Looking back to 2022

It’s amazing how quickly we get used to change. 2022 has been a dramatic year and, looking back, I’m amazed at the journey I’ve taken. In January 2020, I was living in Brighton, getting used to a new job, and expecting things to continue as they were. In January 2022, I was renting a flat in Halifax and working remotely for a company in Leicester. Now I’m living in a house in Hebden Bridge, working in Leeds, and feeling happier than I’ve ever been.

In three years, I’ve had three house moves and three jobs. Thinking back to January 2020, I couldn’t have imagined ending up living in Hebden Bridge, surrounded by beautiful countryside and working in a job I love. Obviously, the pandemic helped move me from my comfortable everyday life, making me look for new things, but I’m still amazed that I’ve taken this leap.

(I remember, in the darkest days of the pandemic, how it felt as if I had slipped into an alternate universe. There’s some of that same feeling now, as if there’s another me, that did not have the pandemic, and did not leave Brighton. It would have been so easy to stay there, doing the same things and I’m grateful to be in the universe I am)

Another change since January, and easy to forget is the pandemic. In January 2022, the country teetered on the edge of another lockdown. Now, the UK Health Security agency has announced publishing the R-number is no longer necessary as we’re now ’living with covid’. Covid is definitely not over, and I’m not entirely comfortable with how society as a whole ignores the impact of repeated infections. I’ve still not had covid, but catching it now seems unavoidable. We’ve gone from forcing people into isolation to avoid the disease to forcing people to catch it or be isolated.

In October/November I had a five-week break between jobs. I had lots of projects I wanted to work on, but restricted myself to just a handful. Even then, I made little progress. As suggested by Oliver Burkeman’s 4000 weeks, I need to be realistic about how much space I have in my life, particularly with the new job hotting up.

At some point in 2022, I also stopped drinking alcohol. I may well take it up again, but at the moment I’m not feeling any particular interest in it.

Overall 2022 has been a good year, and I am happy with where I have ended up. I hope that things stay like they are for some time yet.

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