started playing in September) (and thanks, Karel, for helping me see that I actually might like it), and a 96.6% solve rate for the NYTimes Crossword (I’ve been doing them every day since the beginning of the pandemic). Sadly, they don’t keep Spelling Bee stats (that I can find), but Tom and I team up on that one every day. (And we’re VERY GOOD.)

While these kinds of numbers are kinda fun, they aren’t particularly meaningful to me. What kind of metrics WOULD BE meaningful to me? Well, interesting stuff like . . . 

  • How many times did I see the loons on the lake?
  • How many journals did I fill?
  • How many times did I finish a painting I wasn’t initially happy with?
  • How many hours did I spend texting or talking with friends?
  • How many sticky notes did I stick in books to mark passages I liked?
  • How many hummingbirds visited my garden?
  • How many times did I go ahead and get on the Peloton ANYWAY . . . even when I didn’t want to?
  • How many miles did JoJo and I walk together?
  • How many poems did I read?
  • How many times did Tom make me laugh?

THOSE metrics . . . are more important to me at the end of the day. But nobody’s counting that stuff (the important stuff) for me. 

I WILL, though, adopt my new “label.”
From now on, just think of me as a . . . STYLISH & OPINIONATED MUSICOLOGIST!


Join me tomorrow as I share year-end reflections about my one-little-word.