2022 In Review

As I mentioned in my word of the year post, 2022 was a pretty hard year for me. There was a ton of transition & disruption, and not a ton of energy with which to manage it all. Almost every single member of my family physically moved, including us, and it was like a gigantic game of musical chairs – literally, since I moved into my grandmother’s house, and my sister moved into my apartment! Very destabilizing, to say the least.

Early on in the year, I was reckoning with the effects of the pandemic, like continued lockdowns, uncertainty about plans, a surreal in-person retreat that almost didn’t happen, and a healthy dose of political unrest and anger coming from my fellow citizens. Later in the year, I was reckoning with the effects of the actual illness, which I got while traveling abroad. The deep fatigue and brain fog lingered long after I had technically recovered.

Throw into the mix a puppy who needed neutering, a very busy boyfriend, a big move to a brand-new, unfamiliar city, and a slower business season than usual (recession, anyone?) and I ended the year feeling exhausted and pretty hopeless, to be honest.

Already, 2023 feels lighter. I am getting support and I feel more capable of tackling the challenges ahead. But the last few years have been absolute doozies, and there’s no denying it. With that in mind, let’s get into my yearly recap, shall we? You can watch my One Second Everyday video here, or read on for the big picture of 2022.


January

The year started off slowly. We did an online version of Nurture Nurture, the personal growth retreat I do twice a year with friends. I cautiously kept planning my first in-person retreat since the pandemic had started, all while monitoring the lockdown & changing situation. I celebrated two years with Mike, and five years of friendship with Sonja! We had an epic snowstorm, and Bruno experienced jumping through literal FEET of snow for the first time. Bruno was also in the throes of adolescence, which led to several meltdowns on both our parts. And that was it really! Cold walks, making soup, too much snow. January.

February

This is when things started to get really hard for me. The ‘Freedom Convoy’ hit Ottawa, disrupting the lives & jobs of so many people. I lost a close friend and client due to what was meant to be civil discourse about the goings-on at the time, a discussion that I lost several nights of sleep over. Russia invaded the Ukraine (what?!?!), disrupting the lives & wellbeing of so many people. It was dark. It was bleak.

In my business, I tried to keep going, despite the overwhelm, burnout and grief that I felt personally. I hosted my first retreat since Covid, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget carrying a tray of tests & tea out to attendees in their cars before we could safely gather. Surreal. But the retreat was a success, the food was delicious, and Bruno was a good boy throughout. For the rest of the month, I turned inwards. Cried a lot. Didn’t leave the house much.

March

Slow, quiet, private. Bruno was officially a teenager, so he wasn’t supposed to go to dog parks until he got neutered. Cue me trying to find private spaces for him to run around in off leash, in the city, in the winter, without a car. It was hell! When I wasn’t dealing with that, I filmed a couple videos for Shopify, had my sisters over for brunch, miraculously sat out on a couple patios early in the season (!), and went back to the ballet (!!!) for the first time since Covid.

April

April is my birthday month, so it tends to bring a bit of joy & festivity into the cold winter months. The best birthday gift in 2022 was that Bruno got neutered after what had felt like an eternity. The healing process was also hugely challenging, but we’ve seen so many behavioural improvements since & I’m so grateful. For my birthday we went bowling with friends which was super fun and played a bunch of overpriced arcade games. Yay! We also started 75 Hard – you can listen to this podcast episode to hear how that went 🤣. Speaking of which, in April I also launched the podcast! I felt like I needed an outlet to talk about the changes I’d been feeling and trying to embody in my business. It felt great to start it, and to have an “excuse” to start to interview some of my smartest friends.

May

I love May, because in this part of the world it’s when the flowers arrive and it finally starts to feel like Spring. I really needed the flowers after such a dark winter! I was dealing with some kind of mysterious bug bites at the time (not bed bugs!) that were super itchy and awful, so that was stressful to put it mildly. Also, the moving started! We ventured to Stratford to help my dad & stepmom move into their new home, and almost simultaneously my grandmother moved in with my mom. We went to see my favourite, Donovan Woods, and it felt so good & weird to hear live music again. Sonja also gifted me with a very fun day out in the city for my birthday, and we had a grand old time romping around to the beach, to brunch, to antiques stores. And we celebrated my grandmother’s 94th birthday! What a blessing.

June & July

The world felt a lot more open, which was such a relief. But it was also a mixed blessing, because June is also when I finally got Covid. We went to Ireland for Katie & P’s wedding, which is the most purely fun experience I’d had in years. Irish weddings are something else, let me tell you! We also visited Romania for the first time to see Mike’s family and hometown, which was such a special experience. Along the way we stopped to do some camping (!) in the mountains at an international jazz festival. Definitely a unique experience! Somewhere along the way, I got Covid, which put a damper on the rest of our trip. I was sad when the trip came to an end, but also grateful to come home to pick up our puppy from summer camp in mid-July.

July is also when things really changed for us. My friends were moving away from our neighbourhood (one to Kitchener & one to Brooklyn) which I was really dreading and fearing. Then, the weekend we got back from our trip, my Dad let us know that my grandma was moving into a retirement community, and her house was available, if we wanted to rent it. After a couple weeks of very intense discussions, a quick impromptu trip to actually see the city, and a whole lot of jumping in the deep end, I gave my notice at my apartment on August 1st. Holy moly, we were moving to Waterloo.

August

In August, Mike officially moved in with me for the couple months we had left before the big move. (See? So many moves!) It was so nice to have him there more often during what was otherwise a very busy time. Sonja was gearing up to move (to Kitchener! thank goodness!) at the end of the month, so we spent time returning to some of our favourite neighbourhood bars & restaurants, and going to Shakespeare in the Park for one last time as locals. My sister and I went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was our birthday gift from my mom, and I took Mike to The Ex for the first time and went to Sorauren Movie Night for the last time. The next morning, we helped Sonja move to Kitchener.

