While my Jack’s Smack day falls on the first of a brand new, squeaky-clean, full of potential, NEW YEAR, I decided, instead, to end the year with some reflections.
Seriously, I would be remiss to not seize this opportunity for contemplation — and some intention setting, in public. (The horror)
“I thought I’d take today’s Smack to reflect back, a bit, on 2022.”
For those of you who follow the Smack somewhat faithfully (I know there are some out there), I thank you. Who knew that having your diary open for public consumption could be so freeing and empowering?
I thought I’d take today’s Smack to reflect back, a bit, on 2022.
In 2022 I shared 41 Jack’s Smacks with our Kuel Life Community and the world. Yes, I know that is slightly shy of the 52-week-year goal. There were weeks I consciously took breaks. My friend and Kuel Life Thought Leader, Nina Obier, has taught me that respecting the rest is critical to long-term success.
What good is it to force ourselves past exhaustion? What good would it do me to begin to resent one of my greatest pleasures? Yes, sharing my trials, triumphs, fears, joys, and sorrow through (hopefully) humorous written anecdotes brings me deep joy. Personally, I learn from my readers who comment or send me emails. Some of those communications let me know that my sharing helps others feel less alone. Others provide support and even helpful suggestions to change or improve the situation at hand.
A Quick Walk Through 2022:
I led off this year with Covid – like so many others. What a way to begin to write on that beautiful clean slate? I am reminded of the slow start for 2022 and how frustrated it felt to be stuck in second gear in mid-January. And even towards the end of January, I was self-deprecating publicly about NOT being a runner, even though I was actively training for the Charleston Cooper River Bridge 10k Run in April.
The outpour of support as I experienced my first real empty nest year was palpable. Every Smack shared about Aidan — from the When I Became Mrs. Crosby (his grandmother) to Commitment To The Bit (where we took you to our panty throwing escapade at Hugh Jackman on Broadway) — and beyond was met with understanding, love, and giggles.
I’ve shared my sexual fantasies, my proclivity towards wearing my lover’s shirts, confessed my battle with novelty-seeking, admitted my lack of sense of direction and how yeast brings me to my knees in recipes. I explored coincidences. Together we delved into lessons learned from departing loved ones.
You all hung in there with me as I trained my way back to health after the skydiving incident of 2021. Even when I confessed to literally pooping my pants on race day, you kept reading and sending support.
Open-Book Diary – Good Or Bad?
“one issue with the open-book diary is that all of you can see my shortcomings and failures”
OK, so one issue with the open-book diary is that all of you can see my shortcomings and failures. And, maybe that’s a good thing — for us both. In sharing the good, bad and ugly, my hope is that the women in my life don’t feel alone. Isolation is a killer, as we all know.
Things did get somewhat a bit lighter when in May I took you all on the road with me. From our Kuel Life Italy trip in May with some amazing midlife & beyond women to my solo travel adventures in Portugal, Mallorca, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Croatia, and Columbia you kept reading, sharing, and keeping me company.
In the hopes to inspire others to join me, this was the year in which I decided to become proactive about my health. I shared the initiation of my “longevity” path as I neared my 58th birthday. We went through the Life Line Screening together. And, I know many of you reached out to me for the link to these diagnostics. Here it is, again, if you don’t have it. Then, you held my hand virtually, while I held my breath through a thyroid (negative) biopsy needed as a result of the test results.
When fall approached, the empty nest I live in clanged loudly for attention. It was powerful to have company and understanding during the transition from full-time parenting to becoming a guest in my son’s University apartment. Once again, the comments and emails filled with compassion and even some helpful suggestions made a world of difference.
Also this year I was confronted with childhood PTSD around misogyny. I decided to share the experience with you all and you let me vent and heal. And in that vein you also congratulated me when I spoke out loud and refused to be treated as “less than” by the patriarchy at a local shipping establishment.
We even went together to Arizona to hang out with some Kuel Life Thought Leaders and members of our Community. We played, hiked, wine tasted, and learned how to make charcuterie boards. More importantly, we bonded and connected further cementing friendships.
A Year In The Life:
“I accomplished things that I later ADDED to the list – just like any good, OCD-ish type, will confess to”
When I look over the Smacks of 2022 I see the progression of a “year in the life” — well, in my life anyway. It’s all there, in proverbial black and white. The accomplishments, failures, joy, and sorrow all laid out for public consumption.
Did I accomplish all I had on my 2022 to-do list? Nah, of course not. Yet I accomplished things that I later ADDED to the list – just like any good, OCD-ish type, will confess to.
So here I sit, this final day of 2022, and ponder what’s in store for the next 12 months? While not a New Year’s Resolution setter, I do spend energy at the end of our calendar year setting future intentions. And with imitable words of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music ringing in my ears:
With each step I am more certain
Everything will turn out fine
I have confidence
The world can all be mine
They’ll have to agree
I have confidence in me
I confidently create my list of growth opportunities for 2023. Here’s to another year on this journey — together with you, through 52 Jack’s Smacks. Okay, maybe 48 or 49. I can push my limits when necessary.
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