Every year, I spend time during the week between Christmas and New Year’s thinking about writing a retrospective post about the previous year, and I almost never do it. I mean, I do blogwanking and sales recaps and top 10 lists and all that, but it’s rare for me to look at a year in any sort of semi-formal way and talk about how it went.
I mean, other than “That was the worst year of my life,” which I said of every single year between 2016 and 2020. 2021 wasn’t great, but was a better year than 2020. I mean, 2020 was not only the year the Covid epidemic hit but it was also the year my mom died, although part of me feels like I can blame that on 2019. It would have been difficult for 2021 to have been a worse year than 2020, and I really don’t think it was.
2022? It feels weird typing this.
2022 might have been a good year.
I feel like just by saying that I’m either bragging or tempting fate, y’know? But it’s hard to deny. I am, for the first time in years, Doing All Right, and by some measures, Doing Well. My family is all healthy and doing well. My son is thriving at his school and started playing ice hockey this year, which he seems to really enjoy. My relationship with my wife is as strong as it’s ever been. I have a new nibling on the way in a couple of months, and my nephew is walking and jabbering.
Financially? 2022 was the year my student loans went away, in and of itself probably the biggest thing that happened to me this year, as that was nearly $70,000 in loans and a $545 monthly payment that I’d been making for over 20 years. Gone. The personal loan that I took out that wiped out my credit card debt is over halfway paid off and my payments are over a year ahead of schedule. Both my wife and I are making more money than we’ve ever made before. We’re slowly working our way through the whole house getting things renovated and fixed up; this year featured a new bathroom, a vastly improved basement, flipping the dining room and the family room, and new carpet and new furniture in the living room.
Professionally, I finally quit the dysfunctional wreck of a district I’ve been working at for nearly the entire time I’ve been back in Indiana, and my new district and my new school have, so far, been absolutely wonderful in every way. I’ve actually been happy teaching for the last month or so, which hasn’t been true in a very long time. The blog is … well, still here; there was a reason there was no blogwanking post this year– but I’m back to having fun with my YouTube channel, which you ought to be following me on, damn it. And, honestly, for someone well out of the age range of your typical YT video game streamer, I feel like I’m doing pretty well.
I’ve kept up two months and counting of learning Arabic with Duolingo, finally starting to fulfill a promise I made myself when I dropped the class my freshman year of college. Calculus? I’m looking at you. I mean, I’m doing it from a distance, and with a fair amount of distaste, but I’m looking.
Hell, even the world in general dodged at least a couple of opportunities to go further to hell. And Biden has been a much better president than I’d ever have believed in 2020.
Really the only thing I have to complain about is my health; I have pretty much contracted all of the Fat Man diseases at this point, and it really might be a good idea for me to do the utterly stereotypical thing and resolve to lose some Goddamned weight in 2023. I don’t do resolutions and I’m not doing one now, but I’m literally fatter than I’ve ever been before and I have to wear a mask to bed, so … doing something to change that is probably a good idea? You never know; now that I’m not spending 90% of my spoons on stressing out about work and money I might have the headspace necessary to take a shot at dropping weight again. No promises, though. I can’t break them if I don’t make them.
I dunno, y’all. I’m unused to optimism, although I feel like I can make an objective case for at least considering the idea. Although part of me is pretty well convinced that I’ve screwed the pooch by typing this. If my house burns down tonight or something, it’s probably my fault. On to 2023, I suppose.