Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here to lay 2022 to rest. It was a decent year, as years go. Certainly it was better than 2020 and 2021. Here is a brief rundown of how the year went.
This past November Zyra and I celebrated five years together, of which more than half has been during the COVID pandemic (which is still ongoing, by the way). This has been a big change for both of us but we are settling into the routine of it, which gives us the stability to start planning for the longer term. And we are both still very, very happy.
Last week included two important anniversaries – three years since we brought Poe into our house, and two since the arrival of her cousin/niece Pepper. They are nonstop sources of comfort, entertainment and joy, and now that we have them, I can’t imagine our household without our two little ginger maniacs.
But 2022 was also a rough year for the people in my life. During the past year I said a final farewell to Zort, Steve, Jessica, Neil, Bob, Sam, Ryan, De, and my cousin Teresa. Some of these folks were dear friends, others I had not seen or spoken to in decades. But even when pass the people we have relegated to the past, they are still part of our lives, and over time the loss of those small parts adds up. 2022 was not as terrible in this regard as was 2021, only because I lost no immediate family members, but I have resigned myself to being in the part of my life when my contemporaries begin to die of the things I once believed only took old people.
The biggest news of the year was that, after 36 months of virtual classes, practicing at Wilcox Park, and crowding into the studio at From the Heart Yoga, Master Lee’s School of Tai Chi Praying Mantis Kung Fu and Tai Chi Jeung is back at the West Michigan YWCA in downtown Grand Rapids. Almost all of our students have returned (At least, the ones who did not move away), and we are making up for two and a half years of being unable to practice to the extent that we did pre-pandemic. We are back into our routine again, and me and the other instructors are figuring out what the next few years will look like.
2022 was a stellar year for reading. I made it through just over 120 books and literary journals, and over 250 pieces of short prose. I have not read at this pace in a very long time. Probably not since my first couple of years working at the bookstore. The combination of lockdown, a steady and predictable project, and a re-assertion of my daily morning routine made this possible. I don’t expect to keep up this pace in 2023, as I need some of that time for writing.
I didn’t accomplish much writing this year until NaNoWriMo in November, when I completed about 75% of a story which has been bouncing around in my head since November of 2021. As of this week i am still plugging away at the last few chapters, in the slight hope that I will have the first draft done by the time I head to ConFusion 2023.
My job didn’t change much over the past year. For most of that time I was on a project which started in April of 2021, so it was steady and mostly predictable, and I picked up some significant new skills. And a brief, week-long project at the end of December gave me an overview of a new platform in which I will be working for almost all of 2023, so again, more predictable work. I got some very nice bonuses and a good raise which means I can now afford to do the work on my house and property which has been nagging at me for about the past decade.
Immediate appearances aside, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, so outside of any black swan events I don’t see 2023 being radically different from 2022. Which means next year will probably be wild.