Normally, I’m pretty happy this time of year. But, the chaos of the holidays got to me a bit more this time around than in years past. I’ve definitely been more stressed, frustrated, and disappointed than normal. Even my little three-year-old looked at me with curious, innocent eyes and asked in her sweet tiny voice, “Why do you keep sighing, mama?” Zing!
That was a reality check. So no more bah-hum-bug by me. If my three-year-old is calling me out on being off my game, I need to get myself in shape asap.
In order to move past my faults and failures that have been bothering me, I’m going to face them head on first. And then I’ll look at my wins and find a more positive way forward. Oh what a year it’s been. Here’s a look at how 2022 was for me.
Related reading: Celebrate Your Wins And Remember Your Losses
In my post, A New Day, A New Dawn, & I’m Feeling Good, I wrote down my hopes and goals for 2022. Yikes, there are a lot of things that didn’t go how I hoped.
- Stress less and have more balance – Man this is so much easier said than done. I definitely had many periods of stress. However, I think my overall stress was less in 2022 than 2021. But I didn’t improve my balance between my kids, work, husband, and myself. I don’t think it got worse than 2021, but it didn’t get noticeably better.
- Self-care – I did a little better yoy in terms of doing things I enjoy on my own time, but it was rather sporadic.
- Real-ID – I’ve been procrastinating on doing this for a long time. But hey, it looks like the deadline recently got extended from May 2023 to May 2025. Hooray!
- Start a gratitude journal – I had big plans for making a custom scrapbook gratitude journal. But I took this off of my to do list due to bigger priorities. At least I started a digital list of things I’m thankful for which I reference instead.
- Productivity – I didn’t set a goal for this, but I was hoping to be much more productive in the second half of the year and wasn’t. Taking care of sick kids and catching everything they had for practically 8-10 weeks was immensely debilitating and exhausting. 2022 was BRUTAL for illnesses.
2022 Mehs and Pushes
- Death file – My mom finally filled out about 60% of the death file template I mailed to her in the spring which was like a Christmas present to me. Even though she’s not completely done, the progress was a wonderful surprise. However, my dad has yet to send me anything which is really disappointing. I even offered him a monetary incentive per page. Alas, I didn’t make any new headway on my own either, so I’m just as guilty. All three of us need to tackle this further in 2023.
- Backend work projects – I had some progress here, but didn’t do as much as I hoped.
- Optimize my laptop – I spent a couple days clearing out some files that were eating up too much space. But I wasn’t able to make any huge improvements. And I realized it would take too long, so I stopped. Given the age of my machine, I hope to get a new laptop in 2023 instead.
- Learn Chinese with my kids – I learned a little bit, and started reading and teaching more words to my daughter. But I couldn’t keep up with my son. He has long surpassed my vocabulary, which I’m very proud of, so that’s the silver lining. I just didn’t learn or practice as much as I hoped.
- Communication techniques – I think I had fewer communication mishaps in 2022 vs 2021, which is good. But my skillset is pretty flat in terms of development.
- Got a physical – I reconnected with my PCP whom I hadn’t seen in many years. And I finally got a physical over the summer. I also had a followup round of tests done in December and am happy there weren’t any red flags. I want to live as long as possible for my kids, and am glad I was able to get more life insurance for less money.
- Renewed my passport – This isn’t exciting, but a necessity none the less. I may need to travel to Japan in 2023 to help my mom with a bunch of stuff. Even though I didn’t renew my passport before it expired, I got it done before year end and it’s valid once again.
- Completed my Invisalign treatment – Wearing braces was tougher than I thought. But it was a great way to lose weight, ha! Dealing with trays during the day and night was a big pita. Fortunately, my teeth responded well and I’m quite happy with the results.
- Spread awareness of ASD – I wrote two beefy posts that I spent a lot of time putting together. I felt they were super insightful, heartfelt, and educational. Here are the links if you missed them: I Found Out I’m Autistic And I’m Glad, and My Autistic Life: From Childhood To My 40s.
