Saturday, December 31, 2022

Goodbye 2022

I've written so infrequently here that I can't do the type of wrap up post I used to do, where I picked my favorite post from each month. I don't know if I'll ever get back to posting regularly. I enjoy writing but I am not sure what I want to write about here these days. Perhaps that will become clear in 2023. I just read through the few posts I did write this year and it was nice to review them, but more and more things need to be left out of my public writing because my kids are big and my career is changing... and so even writing sort of anonymously there are things I feel like I shouldn't share. Sometimes I think I should just get a journal, but I know from many past attempts that it would not get used much. 

Anyway, I felt moved today to look back at the year.

In January, Petunia got covid and we spent a week with windows open and masks on. She recovered uneventfully and none of the rest of us have had covid yet, as far as we know. I have to go on two work trips in January and I half expect that one of them will bring my covid-free streak to an end. However, when we started the school year in August with no mask mandate I was sure my kids would both get covid soon, and that hasn't happened. So what do I know? I'll wear my mask on the planes and hope or the best.

I also learned that the occasional weird heart incidents I had were supraventricular tachycardia. It is, in the words of my cardiologist, annoying, not life-threatening. I've had a few more incidents this year and am slowly getting to the place my cardiologist predicted I'd get to: more annoyed by the incidents than creeped out by the cure (an ablation). So far, I've just been trying to remember to carry metoprolol with me everywhere. However, it isn't an instant fix and I am not particularly good at the vagal maneuvers that will reset my heart without the metoprolol, so the annoyance factor is growing. Also, the metoprolol pill is just a little bit too big for me to swallow without water and so technically I should also carry water with me everywhere. 

The year was dominated by my career decisions, at least in my own head. I am glad to have the decision made, and am happy with how things have turned out... but still not 100% sure I did the right thing. Time will tell. Or at least, time will march on and the path I'm on now will continue and the alternative one I chose not to get on will drop away.

I turned 50 this year. I celebrated with my sister and my closest friends in Big Bear. It was lovely. I do not find it bad to be 50, but yesterday I came across this McSweeney's article about wearing tunics and had a good laugh. I had just been thinking that perhaps it is time for me to start shopping at Chico's. "How old am I? I'm tunic years old."

I was thinking of starting to shop at Chico's because I've failed to lose the weight I put on in the lockdown year and although I have plans for a healthier 2023 (of course - every new year I plan to adopt healthier habits, and sometimes it works) I doubt I'll slim down enough to avoid the need to shift my style to the tunic years. I'm surprisingly OK with that, too. 

I've been thinking about how little we actually know about what a woman's weight should do throughout her life. Everyone struggles with weight gain around menopause and maybe there's actually a reason for that. Maybe we're putting on weight to get us more healthily through our older years. Of course, my fondness for cookies, ice cream, and beer (not necessarily all at once) exacerbates any natural trend and so while I wish for better data on what normal actually is for women as we age I will also make my annual attempt to develop healthier habits. 

This year, I bought a rowing machine and for awhile I had a good 2-3 times per week habit going. That got disrupted, but I still row at least once most weeks and I still like the machine. 

Last night, we did the "family wii tournament" that Petunia had put on our family fun list for the year, and while I sucked at Mario Cart and broke a wine glass playing tennis (our living room is just not big enough for a four person game!) I had fun with the dance game. Petunia said I should do that instead of rowing, and I told her that I like rowing but that maybe she and I could have weekly dance tournaments, too.

This year saw a surprising amount of travel for me. In February, we spent the long President's Day weekend at an AirBnB in Desert Hot Springs. There was the birthday trip to Big Bear and also a family vacation to New Zealand - our first time seeing my in-laws since December of 2018. In October, I flew to the UK for a work event and then on to Berlin for a conference. It had been a long time since I'd done any serious travel on my own and it was good for me to have to find my way around London and Berlin without my husband's freakily good spatial sense to rely on. I had a good time. In early November, I had a very short visit to NYC for an interview (one of the job options I ended up not taking) and then Mr. Snarky and I had a weekend in LA for a concert. I jokingly called that short stretch of time my great cities of the world tour.

We celebrated Thanksgiving in Arizona with my family. We no longer all fit comfortably in my parents' house, so we rented an AirBnB nearby. I enjoyed being able to walk around downtown Mesa - it has changed a lot since I lived there, and is actually now a place I could encourage people to visit. If you ever find yourself in downtown Mesa, be sure to get empanadas and also check out the new fry bread place nearby.

My parents came here for Christmas. It was wonderful having them here. I took the week between Christmas and New Year's off and powered through a list of some of the things that have been sitting undone most of the year. My desk is now clean and we finally took the last of the kids' Lego (and 6 bags of other things) to the thrift store.

It was a pretty good year, all things considered. I am hoping for 2023 to involve less time thinking about my career directions and more time just enjoying the damn good life I have. I hope you all have a happy, healthy new year, too!


  1. Great to see your year in review and that you've settled the job issue!

    Re weight gain. I decided I am never dieting again in my life. If I'd done that sooner, I'd probably weigh less now. That's a lifetime of losing and then gaining back, and then some. And all the grumpiness the yo-yoing has caused me over the years, all for naught. The menopause weight gain is very common, actually standard; apparently the fat cells produce estrogen that the ovaries no longer do, and the estrogen is key in bone health etc. Not that visceral fat doesn't come with dangers to the heart and endocrine systems, but the fact our bodies accumulate it even if we don't adopt new unhealthy habits does point that there's a reason for it.
    Anyway, I'm never dieting again. My weight has been stable since I stopped depriving myself, and it's done wonders for my mood and joie de vivre.

    1. I've never really done diets. I don't know why - I can't say that I always knew they don't really work (and that's what the research says now, so good on you for ditching them!)

      Usually my goals for healthier habits involve more exercise, although sometimes I try to change something in my eating habits. For instance, at some point last year I decided to try switching from carb heavy lunches to something more protein centric. That's mostly stuck - I make a batch of quinoa on the weekend and eat quinoa with a fried egg on top for lunches. I find that sticks with me better than the bagels I was eating and since I no longer go into an office, it was an easy enough change. Earlier, I had cut back on my meat consumption for environmental reasons.

      This year, I have mostly exercise goals. I need to start doing yoga again and see if that sorts out the persistent pain in my right hip. I want to do something active every day because I feel better when I do. I need to get some sort of strength training back in my routine to help ward off the osteoporosis that is in my genetic inheritance. I think I'll try cutting back on alcohol, mostly because my consumption has crept up to a level that I don't think is healthy.

    2. Anonymous7:23 PM

      Does the pain get better when you do pigeon stretch? (If so I’ve got the same thing off and on.) -nicoleandmaggie

    3. I had to go look up pigeon stretch - and yes, I suspect that would help. I am pretty sure my problem is a tight hip flexor. Next time it is acting up I'll try pigeon and let you know!

    4. Pigeon stretch FTW! Especially after some walking or running. I also discovered I needed to change my office chair. It really helped with the hip issue (which I also have on and off; same with the shoulder issue)

  2. A dear friend has expressed worries about how being underweight can make it very hard to survive hard health things like cancer and so on. That's stuck with me as I try to figure out how to make peace with my post-2-children body.


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