Year-End (sort of) Recap

 I haven't done a Year in Questions post, I don't think, since This One, which I wholeheartedly enjoyed but couldn't really see doing every year (ha ha, never mind I did it again here). This year I'm stealing Suzanne's questions which, upon review, appear to be the same questions I was using - they must have been a thing back in the day when I had a memory. It appears that I stole them the first time from Hannah (HI HANNAH).

1. What did you do in 2022 that you've never done before? I'm trying to avoid the depressing thought that at my age there are either fewer things left to do that you've never done before or that the new ones will be more sad than exciting. Yeah, screw that. There were less good things (Had a mammogram. Had a repeat mammogram. Had a biopsy.) - no, this IS a good thing after all, because it was anxious-making and unpleasant but turned out well, and the doctor and nurse were extremely compassionate in their care). BUT just two days ago I took the whole family to Le Nordik for a Scandinavian spa day using a whack of still-valid gift certificates I found from pre-Covid days while cleaning my house. First time for everyone but me, first time with my family for me.

 It was amazing. The advised cycle of things is to warm the body in one of several saunas, plunge into one of a couple of cold pools to rinse off the toxins, sit in one of many hot tubs and then rest in a rest area. Angus and I did the full round of things, and then he found his bliss in one of the rest areas and stayed there for quite a while while Eve and I went on. Eve shunned the cold pools but loved everything else. Matt went from sauna to sauna to sauna to hot tub to sauna - the man loves a good sauna. At the end of the day he said his legs were jelly and Eve said "well you were in like nine saunas today, you have no discernible moisture left in your body". We all had a drink and a snack together in the Beer Garden. It's been a while since we had the opportunity to do something as a family that wasn't just hanging at home or watching a movie, and it was a really great reminder of the great parts of having older/basically adult children. 

2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't really make resolutions. I saw a post that began "why do we make resolutions for the new year?" and thought it was going to say "because it's a great opportunity to start fresh" or something, but instead it said something more like why do we put so much pressure on ourselves at one of the toughest times of the year, and I agree with that. Of course my eternal goal is to keep trying to be a kind and generous person, a good parent and partner, someone who puts more good into the world in general, and basically Not a Dick. But January has been a very difficult month for me for as long as I can remember, and trying to lose twenty pounds or write a book or master a language would just make it even more difficult, which is just kind of silly.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Rudely, NO. Babies are thin on the ground around here these days. We met Matt's colleague's baby just before New Year's, and they live close by and she's adorable, and I'm trying to figure out a way to capitalize on the offered access without it being weird. 

I don't see it not being weird. Not that that's a dealbreaker. I mean, look at her.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Not last year. Matt's mom is the closest loss I've had ever, the biggest one since that first year-end post, other than his grandparents, which hurt but they were full of years and seemed ready to go and it felt more like a natural progression thing, since the natural progression has to include bullshit things like mortality. Matt's mom was barely seventy, and her death was hard and painful and mean, and it was terrible for everyone. 

5. What countries did you visit? I was going to say none, but we did go to New York state for seniors day (Angus's last home baseball game) and Angus's graduation. I live in Canada, to be clear, so that counts as another country. I haven't been to another nother country since, um, oh I don't feel like figuring out when we went to Mexico. I don't feel a great urge to travel anywhere other than maybe Ithaca to see Angus this spring. In my first of these posts we were about to go to St. Lucia with the kids, which was awesome, except I missed Hannah's baby being born, which was balls.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011? I kind of hate this question. I have so much. But more energy, always. More focus. More patience. More perspective. Ha ha, I just realized I transcribed the question without changing the dates. 

7. What date(s) from 2022 will remain etched in your mind? Probably none because I never know what happened when. Angus's graduation from Elmira College was like June 3rd, I think? It was a wonderful day and a momentous occasion in our family's history. Whatever day he pitched for the game when Elmira beat St. John Something-or-other, the really good team they usually got creamed by, IN THE PLAYOFFS, is surely etched in Matt's mind. I wasn't there, but the texts after were fun. Oh! I have one! November 3rd, the date of the retirement reception for my former professor, stepping down as the head of Arts and Science, which is Eve's department. She invited me personally which was really sweet, and it was really nice being there. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Considering the mental health cliff dive that happened in January and continued until about March, probably surviving? Then I was offered another small job in March and I took it even though I didn't really feel ready, and it turned out to be a really good thing. Also, I started cleaning and organizing and decluttering in the fall and kept it up for longer than I have, um, ever, and a lot of areas of the house are in much better shape than they've been for years. 

