Looking back at 2022 in retrospect has helped me take stock of what turned out to be a year that changed me quite a bit. Check out our family’s highs, lows, and what’s coming next in 2023.
Every year at the end of December, I sit down in a quiet space and think through my intentions for the coming year.
Resolutions have never worked for me. What works a lot better is writing down some ideas or goals that I’d like to keep front of mind, and returning to that physical list often to see if I’m making progress, or if the things on the list even still resonate with me.
I can remember a year ago feeling apathetic about the start of the new year, and how it really felt just like any other day or season.
This year, I feel hopeful. And maybe a little bit strong.
Psst — if you like the vibe of this post, be sure to check out the Essays section of the archives to read more about what’s on my heart.
In 2021, I took time to discover myself in new ways and learn more about what makes me the person I am.
In 2022, I found that I had done all of the digging that I could do on my own, and invested in myself in a new way – by starting therapy.
If I’m being honest, it’s something that I’ve thought about for years and have never pulled the trigger on for lots of reasons (not the least of which is that it can be a really difficult process to navigate insurance and find a provider, which to me is a glaring fault in our mental health care system, but we’ll save that soapbox for another day).
I’ll save my deepest thoughts about it for myself (and my therapist – ha), but I will say this: I wish for each of you to have a safe space to share your whole self and be met with compassion. It has changed me in ways that I never imagined.
On a lighter note, I got my nose pierced! (And yes, this belongs in the mental health category.)
It’s another thing that I had wanted for years and put off for personal reasons. But I did it and I love that it’s something that’s just for me.
This year, I poured myself into one major project: I wrote a book.
I’ll be sharing so much more about it soon, because it’s launching at the end of April and I want every single one of you to have it. I can’t wait to tell you what it’s all about.
It was deeply challenging and most days I questioned whether I made a huge mistake in taking on the project. It brought up plenty of imposter syndrome feelings, and many occasions where my inner critic was saying things like “Who do you think you are?! Book-writing is for experts.“
But after pushing through, and trusting myself to be capable enough to take it on, I can look back now and see a body of work that I’m extremely proud of and stand behind one hundred percent. I did it. And it’s beautiful (you’ll see).
This year also held a big shakeup in our family’s daily routine, as Ryan took a director position at the Gallo Center for the Arts here in Modesto. Having him work out of the house (but also still maintain his web design business) has been a huge shift but one that I think came at just the right time.
The kids and I are so proud of him and love seeing him use his theatrical background to contribute in such a cool way to the arts scene in our community.
Traveling these days is more challenging than it used to be, with school schedules and work schedules and just life. But travel is one of our family’s greatest joys and we were able to sneak in some trips and make lots of memories.
We wrapped up our annual passes at Disneyland with a few perfect visits. I love seeing the kids grow up there and share my old stomping grounds with them. Henry is old enough now to navigate us through the parks and Maggie delights at every magical moment.
Our big trip for the year was to Maui, and a couple of peak moments for me were snorkeling with Henry (his first time in the open ocean), and swimming in a natural waterfall pool with our family.
We love exploring our beloved California, and took road trips to Half Moon Bay (just Ryan and I for our 11th!), Monterey, Carmel, Pinecrest, San Francisco, LA, and Palm Springs. I even was able to snag a weekend in Carmel by myself on a solo trip that was majorly restorative.
With Ryan back in the theatrical world, we’ve also stepped back into that life a bit and are seeing so much incredible theatre. Too many great shows to name, but it feels so good to return to those roots. I forgot how transformative it can be seeing great theatre.
We are still so invested in our community, and this year we had the opportunity to continue doing very tangible things to make it better.
Ryan and I are still on the board of Modesto Children’s Museum, and 2022 was a huge year for our organization. Building something like this from the ground up has been deeply challenging, with a massively steep learning curve.
But our team has stuck together, continued to show up and put in work, and now we’re almost there. We’ve raised nearly $9 million, exhibits are being built, and we have an opening date in the summer of this year. It feels so surreal to say that.
I feel so honored to be part of something that will change our town and be a safe and happy place for kids, families, and educators.
But all of that — books, jobs, museums, trips — none of it has been as life-giving to me as my family. These three people that I get to be with every day are everything.
It was a joy this year to see Ryan coach the baseball team again, to watch Henry learn to play the piano and foster a passion for art, to see Maggie blossom into a kindergartener with a wild streak and a penchant for performing. I treasure these years.
In May, we unexpectedly lost Ryan’s dad. It was a blow that I don’t think we were prepared to deal with, and things feel very different without his sharp wit and soft heart. Losing a parent feels like a difficult step deeper into adulthood.
But through that tough season and a few others this year, the constant that we had was each other. There is so much comfort in that.
What’s Next in 2023
If I’m being completely honest, I want more.
More self-discovery, more compassion for myself and for others, more time to just be, more work, more joy, more tears.
I want to lean in.
So I hope that’s what you see here, and in my work, and in my life if you know me in person.
I hope to lean in to the things that fill me up, to the things that better our community, and to the things that provide value for you here.
And I hope you lean in, too. xoxo