This will be my eighth year in a row doing these, so you can also read about the years since 2015 if so desired. They are inspired by Tilde, who has taught me that it can be a Good Thing to remember what the last year has been like. Many of the headers in this post are based on my goals for 2021.
The phrase for this year was neighborliness, as I settled into being a home owner, the life of a parent, and simply shifting focus from showing up for people far away to showing up for people nearby.
I felt pretty boring this year – I can’t talk about work, I like riding bikes for the meditative values and not because of bike minutia, and babies are frankly pretty boring. But I did do a significant amount of work on myself, and feel stable in my life. And hey, I actually met all my goals for the year.
Met stated goals
🏆 Take on a new challenge at work
We did this in two ways, and on one I just could not get along with the directly responsible individual I was partnered with, which is rare and uncomfortable for me. She’s a lovely human, but I think we’re both control freaks in the same way and it just kept not working. The project was huge and gnarly and I had intuition that it was off the rails, but not enough experience to say why. So after about 6 months of all of us being miserable, I bowed out. Now everyone has a better chance of success, and I’m trying a different challenge instead. I’ll let you know how that one goes after it’s done. The other big challenge I’ve been chewing on for the year is going well and I’m excited for it to be announced in a couple few years.
🏋🏻 Re-establish a physical activity regime
I’m training to ride Mount Hamilton as a 114-mile, 10k ft of climbing ride in April or May, which means a longer and longer bike ride each weekend. I’ve also started power lifting at Brightside Barbell and I frickin’ love it. Feeling strong and capable again.
🏡 Take care of my part of the house and childcare without prompting
Surprising no one, Reed and I have a robust spreadsheet where we track the days of the week in half hour increments to balance childcare, which is then backed up by calendar invites. I do a few hours shy of 50% after outside help is accounted for, and then he does the lion’s share of chores around the house. It’s a system that works well for us and we check in regularly to be sure it feels fair.
💰 Be intentional about my finances
In March I set three recipients of monthly donations: Planned Parenthood, Trans Lifeline, East Bay Bicycle Coalition, and Doctors Without Borders. I’m still not as close to the 10% that I’d like to be giving, but I think that needs to wait until Locke is in school.
Otherwise, I kept up my review of all transactions on my accounts. I was $46/month off in my budgeting.
🍻 Continue to moderate my intoxicant intake
On this, I made one major change part way through the year: moving from amount to reason. I made myself think hard about why I was drinking or whatever: was I bored, or doing it out of habit? Or was it a gorgeous day, had I worked hard, or was I being sociable? It’s still not exactly how I want to be tracking – I think it’s a combination of reason, amount, and pattern; but I’m doing all this in spreadsheets and complex functions like that are hard. Maybe one day I’ll actually learn how to code.
🌱 Be a good steward of the land I’m now partially responsible for
Alright so I am not a gardener. I managed to hire a gardener, to keep the English Ivy at bay in the back yard, and had the front yard redone from grass to low-water mostly-local plants. Reed insisted on having a bench. It’s gorgeous, and I’m so excited to see how the plants grow over the years. I even managed to weed a time or two.
Be a good neighbor
I’ve really invested in the neighborhood this year. I continued being on the neighborhood opt-in board, we hosted a couple from Ukraine, and we deeply bonded with a few couples from the neighborhood. I encouraged folks to prepare for disaster, and hosted a ballot party. I feel really good about the role I’m beginning to take in our neighborhood.
💙 Working on myself
I spent a significant amount of time and energy understanding and improving myself in 2022. I was diagnosed with OCD and got treatment (did you know not everyone counts things all the time???) which has subsequently been like a tiny vacation from my brain every day. While I didn’t pursue an autism diagnosis, I did learn more about autism and what its patterns are, and employed a specialist in a consultant role to learn more about the tools folks on the spectrum have access to.
I also started a program about multigenerational trauma, and about what I can and can’t control about it. It’s been an immensely long slog, it is work every single week, and I’m so grateful to my fellow travelers for sharing their experience, strength, and hope.
Since we’re all done with makin’ babies, I was also able to start on testosterone. I have yet to see any results besides moodiness from it, but I’m hopeful it will change my voice, lend me more strength/muscle mass, and redistribute my fat. We’ll see if it’s worth the side effects! Also, wow gender. Wow.
👶 Raising a child
Raising a child continues to be amazing and difficult. I don’t say a whole lot about it online because I think Locke deserves to have a private life until and unless he decides otherwise. So three things here in reflection: we had to find a new nanny this year, our neighborhood is full of kids, and this is the hardest thing that Reed and I have ever done TOGETHER.
The nanny we started with ended up being fairly irresponsible and immature. I never feared for Locke’s safety, but it was clear she wasn’t particularly into babies, which was sort of her job. The new nanny is incredible, and we’re so grateful to have her. Finding a nanny (let alone a nanny share!) is harder than finding a therapist, I swear. Good lord.
Additionally, we’ve made friends with neighbors with kids (and neighbors without, of course), and there is a whole gaggle of children within a year of Locke. We’re excited for more play dates, coffee with the parents and associated folks. What a blast. And being within walking distance of so many folks is just delightful.
Finally, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done on my own, and doing it with another human both made it easier and harder. Reed has put his shoulder to the wheel, and while the balance has not always been what we expected, it does feel balanced and like we’re looking out for each other. Love you, honeypie.
📚 Read a LOT
I decided pretty early in the year that I needed to stop doom scrolling in bed, and have picked up reading books in bed instead. In 2022, I read 14 books, which is no small feat for a dyslexic reading a few pages each night before falling asleep. My main author this year was Becky Chambers, with 4 books (favorite: Record of a Spaceborn Few). Other highlights included Blind Sight and Country of Ghosts. I like ordering my books from WoC owned Marcus Books in Oakland if you’re so inclined, she will ship to you.
💕 deepened and Started relationships
I continue to be grateful to my bedrocks (familial, romantic, or simply high quality friends) of Reed, Quinn, Baron, Seamus, and Jenbot. They have shown up, called me on my shit, supported me wholeheartedly, and been patient with me. Fin, Maria, Charlie, and I also restarted our accountability checkin, which has helped me get so much done this year, and to feel good about doing it. I frankly think a lot of the success of my goals this year is to their credit. Thanks, y’all.
Additionally, I started off on two new relationships this year, with Mark and with Daed, whom I am grateful to for being up for chill and excitement both and sharing those close to them with me. And specific neighbors we’ve particularly bonded with are Sara and Dan, our next-door neighbors who we now regularly have game nights with; and Mike and Jackie who live a short walk away and who are always up for coffee.
My word for 2023 will be consistency. I’m doing lots of good things, but I need to show up for them on a regular basis in order to see the fruits of the work. I’m also frankly quite concerned about how my anxiety will do with a “return to normalcy” we all seem to be stuck on despite the pandemic being in yet another spike.
- organize at least 4 events for the neighborhood
- be able to lift my body weight
- ride my bike 200+ miles a month starting in April, plus at least one brevet and that Mount
- take a trip for myself, look at some art on that trip
- don’t gain more weight
- practice my writing skills
- see my whole family (parents, siblings) with my whole family (Reed, Locke)
- maintain my intoxicant intake levels, budgeting skillz, and reading habits