- Had great summer and fall trips – Traveling with young kids isn’t really what I would call a vacation. Trip is a more appropriate word due to the amount of time and energy that’s required to care for and entertain young kids. In any case, I’m really glad that we had two successful family trips to Tahoe this year.
- Saw my mom before the year ended – It took a ton of patience trying to convince my incredibly indecisive mother to come visit us. But I made it happen! After a few bumps the first couple days, things smoothed out. It was wonderful to see her happy and relaxed. We went on some great nature walks with her and she finally got to meet my daughter in person. Thankfully, she also made it home right on schedule despite thousands of flight cancellations.
- Paid off a mortgage – My husband and I worked together to pay off our vacation rental property mortgage this year. That felt fantastic! We switched management companies a year or two ago, only to end up right back where we started due to a M&A. But the logistical headaches are happily over. Here are some benefits of paying down a mortgage early.
- Helped troubleshoot a flat tire fiasco – We had an unfortunate flat tire on our family trip, but luckily I remembered we had a spare tire. And I also helped coordinate getting a set of new replacement rear tires along our return route.
- Learned a lot about histamine intolerance – I tend to do a lot of research in my professional and personal life. And one subject I learned a lot about this year was histamine intolerance. It’s fascinating stuff! I started adopting a low histamine diet about 65-75% of the time and am now a true believer. Never Take Your Health For Granted
- Ordered a sofa sleeper that fit – Soon after I booked my mom’s flights, I ordered a sofa sleeper for our office. My blood pressure skyrocketed when the delivery guys showed up and it seemed the office door was too small. It was the one key logistic I forgot to check before I ordered it. But thankfully my husband and I got the door taken off and it fit. Phew!
- Busted my buns editorially – I spent a lot of time doing high volume copyediting and proofreading in the first half of the year. It was deadline intensive, but super gratifying. And the best part is I can say I was a part of the team that helped get Sam Dogen’s incredible book, Buy This, Not That on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Pick up a copy here!
- Supported my kids creativity – There are lots of things I want to improve upon as a parent. But one thing I feel I’ve nailed is fostering my kids creativity. It really helps that I absolutely love arts and crafts projects and so do my kids! We filled the year with endless drawing, finger-painting, water colors, cut/paste crafts, ornament kits, magnatile masterpieces, original marble runs, air dry clay, perler beads, bracelet making, cards, sticker projects, and slime.
- Started volunteering in-person again – Prior to the pandemic, I had a blast volunteering at my son’s neighborhood preschool. Then we homeschooled him from 2019-1H2021. He went back to school in 2H2021, but most of the volunteer opportunities were remote. In 2022, in-person volunteering opened back up and I was so happy to get involved again.
- Donated to charitable causes – I started sponsoring two children, one in the Philippes, and another in Guatemala. And I plan to continue sponsoring them until the maximum age of 19 or as long as they stay in the program. In addition, I donated two full SUV loads of baby and toddler gear, books, toys, and maternity clothes to a local charity for underprivileged and homeless families.
- Made some great new friends – With moves, job and lifestyle changes, and the pandemic, it’s been hard to stay in touch with friends. So I was proud of myself for reaching out to a fellow mom of two whom I met at a neighborhood playground earlier this year. She and I relate to so many things and have lots of good laughs. And I also became great friends with another mom of 2 who has a lot of similarities with me. I’m really looking forward to hanging out with them more in 2023.
- Learned how to play pickleball – I used to dream about being a great tennis player. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the natural athleticism, patience, or diligence to practice long enough to get to a decent level. So when my husband brought me out to try pickleball in November, I was surprised at how quickly I picked it up! It’s also been a very fun way to exercise, meet people, and be outdoors.
In the grand scheme of things, 2022 turned out a lot better than I thought when I first started writing this post! So I’m really glad I did this exercise and kept notes on my wins throughout the year. It made a big difference to fully recollect on the entire year vs only the most recent months that are in the forefront of my mind.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to take a thorough look through your sent box, photo albums, and any notes you’ve jotted down over the past 12 months. You’ve likely accomplished a lot more than you can remember off the top of your head too. See you in the new year!