I think I’d describe 2022 as a . . . comme ci, comme ça . . . kind of year. A little of this, a little of that. Not great. But also not terrible. Maybe a bit . . . meh. So-so. A real mixed bag. Y’know? (I think my expectations were . . . pretty low . . . to begin with. After the shocking, world-shifting events of 2020, and then the relentless parade of disappointments in 2021, I held most things in check for 2022.)
As I looked back at my journals for the year, I noticed a definite, overarching theme this year. There was a persistent . . . tension . . . between the positive things I was doing and feeling in my life (y’know . . . right here in my little corner of the world) and the incredibly awful crap going on in the world beyond. Every time I felt like I was making a bit of personal progress and feeling a little better about things, another blow from that relentless march of stuff-happening-in-the-world would knock me down again. I was so outraged by so much . . . yet generally so content with my own life. (I will go into the new year still trying to reconcile that tension.)
I’ve had a very . . . contemplative . . . year. Lots of being in my head, working through a lot of things. As I mentioned in my one little word wrap-up post yesterday, it’s been a “figure out” year more than a “do something” year. Although I didn’t blog about it (and don’t worry . . . I won’t), all that introspection was important and meaningful for me. I did a lot of . . . unraveling and healing, some stripping away and some building up. I feel like I’m finally catching up with myself in some important ways, and I’m pleased that I carved out the time and space to do this kind of work. It’s not easy to do, but – for me – has been worth the time and effort.
Some concrete and tangible Good Things about this year?
- Well, you’re looking at a big one: Dancing At the Edge! Changing things up in a big way here on my blog . . . was something I’d been wanting/meaning to do for years. (Seriously, I have had this on my list of intentions for so long it was ridiculous.) It feels really good to be able to stop mulling it over and just to have . . . done it.
- Getting some big home projects wrapped up. We started the year with fresh paint inside, and we ended the year with a totally refreshed outside. Yes, that exterior re-do project I’ve been talking about for years finally came to fruition. (And we added another layer to that project besides – with a new roof and gutters.)
- People! Being able to spend time with people I love again. Friends. Family. In real life. In real time. (I really missed that.)
- Going out! Although we don’t go out a lot (and certainly not as much or as often as we did before the pandemic), we ARE stepping out again. And it feels really good.
- Okay. And I’m just going to say it . . . those midterm election results. They provided an unexpected boost to my weary soul.
- So many little things brought me great joy and comfort this year. Finally getting to know some of our new neighbors (who moved in during the pandemic). The Read With Us zoom discussions. A new job for Lauren. Brian and Lauren’s new house. A new fishing kayak for Tom on our lake up north. Good time in my garden. Regular “Whine & Wine” calls with my sister. Keeping up with our “Jar of Happy Things.” Painting classes. Hummingbirds. Getting to the Lake Michigan shore for a spectacular sunset. A perfect fall weekend up north.
There were, as always, some Low Spots, too. (Besides that relentless parade of outrages in the world beyond, I mean.)
- We said farewell to our Jenny pup.
- Our primary care doctor decided to stop practicing medicine altogether (and we really liked him).
- We were basically “under siege” for several weeks while our roof project stalled out.
- We got Covid.
- The deer ate my garden.
- And then the roofers destroyed what was left of my garden.
- The usual list of things I’d wanted to do, but didn’t get around to doing. (Why didn’t I do them? Mood. Timing. Biting off more than I could chew.)
So, yeah. The year felt a bit sloggy now and then.
Ups and downs.
Good things and bad things.
Highlights and lowlights.
But here at the end of the year, I feel like I’m coming out of a fog, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.
Join me tomorrow for my . . . Lightning Round! (Always a good time.)
This is a very good look back… I think it is so good to look at the good and the less than good bits each year. It helps give perspective, and yes, it allows for an extra lift for things like a resounding mid-term election cycle. That boosted me greatly as well! Hope. There were so many things that kindled the spark of hope inside me.
That is a fairly good description of 2022! After waking up most mornings with an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach during 2020 and 2021, wondering what awful thing was going to happen next, I was slightly more optimistic about my life during 2022 (except for Ukraine, Russia, and Putin). I think that any year is full of ups and downs, and I hope that 2023 brings more highlights and less of a slog.
Agreeing with Bonny that any year is filled with ups and downs (though sometimes more of one than the other). I enjoyed this “look back” and am hoping that 2023 is a great year for ALL of us. BTW, love your calls that are labeled “Whine and Wine” – will need to share that with my friend Leslie. And, I have to say, that I am so glad I decided to participate in the Zoom meetings for Read With Us – that has been a highlight for moi.
I am also feeling like 2022 was so much better than the previous two! It’s still amazing to me how much everyday emotions really were battered. I feel like after a year of retirement it’s time to give my days a rethink. Perhaps a volunteer gig or something along those lines.
Can I add a plus: your sunglass game is FIRE (as the kids say, or as they used to say). I love those frames! Are you a multiple pairs of frames person? I think I’m becoming that person.
A very good look back. I’m not sure how you balance a mostly good personal life and the horrible things going on all over the world AND a good measure of uncertainty about how things will go in the future. Some days I can say …………..my world really doesn’t change much. Then the dark thoughts creep in with ………….oh, but it COULD. It’s a struggle as you’ve said.
Wishing you and your family a very happy 2023. May we all find the peace we are craving.
You write an excellent summary and describe the tension many feel. Awful things in the world sometimes feel relentless while my life feels pretty darn good. We are living through years that are full of ups and downs and some swings felt like whiplash. I am glad you feel better at the end of this year. Onward we go into 2023.
Looking forward to the Word for 2023.
Sorry, that was meant for previous post. I think this past year was about the same for me as for you. Up and down.
I suppose that every year has it’s ups and downs given that it’s 365 days – it can’t all be great, right? You’ve highlighted the good with joy and remembered that not-so-good with grace and it sounds like that has given you the perfect perspective for moving forward. I didn’t journal as much as I used to in 2022 and I want to change that for 2023.
You really had a year of highs and lows. The world had a year of highs and lows and we go on with hope because that’s what we do. For the last three years I’ve thought the next year would be better, but for three years it hasn’t been what I would call “better”, but changing my perspective about it, even with all the troubles I had (breaking arm, having covid, falling on my face) I have to say I really think it was quite a good year (that midterm election helped). This year I’m just welcoming the new year with no expectations and that should hold me in good stead.
The midterm election and the puppy have left me in a much different place at year-end than I was at even four months ago. A longer perspective is helpful! Yay for all the good things you got done around the house, the good times Up North, and the positive changes with your family. You need those to help you weather the down things (That Jenny pup … such a sweetheart!)