9. What was your biggest failure? Same as in 2012 and every other year - healthy eating and exercise. Ugh, how boring. Maybe I'll commit a petty crime or apply to a huge job for which I am patently unqualified this year just so I'll have a more interesting answer next year. I also morphed unattractively into a really mean librarian a couple of times, and had to remind myself to address some self-care issues that let me remember why I like my job and how to let the crap go so I can show that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Covid in May, and the boob-violating biopsy (ouch) in June. And the shoulder injury from axe-throwing in August (I should have led with that, that's a cooler answer, isn't it?)

11. What was the best thing that you bought? I could say the Fluevogs, but as we all know, THAT WAS LAST YEAR, hahahahahaha. Maybe my night-light diffuser, which actually kind of sucks as a diffuser but is a really nice nightlight? Wait, I also bought that last year and only found it in the storage room behind the laundry room when I started cleaning this year. I'll go with the Instant Pots I bought for both kids - Eve because she was moving into a student house and Angus because he was moving into an apartment and off a meal plan for the first time. They both used their instant pots way before I got over my fear of my own.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? My husband works really, really hard at his job and for this family and hardly ever complains. Angus moved to a whole new city AGAIN, started a new degree and got a job and was the first person to try to walk on to the Ithaca baseball team in a decade - he got pretty far, too. Eve handled a lot of pretty overwhelming challenges with a minimum of crying and whale noises (it's our thing). I also particularly loved one grade two class that I read to every Thursday - they are smart and savvy about the rules of children's books, clever about extrapolating from the text, and kind about my storytelling skills. 

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed: Large-scale? Vladimir Putin. Several U.S. members of the Republican party. Small-scale? Well, I was working a bit here, but I actually can't think of anything for small-scale.

14. Where did most of your money go? Tuition and student housing. Worth it.

15. What did you get really, really excited about? Finally getting to be together with the whole family for Christmas but we all know how THAT worked out (sorry, sorry, mostly kidding). Eve is taking a Social and Political Thought course with a professor who taught me thirty years ago - he is exceedingly well-read and a high-level thinker and very difficult to impress, and she aced her midterm essay. In January Angus is starting an internship assistant coaching for his old baseball team at Elmira. He's at a coaching conference in Nashville right now. I try really hard not to co-opt cool stuff about my kids, because I really don't feel like I should get any of the credit for how awesome they are, but I'm learning that a cool thing about having kids is you get to be excited about exciting things that you don't personally experience. For myself? mostly old-person stuff like finding a good physiotherapist and getting the basement really organized. That's okay, right? Oh, and a really expensive candle that I may or may not tell you more about at some point.

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2022? About Damn Time by Lizzo for obvious reasons. I Believed You, William Blake by Frank Turner because I didn't even realize it was in my music library and it came on while I was driving down to Hamilton for my friend Jean's retirement reception, where I ended up running into the other professor Eve has who taught me, and the second class he taught me was a seminar on William Blake. 

17. Compared to this time last year you are... Less poised for a cavernous depression, I think/hope. My mood dipped yesterday and it felt alarmingly familiar, but I feel like it's not going to go as far down for as long. I'm a bit more employed. I'm down a few pounds. My back is slightly less sore. On the whole, better.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Playing the piano. Exercising (because it feels good, not for weight loss). Walking with Pam (HI PAM) - I haven't seen her much at all this year, which is bullshit. Being politically engaged other than just online. Trying new recipes. 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Doomscrolling. Arguing with assholes online without any hope of changing hearts or minds. Negative self-talk.

20. Did you fall in love with anyone in 2011 2022? The grade two storytime kids from Thursday. Seriously, they are fantastic.

