I wanted 2022 to be a fresh start. Surely 2022 would be the year that everything would go back to normal and I would travel and make and remake friends and do all the things I couldn’t do over the past few years.
Then omicron came along, dodging vaccines and making life look even iffier during December and January. I spent December and January on near-lockdown before accepting that new variants and moving on are the reality we live in now.
And boy is it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from 2022, it’s this: Life goes on. Remember last year’s summary entry when I talked about being stuck in a metaphorical jar? That’s where I found myself at the beginning of the year before taking small steps back into the world.
I bought a freaking home this year! That’s right, this millennial who never dreamed of owning a home finally did the thing. Now I’m looking at light fixtures and figuring out how the heck to replace them because the ones that look nice are always the ones that are annoying to replace.
I finally went on my first real vacation in two and a half years… and got Covid for the first time during that vacation. This is why we can’t have nice things. Seattle was lovely and Go Fest was a blast, and I enjoyed meeting so many friends I’ve seen only online. I only wish I could have met more of y’all, but Covid set me aside right after my Go Fest day. I didn’t even get to go to the big tournament Saturday evening.
I joined a Pokemon Go faction–a team battle format where we battle other teams and compete for points. It’s a lot of fun and my teammates are the very best, like no one ever was. And to think I joined because of a joke that they had a sushi-related name and I wasn’t in it, how dare they.
I finished 100,000 words for NaNoWriMo by the skin of my teeth, setting the stage for 3 million lifetime words next year. But more importantly, I spent October mulling over this idea and it felt good to be excited by an idea again. The story went off in about ten different directions and I need to rein them in and figure out if a series is in order, but wow, it felt good to actually write something new again.
I went to concerts, write-ins (in person!), bubble tea spots, a music festival, a Go Fest, an atheist conference. I met authors. I saw old friends again and made some new ones. I like to think I deepened a few friendships, even if I fell far short of my goal of reaching out to old friends.
I skipped Dragon Con though. Maybe next year when I’m not so burned out from cons past.
As usual, my preset goals went about 50% accomplished. I did read 50 books (although I came in under the wire) and wrote 100,000 words for NaNoWriMo in 2022. And thanks to the Roe v Wade reversal, I now have a date for getting sterile (January 12!).
Which makes me wonder: how much do I care?
Many years ago, I did take an entire month off from writing and noticed that I did miss it. Maybe you remember it. But when I allowed myself to write again, I didn’t find myself editing like I was running out of time. Rather, I found myself dreaming of other ideas and just wishing I could.
As I told a friend recently, they were half-assing a bunch of things when they needed to whole-ass one thing. It’s time for me to stop half-assing all the things.
Read 50 books. I know this goal stays year after year but I usually squeak across the finish line just before NaNoWriMo or in early December, so it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Write 119,607 words for NaNoWriMo 2023. Why so specific, you ask? Because this is how far I am from 3 million lifetime November words. Let’s round up to 120,000 words to make it easier to remember. This will be a challenge; I haven’t written that much in a few years.
Learn more Korean. This is in preparation for possibly going to South Korea this year or next year.
Create an outline or beat sheet of a past NaNo novel. I always say I’m going to edit a past NaNo novel, but my writing style of pounding out the first draft with little more than an idea means there’s a lot of idea refining to do later before I get to the prose. So instead of setting a big goal, let’s start small and see if I can go bigger.
Attend a Play! Pokemon tournament and do better than 0-2. Look, I know I’m not at the caliber of battler to make the top 8. You don’t have to reassure me that I’m a great battler; I’ve watched other battlers who put their hearts, souls, and bank accounts into Pokemon Go PVP and know every single mechanic of it. I’m still half-assing my battle skills and happen to be okay at it, but since there are three tournaments within road trip distance, why not give them a try? As long as I don’t get eliminated instantly (lose two matches in a row), I’ll consider that a success. And if I do well with a spice pick, even better.
Spend less time on unproductive internet browsing. I keep telling myself that reading varied content online will make me a more connected and educated citizen, but at what cost? It’s too easy to get sucked into the main events of the day that do little to educate me while not actually connecting with the people I want to connect with. This may require paying for an internet blocker subscription so I don’t have to block Twitter or Discord or Reddit completely. I took a digital detox over the holidays, which was desperately needed and besides losing my Redactle streak, I didn’t miss the internet much at all. Sure, I spent most of that time playing Pokemon Violet, but look, it was Christmas.
What else? I had several other end goals here. Figure out what to stop half-assing. Start whole-assing one thing. But ultimately it comes down to one thing:
Stop dilly-dallying and start doing cool things.