I honestly can’t say that I have ever done a ‘year in review’ as a blog post. To be honest, I often forget I even have this blog until the annual payment for its domain hits my account. I used to thrive in blogging, I loved the anonymity of it and all that it stood for. I joined different blogging groups; it was new and shiny and everything the new technology world promised it would be. Now, some 15+ years later, it’s lost its lustre and seems more of a time passer than anything groundbreaking; but I digress.
A year in review. I see so many around the web and wonder if I have ever reflected the way others seem to do over the year. Sure, I look at the close of one year and curiously peek at the prospects of the next year encroaching, but I’ve never made a list of objectives I wanted to accomplish and checked them off or (what would undoubtedly be my case) moved them to a new, clean list for the next year because that task didn’t get accomplished.
I think the annual list I would have would simply say “survive” at the top and that’d be that. Is this a generation thing? I didn’t think to look at some of these posts to see if they were swayed towards the millennials or generation Z. Either way, I have never made a list for a year. I make daily, weekly, and even monthly lists, but that’s as broad as I go unless we’re talking about 5-year plans. Then, I suppose we’d be reading a lot of 5-year-plan in review and those don’t seem to exist.
This year has been a compilation of every possible rollercoaster ride at Six Flags combined into one enormous, gut-wrenching, thrill-seeking, vomit-inducing ride. I wish I could say this was an exaggeration or a comical approach for a dramatic flair, but sadly, it is not.
This year started with a random, unexpected email from my husband of 23 years asking for a separation. Yep….an email. He ended up taking a travelling Paramedic job across the country for a couple of months and never really mentioned it again. I guess that was the separation he needed. That email was followed by the passing of my beloved grandmother. Boy, she was an incredible woman with a history so rich and full, that I admire her immensely and will forever be grateful I had her in my life for as long as I did (maybe I’ll post something in a couple of months for the anniversary of her passing and share her incredible story).
All seemed pretty stable after February as we waited for our youngest child and second son to ship off to Navy Bootcamp. That day came and went and while I thought it would be easier since he was the 2nd to leave the nest to serve our country, I was so empty when he left. I missed his booming laugh and the enormous light he spread with his dynamic, larger-than-life personality. Luckily, those weeks passed quickly and we were soon on our way to Chicago in June to watch him and his beaming face, full of pride go through boot camp graduation. We spent a couple days with him and then a couple more just exploring the city we didn’t get the chance to explore the first time we went up for a Navy graduation. It was peaceful, it was fun, and luckily it was not cold.
Just before we left for Chicago my brother-in-law was released from prison. He was sentenced to 30 years to serve 13 but as our prison system works, he served about a third of that and was out in a little over 4 years. Because my husband is so close with his only sibling and for a myriad of other reasons, he persuaded me to allow our home to be the place where he acclimated back into society. Someone: remind me never to sign up for that again…and if you’re looking for advice on the subject – don’t fucking do it. Ever.
After Chicago, we noticed a cough my husband couldn’t shake and so in June he went for a visit to the doctor which led to his diagnosis of High-Grade B-Cell Non-Hodgins Lymphoma after a month stay in the hospital due to a botched biopsy that very truly nearly killed him at the ripe age of 45 (read the previous post for the details).
He was finally released from hospital in August and he began monthly chemo treatments. They were tough, not as bad as many I have heard about, but bad enough that it was hard on all of us. But I researched the foods and drinks and supplements to help counteract all the chemo poison so that he was able to cope with the recovery. During these months I still worked, cleaned, cooked, dealt with the family nonsense (for example the loud, obnoxious, brainless, alcoholic, convict brother-in-law that can’t seem to get his shit together at nearly 50 years old), and trying to keep everything afloat.
His last chemo treatment was the last Monday in November and we were very happy to close that chapter. Because of the rarity of where his cancer started, he has another month of radiation treatment, but we hear that’s not nearly as bad with regard to the side effects as chemo was. He won’t start that until after the New Year which kept our December nice and normal-ish.
December proved to be a much calmer time of the year when we simply tried to live, shop for Christmas and prepare for the holidays. My youngest son was due in on Christmas Eve and I was excited that he’d make it home for Christmas. To my overwhelmingly ecstatic surprise, he showed up about a week early and we are able to have him here until after the New Year. If only my brother-in-law could have found a new home before then, all would have been right with the holiday. To be honest, if that’s my only complaint after a year like this, I think I should just be grateful and stop complaining.
So, to wrap it all up in a nice little bow – my 2022 was a fucking mess, but I survived. My husband survived. My children survived. My marriage survived. Had I started my ‘list of things to accomplish in 2022’ and had I put on there to simply survive, this would read as a very successful year. In truth, I have to say it was a successful year, not one that was easy, not one I’d wish on anyone, sure as shit not one I want to repeat, but one that taught me a great deal. Many people had a much better year than I did. Many more people had a much worse year than I did. I’m learning that it’s all perspective in this life. Learn from it and live it. Be happy within your soul and remove obstacles that try to fuck that up. Some people have it better, some people have it worse, but everyone…EVERY SINGLE PERSON has a path they are on and we’re all just trying to survive.
Wishing everyone all the best in 2023, Cheers!