It’s 2022 and I still have this blog. I like having a space to articulate my thoughts at the start of a new year. I love the new year for similar reasons that I love winter–the changing of the season, the purifying cold, the fresh coat of snow that turns the world into a blank white canvas.

2021 was a hard year for all of us. Kurt and I spent much of the lead-up to the holidays hunkered down on the couch in front of the TV, much like last year. While watching the docuseries The Beatles: Get Back, tucked under the blankets while covered in sleeping pets, I teared up as a young, alive John Lennon sang “Everybody had a hard year, everybody had a good time, everybody had a wet dream, everybody saw the sunshine, oh yeah.”

This new year feels different. 2021 was a very hard year for many people I love, and there were some difficult, harrowing stretches. Last January, I felt hopeful and optimistic for a better year. This time around, I am just grateful to have gotten this far.

I usually have a list of New Year resolutions and goals to tackle, but this year, I wrote a brief phrase down instead: “in spite of…” Whatever I accomplish this year, will be in spite of the challenges of this historic time.

I hope to carve out new adventures, in spite of this pandemic.

I want to take care of my mental and physical health, in spite of the pressures and decision fatigue and uncertainty we’ve all been dealing with for the last few years.

I aim to finish the manuscript I am writing, in spite of this challenging time.

When I find myself blocked, wrestling with a piece that feels like it’s never going to come out of my brain the way I want it to, I rely on another phrase: write your way through it. I came across this quote at a time when it was exactly what I needed to hear:

“What I have learned: No matter what I’m writing, it’s never a waste of time. I’m always working through something. I’m always trying to arrive at a new location.” – Jami Attenberg

May we all find that thing we need to hear this year, exactly when we need it.


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