looking back on 2022

2022, lifestyle

Hello!

As Christmas approaches and the New Year is looming, everyone is sharing their Spotify Wrapped, photo dumps from the year and their achievements of 2022 and whilst sometimes it feels a bit intimidating to be inundated with the most polished highlights of people’s lives, it’s nice to see people being proud of themselves and celebrating lovely things.

I’m not pretentious enough to think I’m any different – I’m sure I’ll do my own wrap up at some stage and I’ve been working on my 1 Second Everyday video all year and I’ll definitely be posting that at some point. But I wanted to do my own little wrap up trying to show both the good and the bad – it’s been a very mixed year but I want to try and keep it real and this is the way I could feel to find the balance between ‘best year ever’ and ‘worst year ever’.

So here are ten good things (interspersed with four less good things) that I did in 2022.

+ got married

Well, I couldn’t start with anything else could I! I honestly can’t help but feel the best ache in my chest when I think about it because my heart is so full – our wedding day was perfect, I have never felt surrounded by so much love in my entire life and I can wholeheartedly say it was the best day of my life. I keep finding myself scrolling through the photos and I’m eagerly anticipating seeing our video next year (trailer here if anyone is interested!). It had to go first on the list – my biggest achievement of the year and, maybe, my life.

+ duolingo

Not quite the same level, but I have been learning French on Duolingo for a whole year! I have a streak of about 350 days and thanks to streak freezes I’ve not lost that streak on days I’ve missed (no, I did not do a lesson on my wedding day) but I’m so proud of the progress I’ve made and I’m still really enjoying learning the language! I’m definitely going to continue this into 2023.

– lost my job

The first negative is the biggest, no doubt (I figured the post would be nicer to read here on out!). It was a huge and unexpected blow that has left me with quite severe trauma, but my boss was an asshole, I have to have faith that karma will come back to bite him in the ass and I’m starting therapy again in the New Year so I can work through this jarring event. Along with working with a career coach who specialises in working with people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and those who are waiting on a diagnosis (me), I’m hoping to really work on my professional confidence and find a job that makes me truly happy next year.

+ hit my reading goal

Back to the positive – I hit my reading goal of 36 books this year! It’s not as much as I read last year, but that’s why I set my goal where it is rather than pushing myself too much. I’m very conscious of making sure reading remains a fun hobby and doesn’t feel like a chore to match the numbers – I started with a goal of 12 books in 2020 (I read 38), 25 books in 2021 (I read 45) and 36 books in 2022; although it’s less than I’ve read before, I’ve read more consistently this year despite everything else. Rather than adding 12 to my goal and aiming for 48 when I’ve never read that much before, my goal for next year is 42 – three and a half books per month! And I have plenty of books to choose from.

+ cricut got me back into my crafting habits

Oh, my beloved cricut. A birthday present from 2021 that I didn’t start using until 2022 because I found it intimidating, but then we crafted lots for the wedding and now I’m obsessed. For Christmas this year we’ve made t-shirts, name place cards for the dining table and our own gift tags (because I forgot to buy any and I’m cheap). But it’s also led me to back to another craft hobby I love – cross stitching. I’ve very much enjoyed in the last week doing some Christmas cross stitch whilst binge watching Teen Wolf Season 6 ahead of the movie releasing in January. I’m definitely going to make the most of the time I have whilst I’m between jobs to find my creativity again because getting back into crafting has been so good for that.

– mental health crisis

Yeah… after a severe panic attack at work in August and another one at home that following weekend, I made a call to the doctors and they suggested trying new meds. After three months of medication that made me feel incredibly nauseous and some of the most stressful life events of my life, I had a really productive conversation with a doctor who recommended doubling the dosage and everything feels so much better now. I don’t want to jinx it, but I don’t feel as nauseous and I’m nowhere near as anxious. I’m definitely in a much better position mentally for the New Year.

+ I was in a dance show!

