22 things that made my 2022
The things that made my year in 2022.
For me (like many), it was hard to unblur 2022 from the messy and volatile years prior. Heck, I hadn't even bothered to pause and finish a list like this in 2021 or 2020, despite several drafts. But still, I don't want to lose track of what has made each of these weird and terrible years special.
Looking back now, disheveled yet very much alive, I see so much I can be grateful for. So, continuing forward, here are the 22 things that made my 2022:
- The idea of a Creativity Faucet, and accepting that sometimes you just need to write and create things that aren’t great to get through the wastewater.
- In the spirit of clearing the wastewater, giving my first Ship30 a try. I wasn’t very successful, but loved the the discipline around clear and concise writing. Ship30 kicked off my excitement about online communities and pushed me to participate actively in more things in general. I found community here, as well as through Flow Club sessions, Start-up Recruiting Bootcamp, and various other groups that provided me with some much-needed workday camaraderie.
- Celebrating 15(!) years with This Dude, which we commemorated with an absolutely excessive omakase sushi meal at my new favorite sushi bar of all time.
- Eating in more restaurants in general. After a few years of over-reliance on delivery apps, we started hitting the list of very splurge-y restaurant dinners we never took advantage of before — especially anything omakase or with some sort of set menu. Nothing beats the joy of just having a chef bring you whatever the hell they want.
- Trying to clumsily teach myself how to play the piano, so I can someday live out my dream of playing that one song from the 1995 masterpiece, Casper. (In the meantime, happily churning through with whatever the Pianote app serves up.)
- A surprise night out to see Tori Amos. Getting to see a career-spanning Danny Elfman Halloween performance at the Hollywood Bowl, my favorite place to see live music ever. The weird little local bands, magic shows, and tiny venues we checked out.
- Very clear Los Angeles days. Hikes where you can see everything laid out in front of you for miles around. The one time we hiked to the top of Beaudry Loop and could see all the way across the entire valley, into Hollywood, and out into the ocean.
- A day spent snowboarding a nearly completely empty June Mountain for Shawn’s birthday + the one lucky run off Chair 9 the next day where the sun perfectly softened everything, just before conditions immediately went to shit.
- Finally giving up and just paying the damn $4.99 on my favorite idle game that interrupts you with annoying ad breaks every 2 seconds. I was resistant purely on principle (and maybe also because I’m not fully convinced every crumb of my data is being harvested and sold on the black market). Given how often this app is updated and how hopelessly addicted to it I am, I probably owe the creators of this stupid game way more than $4.99.
- These absolutely mind-blowing NASA photos, and taking a moment to feel tiny and insignificant in the universe.
- Remembering that I am an adult and nobody is here to tell me I can’t move all the furniture to the side, lay down a bunch of blankets and pillows, and just enjoy lots and lots of tummy time. Pizza picnics on the floor. Movie nights on the floor. Doing stretching exercises after a really big meal while sitting on the floor.
- A year of great TV (White Lotus, Severance, The Bear, Yellowjackets, Andor, Hacks, the final season of Dead To Me, rewatching episodes of Schitt’s Creek) ... and also a year of wonderfully not-great-at-all TV (Love is Blind, Bling Empire, and The Circle).
- Impulse buying my Dream Camera (used, of course... I'm not a Rockefeller!), and being absolutely sure it’ll fix my life. Not being in any way surprised when it didn’t, but still loving the experience of taking more photos that aren’t purposefully destined to land on a social media feed.
- The one January day when mystery baseboards appeared throughout our house. While I was out, Shawn tore through the entire house adding the baseboards we needed to replace, giving the whole house a lovely closer-o-finished touch. He even installed them in my nightmare of an office by pulling back all my furniture, and then meticulously putting everything back in its exact place — little messy piles and all.
- More beer outdoors at local breweries.
- Putting cut flowers in the garden. I planted dahlias for the first time, as well as different types of zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos. Having cute little jars of fresh cut flowers all summer was such a tiny delight.
- Trying some different tools and processes for keeping my personal priorities in focus. I revamped some personal Notion dashboards and the (very few) "spreads" I include in my paper Bullet Journal. A valuable addition was a monthly “people to message/call” list meant to capture all those “hm, I wonder how that thing went” moments that are so quick to occur and slip away. I found a great balance between analog and digital journals this year, and am excited to start out 2023 with my paper Bullet Journal, daily GoodNotes logbook on iPad/Apple Pencil, and NotePlan as a digital task manager.
- But also giving in to the idea that there truly isn’t enough time to do everything I could possibly want to do in life, and that’s okay. Letting go of the fallacy that fitting in all your priorities is a solvable problem or that it’s my own time management system that stands in between me and everything the world has to offer. Understanding, perhaps for actually the first time, that the real challenge is doing things you enjoy right now and focusing on the moment you’re in.
- Trying to make a really cool Chewbacca, but ending up with this.
- Perhaps my least online year in recent history. I barely used Twitter or posted much of anything on social media this year. I’m not sure what changed, but it was quiet and restorative in many ways, lonely in others. It gave me the opportunity to step out of the current, and decide exactly how (or, in some cases, if) I want to wade back in.
- Falling into the rabbit hole of new (to me) podcasts, like Normal Gossip, Hairy Butthole (🤭), and Maintenance Phase. I’ve linked to a favorite episode to get started with each.
- Conversations that bring out the joy in you, and friendships that feel like play over performance or duty. Disneyland without any partners or kids: just some adult women, drinks at the Star Wars Cantina, Minnie Mouse ears, and ordering way too much Dole Whip. Oysters, lobster rolls, great beers, and orange wine in the parking lot. Deciding to take drinks across the street to the beach, so the sunshine doesn't end.