Snow melting from the top of a car, seen through a clear sunroof

10 things to be grateful for in 2022

Where on earth did 2022 go? My brain seems to have stopped following anything that was going on back in about June so it was a bit of a shock to discover that it’s Christmas already. I don’t really have a vision for what 2022 was. Some dumpster-fire elements, for sure, especially politically in the UK, but mostly it’s just been lurching from one thing to another. The result of which is that much of what I’m grateful for feels rather generic, but nevertheless meaningful to me.

So, in 2022 I am grateful…

  1. That we’ve come back from the brink, financially, and have been in a position for me to be able to fly out to Australia at short notice in peak season when my mother needed me
  2. (Perpetually) for John being so understanding and supportive through these last years of the PhD – all the more so now that I seem to have totally abandoned housework in favour of thesis.
  3. For my supervisors, who continue to be kind, understanding and inspirational to me
  4. For my friends, new and old, for reminding me that I am more than a machine for generating more work!
  5. For my job – great boss, interesting work, little bits of travel, and of course, getting to play with the toys! I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time on this once the thesis is done
  6. For my collaborators, for keeping me composing at a time when solo composing is hard to justify or focus on. This feels like it’s actually been one of the Big Deals of the year – I’ve not worked like this before, but this year has seen me involved in 2 (and a half) co-composed pieces: First, Nightcall with Edward Henderson, then From the Exquisite Dark with Josh Spear, and then starting to work on a piece tentatively titled Exquisite Bells (Cologne) with Ed again. I’m finding this way of working more satisfying than I thought it would be, and I don’t think I’d have written anything new this year otherwise
  7. For sewing and having been able to fix the sewing machine which the ‘professional’ overcharged me to not actually fix but actually damage. It’s great to be able to have some new clothes again without the stress of shopping
  8. For secondhand things – books for the PhD, and really for the first time, clothes, which I do struggle to find, but we’ve got a new charity shop in our town which somehow gets a nice selection of things in approximately my size which are good brands and fibres (unlike the other charity shops we have which seem to exclusively stock pilled Primark T-shirts)
  9. For my parents’ kind and generous neighbours & friends (including J’s sister S), who mean I don’t need to worry nearly so much about parents as I might – so good to know there are people who are willing to drive them places when needed or check on them and make sure they’re OK, e.g. if they’re not answering the phone
  10. For Elon Musk blowing up Twitter which has made me rethink my relationship with social media and the news and, more importantly, pointed me to Mastodon, where I have found lovely new friends and got to know some older friends in new ways. I’m feeling overall more calm, less pressured since I quit Twitter (and largely stopped dealing with all the crap entailed with watching Instagram and Facebook too), so while I’m sad for the breakup of that community, I’m in a better place because of it.

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