What worked (or not,) 2022 version

The medical system and our health insurance: we gave our medical system (and health insurance) a work-out in 2022, with my mother-in-law’s multiple hospitalizations, our son’s ankle fracture and ankle reconstruction, my multiple knee injections, Sam’s PE, my dad’s heart attack and my mom’s two hospitalizations. We used to be the people who paid in and never used our insurance… no more! Nonetheless, we are hoping for a much healthier 2023.

most of our family at Judy’s 80th birthday in March: this worked!

Counseling: we continue to work with multiple therapists who by God’s grace have been a good fit for our family. I am grateful for their care for us and our willingness to let others in. Unfortunately, our health insurance does not have adequate mental health coverage, and we pay a second mortgage in therapy. We are incredibly blessed to be able to do this, and it’s totally worth it.

Finishing homeschooling. We ended on a good note, graduating Mo from high school and finishing middle school with Phoebe and transitioning her successfully to our local high school. It was never all roses and pony math, but we had a good run, and I’m grateful for it.

Exercise: despite my knee problems, I managed to stay active, with more strength training than previously. I rode my bike to work consistently through the spring and summer. It wasn’t ideal (I would love to be running,) but it worked.

walking the Mac n Cheese 5K with friends

Writing: I published the third book in my medical suspense series this October. The book was a challenge to write and grew me in ways I hadn’t expected, but I am proud of it and the work that went into it. I’m still finding my way with my newest book in progress, but I continue to enjoy writing. Thanks to you who have supported my writing with your reading!

writing in the middle of the day, in the kitchen! (note the zinnias)

The garden: I didn’t have a huge yield, but what did grow made me really happy, especially the herbs. Also, my neighbor introduced me to a local food coop we used instead of our CSA share, and between that and the farmer’s markets, we enjoyed a ton of local food. Also, I had enough zinnias to have a bouquet in the kitchen continuously from August to October.

Dilly beans from August

My work: I started tracking my hours spent working at my job. Doing so allowed me to see how many hours I was really spending on it, which allowed me to see when enough was, in fact, enough. I had the opportunity to mentor a few of our newer providers, which I love doing, and took on a medical student this fall. (We haven’t been able to have medical students in the clinic since spring 2020.)

Youth group: our church has a small but lovely group of teens who meet with me regularly for youth group. As we regathered post-Covid (mid-Covid?) one of them asked to do a regular Bible study, which I had been reluctant to suggest. (Why? I’m not sure.) We started with Mark 1 in the early spring and are nearing the end. Our priest gave me an amazing commentary to guide my study, and it has been fascinating and challenging for me and the kids. They have great questions and observations, and meeting with them Sunday morning is a highlight of my week.

at The Bookworm in Edwards, one of our favorite bookstores

Reading: I had more time to read this year and made the most of it, finishing 104 books in 2022 and abandoning more than a few. I supported indie bookstores, discovered new-to-me authors who had long backlists to enjoy, made the most of the Denver Library’s incredibly accessible online system, read in multiple formats, didn’t beat myself up for rereading favorites, kept multiple books going at the same time and didn’t feel any pressure to finish anything I wasn’t enjoying. It was great.

The short trip: we used to be people who saved up our vacation days and went away for as long as we possibly could, but this has become very difficult with of multiple different school schedules, the challenges of Covid-19, and the cost of putting kids through college. We have become fans of the short trip and managed to get some of us to Chicago, Vail, Wheaton, Columbus, Guatemala City, Champaign, and Estes Park.

one perfect day in Rocky Mountain National Park

All right, friends, that’s a wrap! I wish you the joys of savoring the good in your year and looking ahead with hope.

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