21. How many one night stands? Just the one I set my sparkly new nightlight on.

22. What was your favourite tv program? Probably a tie between Wednesday and The Devil's Hour. And Archive 81 and Yellowjackets and Inside Man. I like 'em on the dark side. But for less dark, Abbott Elementary, holy shit, amazing. 

23. What was the best book you read? Yearly book review posts forthcoming, but off the top of my head? Probably Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr.

24. What did you want and get? A second library job. A pair of Fluevogs. A really expensive candle.

25. What was your favourite film of the year? Everything Everywhere All at Once. Creative, loony, hilarious, touching, joyful. I literally laughed and cried. 

26. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? I was 52. I wanted to go out for dinner with some friends so I asked some friends to go out for dinner with me and they said yes. It was really nice. There are tentative plans to go to Montreal this year for a do-over of my 50th that was supposed to be there in 2020, which would also be very nice.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2022? Same as for the last decade - a lot of dresses, a lot of tunics (hee hee). I had gotten away from jeans except baggy holey ones, which I wouldn't wear to work, but then I went to Torrid with Zarah (HI ZARAH) and the woman who worked there gave her a pair of jeggings (jeggings!) to give me just to try on with some tops I had, and I'm pretty sure she knew what she was doing, because the minute I pulled them on I knew I wasn't leaving without them. These three outfits are a good example of what I tend to wear to work (at home? pajamas).

With the Docs, of course.

28. What kept you sane? Bold assumption that anything did, but okay. My patient, long-suffering husband (I'm a lot, you guys, a LOT). My incredible children. My ridiculous friends, IRL and online. Having a twisted sense of humour about basically everything. My reading spot.

29. Who did you miss? My family and friends who live far away. My BFF from high school and university lives provinces away and I don't get to see her enough. Matt's middle brother and his family live provinces away in the other direction and we don't get to see them enough, but they're on sabbatical and going to be living a couple of hours away for a few months, which is amazing. My sister's family was here at Thanksgiving and will be here in February again. I get to see Matt's brother and his lovely wife and adorable kids a few times a year because they live near where Eve goes to school. I really just want all my family and friends together on an island forever, is that so unreasonable?

30. Who was the best new person you met? This is funny because in 2012 it was a Kate, and I think last year it was also a Kate - my librarian partner at my new job. She is warm and funny and all about the kids, and her library is chaotic and fun, and she has a British accent! 

31. What was a valuable lesson you learned in 2022? That if you're taking your mother for blood work, you should really make sure your dog is dropped off with your dad and not still in the back seat when you get to the lab.

32. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: Be more kind my friends, Try to be more kind - Frank Turner


Anna aka Beachmama said…
What a great recap of your year!’ Sounds pretty great to me.
StephLove said…
Beth and I are loving Abbot Elementary. I keep wondering if I should watch Wednesday with North but we have a whole season of Ginny & Georgia to watch, and most of a season of Locke & Key, so I don't know if we should add a show. Noah and I are already in a situation where we can never finish the series we've started together and that's a bummer. I don't know if I want to get into that fix again with the second kid.
Nicole said…
Those outfits are great!!

OMG THIS: " I try really hard not to co-opt cool stuff about my kids, because I really don't feel like I should get any of the credit for how awesome they are, but I'm learning that a cool thing about having kids is you get to be excited about exciting things that you don't personally experience." Totally feel this.

Lololol one night stand.
Suzanne said…
YOU SURVIVED, this is indeed a great accomplishment!

I love "full of years" and I giggled at the idea of committing a petty crime for purposes of next year's year-end wrap up. And I also laughed when you wrote that you had traveled to another country and said New York -- and I KNOW that you then clarified that NY is IN another country, but I feel like people from NYC feel like it is indeed it's own country. I say this FONDLY.

I also loved "rude" about babies, and how they are "thin on the ground." I agree -- I'd like more babies (NOT FOR MYSELF, but in my general vicinity) in 2023.
Ernie said…
Petty crime line was awesome. I'm happy that the extra job was added and that it ended up working out. Also hooray that you met another great Kate there. The island with family and friends would be dreamy. Heres hoping 2023 treats you well.

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