Like all years, 2022 was also a year. A year is a long time. 12 months. 365 days (usually). 525,600 minutes. You get it.
I’m trying to remember the beginning of it. Those early infant days of 2022 feel lost to me. Photos and social media feeds help. Looking back literally, it seems I hit a PR on Peloton (haven’t seen that output since, sadly). It snowed and school was canceled. My son and I played checkers. I received the first sketches from an illustrator. We made cookies. The snow melted. My amaryllis bloomed. And then, now at the finish line, how is it ending? Well, outside someone is popping fireworks. My back hurts. The black eyed peas are simmering. It’s raining. DJ Nice is helping to host New Year’s Rocking Eve. I meditated and wrote this last blog post. Tomorrow we will host a small Kwanzaa karamu. The first in two years. Thus, the black eyed peas. In between that beginning and this ending, I went on my first silent meditation retreat, rode in a hot air ballon, and finished two books. I became overwhelmed and found a coach to help me recalibrate my plate. I watched my son learn subtraction and my father fight cancer. I wrote short stories for the first time and published a poem. I found another layer of life to live, and over all, it was brutally glorious.
On this night, such an arbitrary place to turn time, I don’t wonder what 2023 will be like. I suspect just like 2022 and the years before that, it will have ups and downs, maybe a few epic highs, probably a devastingly low or two. A meme recently proclaimed that Happiness = Reality/Expectations. Feels accurate and like an appropriate thing to remember on New Year’s Eve. Arthur C. Brooks said something similarly in his book From Strength to Strength, one of the best books I read this year. He tells a story about someone wise who was admired for his happy demeanor. When asked about it, the wise person said, I don’t mind what happens.
While I can think of at least twenty pretty serious things I would never want to happen, I think the point is that the future is going to be what it will be. All we can do is sow good karmic seeds and trust we will have or find the resouces to deal with what comes. There is a lot ahead that excites me and there is a lot ahead that I find terrifying. There are also surprises lurking in the corners of the calendar, events and circumstances that could change the course of everything. But there is no use worrying about those. Just like those blurry first snowy days of January 2022, we again go blindly into the new year. That is why the last Kwanzaa candle is for Imani: faith.
New Year’s Eve is about hoping for the best. I wish that for us. The following words of lovingkindness have been a blessing in 2022, and I am taking them with me into the abyss of 2023. I offer them to you, too:
May you be happy.
May you be at ease.
May you touch joy this year.
May you know peace.
Happy New Year.