A nice happy one to change the tone again! I started dance classes again in September 2021 and being in a show in March 2022 was so much fun – I was in two dances, I got sparkly costumes, I got to experience performing again and I absolutely adored it. I’m probably too old for it and I’m not sure all these kids’ parents wanted to see a bunch of adults dancing but I had a fantastic time.

+ weekly savings challenge

I found a challenge in 2019 where each week you save a pound more – so £1, then £2, then £3 etc. I’ve not yet done the last week but I have successfully done 51 weeks of saving for this challenge and I am so proud of myself – not just of achieving this saving goal whilst being unemployed for the last quarter of the year, but for managing my finances to plan ahead for weekly saving – even at the end of the month just before payday! I still find money management difficult as impulse spending when I’m depressed is my go to method of self-sabotage, apparently, but I’m getting better and that’s all I can endeavour to do.

– couldn’t save as much money as I hoped to

On the flip side, I didn’t save as much as I wanted to – the wedding was really difficult to finance and things just didn’t go our way. But when I have an income again, I know that I can be good at savings when I really focus – as detailed above – so we will get there!

+ I wrote 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo

I then wrote about a thousand more words talking about my NaNoWriMo win in a blog post but I just love that I managed to win NaNo for the second time exactly 10 years after the first time I did. It hugely inspired me to get back into creative writing and 2023 will be the year I finish another original novel – I’m putting the energy out into the universe!

+ I lost 2 stone, danced for a whole year and started consistently going to the gym

Amongst all the stress, comfort eating and days where I was too depressed to get out of bed, I actually exercised consistently for the first time since I was a teenager. I started at three dance classes a week, then moved into four in September (three in one night!) as well as going to the gym more, getting a personal trainer and actually starting to enjoy it and all in all, I managed to lose 2 stone.

Ironically, it would have been more if I didn’t have to stop losing weight to make sure my wedding dress fit! But I’m actually excited to get back to a more healthy lifestyle in January – I love vegetables, I love having a routine so exercising regularly will help that and I can’t wait to feel healthier in my body.

– still waiting for an autism diagnosis

The last con of the year – I’m still waiting for my Autism referral consultation that will almost inevitably lead to a diagnosis (words said by my therapist, my career coach and my mum). 2023 will be two years since I was referred and I’m hoping it’ll be the year I get the piece of paper and I can get more support for having accommodations in place both professionally and in my day to day life.

+ bought my first pair of pointe shoes in seven years and feel stronger than ever!

I didn’t think there’d be three dance based achievements but I’m realising that despite not being good enough or fit enough to make dance my career, it’s definitely one of my special interests.

When my ballet friend bought a pair of point shoes and started going to pointe classes, I was easily convinced to join her – in August I bought my first pair of pointe shoes since before I went to uni as a teenager and started in the beginner class. In January, I’m moving up to the intermediate class and my teachers have been so supportive – I’m feeling stronger and I can see the progress I’m making within myself and I can’t wait to see where I am this time next year! Hopefully not with a broken ankle.

+ used my bullet journal (almost) every single day

A nice, relevant, organisational one to end on – it feels like literally yesterday that I started seeing bullet journal update videos on TikTok that convinced me to adapt how I use my journal every day to track habits, record highlights and hold myself accountable! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending five minutes at the end of each day with my coloured pens, holding myself accountable to the daily habits I want to maintain and documenting one positive every single day. I’ve just finished making my 2023 spreads and I’m so excited to continue adapting my journal to best support what I need next year.

2022 has been an absolutely rollercoaster and I’m hoping to slow things down in 2023 – to feel less rushed, put less pressure on myself and be more intentional with my time. But that’s all well and good until life happens isn’t it? I’m working on my reactions to stressful situations to be less panicked and more thoughtful.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year period! I’ve literally just finished writing my 2023 goals and I’m feeling really good about them, so I’ll be back in the New Year to ramble all about them!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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