2022 Was a Rollercoaster of a Year, But It Was a Better One Overall

30 Dec

Well, we’ve come to the end of another year, and what a difference 12 months makes. A year ago, I was frustrated and disappointed, feeling like there was no end in sight for the pandemic and like I was on a bridge to nowhere.

And now … well, if I’m not entirely in a positive frame of mind, I’m at least in a better place. Generally.

2022 was, in many ways, the kind of year I’d hoped 2021 would be: Less crazy. More normal. More fun. The pandemic clearly isn’t over yet, but this year, I found ways to live with it and be more comfortable in scenarios that worried me a year earlier.

And so, I traveled more. To Florida six times, as previously noted, but also to New York multiple times, back to Chicago finally, and to Cleveland. I saw a handful of shows, more movies, a bunch of concerts, and a lot of friends. I celebrated at three bat mitzvahs, one wedding, and a middle-school graduation. I went to the Cape over the summer for the very first time, I went to my first football game at Boston College, and I got to take a friend to his first Red Sox games at Fenway Park. I even rode the subway again, in Boston and Chicago, for the first time in two and a half years. (Maybe that’s not a big deal to you, but it was to me.)

As if all that wasn’t enough, I also got to spend time with Jennifer Garner and tell her I love her. (Alright, fine. So maybe it wasn’t alone time and maybe I was one of hundreds of people yelling and screaming at her as she was paraded through Harvard Square. But I did find a way to be just a few feet away from Hasty Pudding’s Woman of the Year, and when I asked her to take a picture with me, she heard me and obliged enthusiastically. That has to count for something, right?)

Of course, this year wasn’t all fun. Some of it really sucked. In June, when I celebrated my birthday, I lamented that these still felt like “strange times.” I had a colonoscopy in December, and then learned that, because of what I’ll call an irregularity, I need to have another one six months from now. My sister had to have an emergency appendectomy. Other people close to me had their own health issues, or they lost their jobs and/or family members — many in the last 6-8 weeks.

And yes, things with my dad — and, more recently, my mom — were a constant source of stress and worry. There were a lot of ups and downs, a few scares, some traumatic events, lots of frustrating and/or challenging conversations, and multiple times when I didn’t think my dad would make it to the end of the year — much less to his birthday or Thanksgiving. I never knew which was more difficult: experiencing things first-hand or being so far away. I hesitated to make plans too far down the road because I just didn’t know what would be. I had to learn medical terms like Rhabdomyolysis and Myelodysplastic syndrome.

But here we are at the end of December, and even though there is an increasing number of reasons to be concerned about my father and my mother, and even though I know the year ahead will be harder for my family than this year was, I’m very happy my folks are both still with us.

In short, 2022 was an emotional rollercoaster, with some very nice highs and some legitimate lows. The next year will definitely have its share of difficulties. But as this one comes to a close, I’m stubbornly choosing to focus more on the positive. And you know what? In general, I’m feeling pretty good — which is something I haven’t been able to say for three years

When the calendar turns to the new year, I’ll be celebrating the good times I got to experience over the last 12 months. Hopefully, I’ll get to enjoy more of them in 2023.

For now, here’s just a taste of the fun I had in 2022.

Happy New Year!

2 Responses to “2022 Was a Rollercoaster of a Year, But It Was a Better One Overall”

  1. Andrew Albert December 30, 2022 at 7:20 am #

    You had a busy year. I’m proud of you for staying strong and tackling the challenges of 2022. You didn’t ask for them but you did a great job! One can only hope 2023 will cut ya some slack. Here’s to a smooth year ahead.

    • Martin Lieberman December 30, 2022 at 8:40 am #

      Thanks, Andrew. And thank you for giving me a reason to come back to Chicago this year. 🙂 Happy new year!

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