Happy New Year (a couple days early, depending on when you’re reading this)! I hope 2022 was a decent year for you and, if it wasn’t, I hope these past few days have given you a chance to decompress, reflect, and clear the air for a more promising 2023.
This past year I stepped back from DW and haven’t regretted that decision though just recently I have felt a tug to spend a little more time here, and so in 2023 I think that’s what I’ll do. Don’t expect daily postings again, but I do anticipate a little more regular posting than you saw this year, and I’ll be popping in on the forums more regularly, too. As always, please feel free to send requests for advice my way, and if you’re on Instagram, you can follow me there as well. I’m thinking about doing sort of “flash advice posts” on IG – similar to the shortcuts columns you’ve seen here – where I’ll answer short questions with short replies. So keep an eye out for that.
In my personal life, 2022 saw a number of new-to-me experiences: In February, my fam traveled to Grand Cayman where we swam with stingrays and enjoyed many hours at the swim-up bar just outside our condo; I finally visited Philadelphia on a girl’s weekend with a friend of mine (who wrote this and this and this); in late June just after school got out, the fam visited Acadia National Park where we hiked a whole bunch and “glamped” in the fanciest tent I’ve ever slept in; and in July I visited Montreal for the first time with a bunch of friends to celebrate my pal’s 50th birthday. There were also repeat visits to see family in Missouri and friends in Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky, and in November we celebrated my sister’s wedding in Miami. (Don’t ask me how many of my flights were cancelled this year!) After making up for a couple of quiet years spent mainly at home, I’m ready to do a little less air travel this year.
In addition to visiting new (and old) places, other new experiences this year included: doing a 100-day creativity challenge and discovering a love of drawing flowers; a whole month of grand jury duty; and taking up a part-time side gig cat-sitting neighbor cats. (My own sweet boy, Miles, is hanging in there at 17-1/2, but in preparation for the day he’s no longer with us, I thought taking on some cat-sitting clients would be a nice transition so that when I no longer have my own cat, I can continue enjoying the company of other cats in my life.) In October, I also started running regularly again after getting sidelined in 2020 and not really picking it back up until now. I ran only my second-ever race as an adult earlier this month and didn’t come in last place (I was right in the middle of the pack). Next up: a 10K and we’ll see how that goes and if I want to try for something longer after that.
There was also a lot of illness in my household throughout the year: multiple rounds of Covid; RSV; Norovirus; and coughing fits that lasted many weeks. I’m hopeful 2023 will bring less sickness, more healing. In fact, my word for this coming year – a sort of North Star I hope guides me through the next 12 months – is “healing.” The past three years have been… a lot. Is it totally naive of me to hope this year brings a little more ease? Maybe. But hope I will.
In 2022, my kids especially brought me a lot of joy. They are 11 and 7 now – we are well past the baby/toddler/preschool/kindergarten stages and solidly in the middle-age stage of kid years, where I feel much more comfortable and confident as a parent. (A highlight this year was at Jackson’s elementary school graduation where he was one of just a couple of the 100+ graduates who went up to the mic and thanked their parents for all their love and support; my heart almost burst.) It took ten whole years to get here – nearly two of which were pandemic years where we were all home together around the clock losing our goddamn minds – but now that we’re here, it feels a little like a new lease on life. If you are in the throes of parenting young kids and suffocating under the weight of all that, here’s your reminder that this stage will pass and on the other side: kids who happily write their thank you cards without needing to be nagged for days on end; conversations about all the deep-marrow life stuff with people who are only just starting to think about these things; kids who can make their own snacks (!). It’s all right there, waiting on the other side of the diapers and sleepless nights and messy meals, so hang in there. And enjoy the sweet baby toes while you can!
Anyway, I guess this post turned into an old-school proper newsletter like the ones my parents used to get from family friends in their holiday cards. If you’re in the mood, share your own in the comments. I’d love to hear what you were up to in 2022 – what new things you experienced, what brought you joy, what your hopes are for 2023.
Happy New Year, friends.