So here we are at the end of 2022 – how are we all feeling about that? While I hope everyone reading had an amazing year, for me, if I had to rate 2022 it would get a solid “fine.” There was a lot of good but also some bad.
Good: Covid isn’t as bad as it was. Last year at this time we had the new omicron variant just getting started and covid was everywhere. It’s still everywhere but we are nowhere near the state we were in during Christmas of 2020 and 2021. We have vaccines. We have treatments. It’s definitely a lot better than it was.
Bad: Covid is still here. The bugger is not going anywhere any time soon. It finally caught up with me a few weeks ago and, though my symptoms were thankfully very mild, I had to delay my trip home for the holidays. People are still ending up in hospital and on ventilators. People are still dying. We are stuck with covid, and that is bad.
Good: The world opened up! Most countries opened up their border and even eventually dropped testing requirements. People, including myself, were able to travel again – for work, for play, for whatever! And it felt better than good. My wanderlust got a real fix after two pretty dormant years. Highlights included a week in Canada with my family at a place we used to go to as kids but that I haven’t been to in many, many years and more recently, an amazing river cruise through southeastern Europe. It’s a trip that had been postponed several times due to covid and other elements of life getting in the way, so finally taking that trip felt like a personal triumph.
Bad: My hometown of Buffalo, New York had a tough year. In May, there was a mass shooting in a grocery store perpetrated by a racist who tried to broadcast the shooting in real time online. Ten people were killed. Ten people who did nothing more than go to work or go to shop. It’s mind-numbingly tragic and unfair. And somehow, inevitable. Just 10 days later, 19 people, mostly children, were massacred in another shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It never stops. And just last week, Buffalo was hit with a tragedy of a different kind – this time a blizzard. Buffalo is no stranger to snow, but this was unlike anything seen in decades. The latest count is 40 people dead. There could be more when all is said and done. I haven’t lived in Buffalo full-time in years but it will always be home and the year its had breaks my heart.
Good: The animated series I created with my writing partner went into production and we’ve been working our tails off as the Creators/Show Runners/Head Writers. It has not been easy and it’s been full of challenges but I am well aware how very lucky I am to be actually making my own show. Many people work their entire careers with this as a goal that remains unfulfilled. So, even with the stress and the challenges this is definitely a good thing. And if the show turns out how we have envisioned it in our heads since the day we created it, it will be a great thing!
Bad: I’ve lost some friends this year. People I thought I was close to. People I thought would be part of my life for a long time. But stuff happens, people change. I’m not even sure that these people realize (or more to the point, care) that things have changed between us. I guess that’s how things go sometimes. It really stinks though.
Good: I’m Irish! Getting my Irish citizenship in June was definitely a highlight of my year. It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, and with covid delays, I had to be very patient in my wait to get it. But got it I did – at the first in-person ceremony since early 2020. That was a good day. Actually, it was the best day!
Ugly: … nah. I didn’t have an ugly year. But many people I know and care about did. They lost loved ones, had cancer diagnoses, had marriages break up, were made redundant at their jobs – those are all larger crosses than anything I had to bear this year. And I wish those friends strength and hope for the new year ahead. I hope it’s a brighter one for them.
I always like to include a quote in my New Year posts. I’ve used quotes from Alfred, Lord Tennyson previously, and these simple words encapsulate nicely my feelings as we close out 2022:
Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring out the false, ring in the true.
I plan to do just that. And I hope 2023 is new and true for all of you!