September

September was, as you can imagine, a total blur. First, we headed to Almonte for a group canoe trip to Algonquin and a “Sip ‘n Sip” group float down the Mississippi river, which was hugely fun. Then, we came home and started packing up the apartment. Our downstairs neighbours also moved out unexpectedly & blessedly, so the house was total chaos! We were also in Waterloo almost every weekend, cleaning the new house, removing awful curtains, and stating to build the fence. Halfway through the month, we did our first in-person Nurture Nurture since the pandemic, which was perfect in every way. Quickly back to the city to celebrate The Profoundery‘s two-year birthday with an Ice Cream Social, more packing, more house visits, more fence building and more cleaning. Finally, on September 25, we moved.

October

Prior to the move, we had planned a trip to New York to visit Katie & P, and we decided to go ahead with it despite the (very) recent move. So we drove down with Bruno for a very fun & cozy week, celebrating Friendsgiving and showing Mike around the city for the first time. I stayed on longer to go to Alt Summit, which meant lots of quality time with Or (who had moved to Brooklyn in August!) and Katie, exploring a city I love so dearly. But once I got back, reality set in a bit. I was running on empty after the busy summer, the house was a bit of a disaster, and we were mid fence-build with winter fast approaching. Not to mention that we were also prepping for our first Nurture since Covid AND attending/filming a huge Indian wedding in Quebec City. It was truly too much, but we had already committed, so we had to show up. The wedding almost killed me, but we got through it.

November

…Only to turn around and leave again for most of November. Writing this all out, it’s no wonder I felt completely depleted by the end of the year! Even though our November events were fun and exciting, it was still a lot to manage when already struggling with the transition. First, we went up to a beautiful cottage for our book club’s first-annual Reading Retreat, a new tradition that brought me so much joy. Then, we had Nurture again in-person and it was so magical to be back in that beautiful space. Once the trips were over, it was wallpaper removal time. We had so much of it in the house, and I wanted it gone. This became my new nightly hobby.

December

Last but not least, we have December. I was slowly starting to explore our new city now that I was home, but the burnout was pretty bad, so I didn’t have much energy to spare. Mike and I were negotiating how to split up the chores and manage the costs of running a home while dealing with his truly insane work schedule. I was on a tight budget after all the recent spending, and feeling overwhelmed about the upcoming holiday season. And yet, we still got things done! I took off all the wallpaper, chose paint colours, and in a miraculous 3-day sprint, we painted three rooms just in time to host Mike’s mom for Christmas. The place looked so much better almost instantly. Then we had family events, and then I crashed hard before heading up to Or & Ryan’s family cottage to celebrate New Year’s with our friends. None of us had much energy, but we rang in 2023 with a sauna, some rosé, and a delicious cheese fondue dinner. Delish. (On the way home I had a meltdown though, so don’t get it too twisted!)


Firsts of 2022

  • First time camping in the rain in Romania
  • First time drinking a pint of Guinness in Ireland
  • First time driving to New York City
  • First time creating a reading retreat
  • First time designing & building a fence
  • First time going to a concert with all my sisters
  • First time attending Alt Summit
  • First time removing wallpaper
  • First time being a second shooter for a wedding
  • First time getting a new family doctor since I was a baby
  • First time moving to Waterloo
  • First time starting a business-specific podcast
  • First time hiring a photographer to capture my retreat
  • First time taking Bruno to The Scent Den & to daycare
  • First time picking paint colours
  • First time hosting meetups for The Profoundery
  • First time attending an Indian wedding

2022 by the Numbers

  • Visited two new countries (Romania & Ireland)
  • Meditated for 3 hours & 59 minutes
  • Approximately 2,672,530 steps walked, according to Apple Health
  • Created 14 podcast episodes
  • Read 52 books

Favourite Books Read

My Word of the Year: Present

I don’t have much to say about this word, because I didn’t relate to it much throughout the year. If anything, I spent the year either feeling too present with my hard feelings, or not at all present because of being totally overwhelmed and exhausted. I also didn’t buy myself many presents, because I was on a tight budget. We did receive the gift of this house & move presenting itself to us at a very pivotal moment, and we did give my sister the present of a beautiful apartment in a prime location to move into. I also think fondly of the times when I did feel present: at Katie’s wedding, at the reading retreat, at the Sip ‘n Sip, in New York. I’m grateful to have had those experiences.

Overall though, not my most potent word of the year. Maybe it was too painful to be present this year.


Phew! 2300 words later and I’ve recapped my 2022. The beauty of doing a retrospective like this is that I start to see patterns. I start to realize why things felt so hard and busy – it’s because they really were hard and busy! There is a reason I didn’t read as many books as I normally do, a reason that my capacity feels so much lower, a reason that my mental health has taken a hit this past year. It all makes sense.

As I said before, I already feel more hopeful about 2023. I feel like I have my feet a little more firmly underneath me. My puppy has turned into a well-adjusted dog. We are slowly making our house into a home. My partner is setting better boundaries at work. My business feels more active & alive, and I’m excited to invest in it. I’m getting support and seeing a therapist. Things are looking up, slowly but surely.

Wherever you are, I hope that your year is off to a beautiful start. I hope that you are feeling more positive & optimistic about what’s ahead. I hope what’s ahead is better and brighter for all of us than we could ever imagine.

All my love,
Steph

PS. If you’re curious, you can see more of my year-end reviews here:

2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

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