1. What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?
agreed to teach a Sunday School class, got to-the-porch delivery with an online order (and didn’t know I would), had my first known COVID exposure, shopped at Trader Joe’s, started taking an iron supplement, and wound up in social media jail¹
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For 2022, I aimed to “live loved.” Reflect on the ways God loves us — me! — and identify its handiwork in my life. Then, live securely in that love, especially in the way I respond to others. It seems I forgot about this resolution early in the year. 😦
For 2023, I want to be brave and keep sharing, keep talking, keep trusting. Sharing because I can be selfish. Talking to God in prayer, as well as continuing efforts to improve my communication with people. Trusting God “with all of it,” whatever He brings my way.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, a sweet friend from church. Also, a high school classmate; she and I and two other girls ate lunch together one year, and I smile as I recall those good times.
5. Where did you travel?
starting in May, I returned to working at the office, one day each week
6. What would you like to have in 2023 that you lacked in 2022?
a job with long-term potential
7. What event from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory?
Event #1: stepping out the front door and seeing a small snake parked mere inches from my foot
Event #2: returning to work at the office and finding the bag of baby carrots I’d left in the fridge in March of 2020(!!). I know it was mine because I had marked it with my name and the date. Needless to say, the carrots had been reduced to a pile of black mushy goo. :p
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Plenty of days, when I deeply felt as though I couldn’t take a proverbial step, I took a step. Sometimes two!
9. What was your biggest failure?
In the summer, I made a commitment to help with a certain project. When time came, out of sheer laziness, I did a poor job — basically didn’t help at all. Rightfully, people noticed, and some expressed displeasure. #Shamed
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My worst illness in seven years, with a week of fever and stomach woes.
Also, my so-called condition must be on the bad end of whatever cycle it follows, because IIRC, much of the year was tinged with some sort of discomfort.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
a travel mug, a desk chair, and two big shelves
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Kelley, my co-teacher. (See questions 1, 31.) Her thoughtfulness and support have been a blessing.<3
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mostly, my own. I marvel that, at “this age,” I can still take petulance to a new level.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
After a years-long dream drought, late this year I’ve found myself again anticipating owning a home.
16. What song will always remind you of 2022?
“Build a Boat” by Colton Dixon. The line “I will build a boat in the sand where they say it never rains” is becoming a prayer, to meet challenges with faithful resolve.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? happier
Older or wiser? wiser (just a skosh)
Thinner or fatter? thinner
Richer or poorer? poorer, having been unemployed for two months
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Nipped a potential episode of overthinking in the bud by declaring “I’m NOT going to belabor this.” I prayed for wisdom, made a choice and moved forward.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
lost perspective much too quickly
20. Did your heart break?
no, but I felt the weight of some close calls
21. How did you spend Christmas?
Trying to stay warm on the third day of a 50-year polar plunge weather event! My mother, sister and I opened our gifts around nine-thirty, after I set up our low-frills video camera. Lunch was mostly a reheat of food prepared on Christmas Eve, plus potatoes baked by my mother. Watched my church’s on-line service. Took pictures of our gifts. Ended the day watching DVDs with the fam.
22. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?
Probably with my usual Saturday activities: chores, projects, and prepping for the Sunday School lesson. The fam and I will watch DVDs, and then ring the new year in as we typically do: sleeping.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Highway to Heaven. Yes, it’s old, but new to me. 😉
24. What were your greatest food discoveries?
bone broth, bulgur wheat, pickled beets, pink lady apples, seaweed snacks
25. What was the best book you read?
The Hiding Place and its prequel In My Father’s House by Corrie ten Boom were both compelling and uplifting. (Local friends, I’d be glad to lend them to you.)
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I rediscovered my Shaun Groves Welcome Home CD.
27. What did you want and get?
I made a few suggestions to my mother, and I was pleasantly surprised that she not only agreed but was very much on-board with the plans.
28. What did you want and not get?
My birthday shopping efforts did not produce the one item I wanted most: the right replacement for my old living room chair.
29. What was your favorite film?
Maybe not “favorite films” but “films I liked.” I finally saw all of Maid in Manhattan. I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the second time, and closed captioning helped SO much in understanding Holly’s enthusiastic rambling.
30. What did you do on your birthday?
For much of the year, I planned to celebrate this milestone birthday with a home makeover. But as the day approached, I learned that my job would end in late October, due to a lack of funding. So, I downsized, opting instead to simply order a few items to assist with home organizing.
Breakfast was pancakes with kudzu jelly. (Thank you, Christy and Jerry, for the jelly.) Hiking at Rainbow Mountain, a little shopping and fish tacos were happy repeats of last year’s b-day blessings. Supper was butternut squash soup with a bread bowl, plus a strawberry-blueberry fruit cup and two dried figs — a favorite food discovery from this year. I finished the day watching DVDs of fave shows.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More enthusiasm from my Sunday School students. Honestly, they probably have the same enthusiasm for Bible study that I did at that age, and overall, they’ve behaved better than I’d hoped. But as I’m learning to navigate the uncharted waters of teaching, insecurity is a struggle, and one kid’s eye roll will replay in my mind for the day that follows.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2022?
primarily “casual housewear”
33. What kept you sane?
The unofficial theme for my 2022 was “that did NOT go as I expected…!” Picture it said in a tone of bewilderment that borders on sadness and you’ve got the idea. The sorrow is because my intentions were good. Ah, but it dissipates as, time and again, God’s better plan unmistakably triumphs² over my steps — and MIS-steps!
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I generally avoid politics, but this year I’ve recognized the need to be more informed about those matters.
36. Who did you miss?
my former co-workers
37. Who was the best new person you met?
Pennie and Peggy
38. What changed the most in your life this year?
My sister started to use a cane. I changed employers in May, and then lost my job in October. I began teaching 5th-6th grade Sunday School and assisting with the children’s music program at church. I re-thought several (decades-long) diet choices and made radical changes, including reducing my caffeine consumption.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022.
I don’t have to worry because God guides as I take the next step and trust Him³. (I’ve repeated some form of this truth so many times that even my family is trending towards calmer responses. “We’ve just got to wait and see how it goes.” #WooHooTheyAreListening)
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
“Joy comes, tears fall. I’m learning there is beauty in it all. It’s not hard to find it; you just have to look. Oh, God is good.” ~ Francesca Battistelli “God is Good”