I almost decided not to write a year in review post because that always feels a little boring, a little like a performance review. However, I looked back at my 2020 year in the life post and thought, wow, I did some things and that inspired me to write a few words about 2021. Scroll down for my thoughts on what I want from 2022.
This year was wild for all the reasons that everyone had a wild year. We started with covid uncertainty, got the experience the manic excitement of vaccination, and here we are closing out the year with omicron. It was also wild dealing with non-life-threatening health issues like binocular vision dysfunction and TMJ. Getting new glasses and doing vision therapy is notably improving my life, but the therapy is also tiring and takes time from other things.
I also had the chaos of spending months preparing for the DELE (a Spanish certification test), and then not being able to take it. In my 2020 post, I wrote that I really thought I was going to take the test that year. Well, I for sure thought I was going to take it this year too! I traveled to Seattle to do it but got screwed by a poorly communicated change to the exam time. Maybe 2021 is the year.
However, the DELE drama is nothing compared to Viola dying. It was certainly the worst thing that happened in 2021 for me. It’s been nearly a year, but I still tear up when I think about it. It’s honestly the most grief I’ve ever felt. I had a little health scare with Huey this week (turns out she’s totally healthy) and I freaked out to think that I might lose her so soon after Viola. I’m just happy she’s okay.
Here are some other notable (and not sad) happenings from the past year:
- Adopting Fritz! Although losing Viola was terrible, we love Fritz and it’s lovely to have a kitten (Huey is still here too, but that’s not news).
- Dance class: I’m now up to three classes each week and I’ve been in two virtual recitals. I’m basically a professional now and I’m having a lot of fun.
- I cooked many foods. I learned how to make bagels and croissants (apparently that was this year!), and pasta. I made a lot of bundt cakes and snacking cakes, and I’ve gotten pretty decent at making Indian food.
- I traveled for the first time since the pandemic and also flew first class for the first time (it’s worth it).
- I got a new job because my old job was a chaotic trash fire.
- I found a new Icelandic tutor and I studied Spanish a LOT.
- I wrote many blog posts including a voter guide for the gubernatorial recall election (remember how fun that was?) and translated it into Spanish.
- I moved a semi-truck using only the force of my body!
I’m continuing my annual mood board tradition. As much as I am a word-person, a collage communicates a lot about my feelings and values. This year, I made a folder and collected things that resonated with me throughout the year. There’s a lot here about rest and luxuriating, but there’s also a lot of “I will burn this shit to the ground,” and I guess that’s just what I’m feeling here in these chaotic times.
I saw a great tweet that said instead of the “new year, new me” junk, we should embrace “new year, more me,” which I think is great. When I think about what I want to do in the coming year, as I have for the last several years, I feel like I’m on the right track. I want to keep becoming more powerful and awesome in what I’m already doing.
Here’s what is on my radar for 2022.
I learned that there’s a community fridge and pantry organization in Sacramento and I want to start contributing food to that. I’m realizing more and more that participating in community and making sure as many people as possible have something as basic as food is really important to me. I’m hoping to contribute regularly (but not overwhelm myself) and maybe organize some friends to get involved too.
Looking to another form of community, I am still thinking a lot about how to stop using social media as the main intermediary between me and my friends. Using signal for most of my chats has been great and writing my blog is a piece of the puzzle too, but I also want to get in the habit of sending physical mail to my friends. You know, slow mail. Pen pals. I just started an address book on Postable after seeing one of my internet friends mention it (If you want to get occasional mail from me, you can add your address here: www.postable.com/lindseyhalsell). This is also part of trying to take life slowly and deliberately (refer to the relaxed capybara in my mood board), instead of getting stuck in the anxiety-void infinite-scroll of the internet.
A big theme in 2021 ended up being taking care of myself. I’ve learned that I need to stop assuming that if something feels bad or uncomfortable, that’s just how it feels to be alive. I am planning to keep that in mind for 2022. I want to finish my vision therapy and keep taking care of my eyes and managing the TMJ issues. I am working on forming a habit of spending a little time on the stationary bike after work most days to help clear my mind and separate the workday from the rest of the day. I also want to make sure I’m taking time to relax and not trying to do everything.
I’m looking forward to more cooking and baking in the new year, of course. I got a big book of patisserie for Christmas so I’m hoping to learn some new techniques and broaden my baking knowledge. I’m also trying to get a better sense of what I actually cook for dinner and keep track of what I want to make again. I recently saw a genius idea for making a spreadsheet of what I cook regularly and including information about how hard the recipe actually was and how long it took to make. Naturally I made my own. It seems like a good way to maintain the meta-knowledge of what recipes I have among all the cookbooks and internet bits.
I’m not going to be so cocky this year as to set a reading goal though I hope to reach the elusive 100 books in a year goal at some point. My plan is to read as much as I can. However many books that turns out to be. I want to keep enjoying the library (and my library bike rides) and independent bookstores. Last year, I started tracking my reading on StoryGraph (though I still use LibraryThing to maintain my library). If you join, we can follow each other and see what we read. It’s fun! My profile is linzomatic.
I’m going to attempt, once again, to take the DELE C1 exam this year. If it doesn’t happen this time, I’m giving myself a personal seal of approval in Spanish and moving on with my life.
I didn’t knit a lot this year thanks to changing jobs, eye therapy, and a new kitten, but I want to knit more this year. I have many cool yarns to use and things I want to make. It’s also highly satisfying to wear things I made myself! This ties in with my goal of relaxing more too because, when I knit, I chill on the couch and watch TV or a movie. I would also like to do a little more sewing but that is more of a stretch goal.
Finally, I’m excited because we’re planning a trip to Iceland this fall! We’ve started planning the trip and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m happy to have something to look forward to outside of the routine.
I’m hoping 2022 will be an okay year for us all! I’d love to hear what you have planned for the new year too.