Happy New Year, friends! For my first post of the year, and against my better judgment, it looks like I’ll be keeping it mild and mundane with a totes basic New Year reflection type post. Just the standard “Wow, what a year! Doesn’t ‘2023’ sound so futuristic? What did I accomplish? What are my resolutions?” type stuff. Sorry.
A whole year is too much to sum up in a single word or phrase. It was a long and varied journey. I wrote more in 2022 than I have in a long time. I began learning (and relearning) new languages. I made new friends. I made the difficult decision to leave a job that brought me both deep joy and growing frustration. I took real steps to improve my health. I learned how to paddleboard. I started this blog and shared so much of my year’s adventures with you.
Most of my goals for 2023 are as unoriginal as this post: lose weight, read more, write more, travel, learn new languages. Almost everyone I know would admit to having at least one of those on their list of resolutions, and I feel a little bland when I see how much of what I hope for the next year is exactly what I’ve been doing. But I think it also means that I had a pretty good year, and I’m excited about what I started in 2022.
When most people were sharing their Spotify statistics, I found my Duolingo year-end figures. I ended in the top 1% of Duolingo users, I think based on XP gained over the year. Considering I only started learning with Duo again in August, I was astonished and I feel really proud of that accomplishment. I feel more confident in my French than I ever have before and am looking forward to trying it out for real when we reschedule our trip to Europe in the spring. I have a long way to go and I’m far from fluent, but I’m pleased with my progress.
I didn’t keep up with writing here in December as much as I had hoped, but between our trip to Wichita and the holidays, I just couldn’t find the time or mental energy to direct this way. I barely had the time and energy to get the Christmas decorations out, although I think this year made a pretty strong case for decorating my tropical plants instead of getting a traditional Christmas tree. (Potted palms and hibiscus bushes both have lots of places to secure ornaments and neither of them left me with a snotty nose, itchy eyes, or scratched up hands and arms. They also didn’t dry up the way a live tree does, even with regular watering. I also don’t have to worry about accidentally throwing away sentimental ornaments that I missed during undecorating.) Anyway, I’m glad I’m getting back into my normal routine and hope to be posting a couple times a week again.
I managed, for once, to lose weight last year, a perennial resolution of mine, and while I hit a bit of a plateau at Thanksgiving, I’m pleased that I didn’t bounce back up with all the travel and holidays. The return to a normal schedule will help me get that back on track, too.
I’d like to read more this year, but I have a hard time picturing where I’ll fit that into my schedule. I spent all morning today doing laundry (a truly Sisyphean task; I briefly considered becoming a nudist just to get a break from the laundry, but after 8 minutes decided I don’t live in a warm enough climate for that and went back to folding clothes) and I’ll have to finish this post before I go to the gym, and I want to start writing my next idea before it falls out of my head, and then I have to cook dinner, eat dinner, clean the kitchen, and then it’ll be time for bed. Where does the time go? And how do I fit reading books into that?
I hope to travel more in 2023, and we’re in the process of rebooking the European trip that we had to abandon in 2020. I’d like to do some other, smaller-scale traveling as well, but we don’t have plans set yet.
The year will certainly bring home improvement projects with it as well, and that means some good schadenfreude for you when I write about the inevitable tribulations such projects bring. I’m still looking for a resolution to the issues with my oven. We thought it would be nice to renovate our guest bathroom and take the opportunity to install a ceiling fan in our master bedroom. After doing a little lawn cleanup with the unseasonably warm weather yesterday, however, I discovered another rotten board on our front porch, and was overcome by a psychic vision that 2023 will be the year we
have no choice but to replace the front porch.
I won’t make any grand declarations about what 2023 will bring; last time I thought that, 2020 put me squarely in my place. But I’m hopeful and looking forward to what the year brings, and a lot of that seems like good stuff to write about, so you can look forward to reading all the nonsense that the new year brings me. I hope, at least, that this year brings you joy and love.