Wow. End of the year...
Musings on 2022. And a quick nod to the wisdom of John Scalzi's Burritos
And for those of you new to the Substack version of Rykaworld—welcome!
It was a very up and down year here—was it that way for you? A lot ( LOT) of amazing things happened. But a lot (LOT) of pretty awful things happened, as well.
I could go into either or both high and low points, but I’ve already done so—instead, I would rather end the year thinking about the swingings back and forth themselves.
Thanks to amazing friends who have been with me through good times and bad, I realize that I am far from alone in this. I think as we grow older, life becomes sort of like the second half of Jeopardy! The game is basically the same, but questions get a little harder, the stakes get higher…and you’re either ahead or behind the people next to you.
As we get older—if we have been persistent and fortunate—we might be getting more recognition for our work. We might see our families blossom, or even reach some of our longtime goals (Go you!!!).
But also our health changes, and well, people get sick or even pass away. And one realizes that, regardless of how we felt growing up, the world is an incredibly difficult thing to change (not impossible—but difficult).
Anyway, in all of this, I have realized how important the temperate times are—when you can be sure that nothing particularly earthshaking will be happening. Temperate times have been very rare for me over the past three years—at any time, I might get a phone call saying come to the hospital…
As much as I miss my mother, now she is at peace, and it is good to breathe and rest and quietly do the laundry.
And, even though amazing things have happened, sometimes they can be draining in their own way. I wouldn’t trade the good parts of 2022 for anything—the journey of Light From Uncommon Stars has made parts of my life seem like a dream. (And it still feels unreal.)
However, one cannot live there, just as one cannot live in fear or grief.
I think of John Scalzi (who has become an amazing and supportive friend) and his love for burritos. He puts anything in it—whatever is handy or in the fridge— he turns it into a burrito.
Because sometimes, the best thing you can do is take what life gives you and make a burrito.
I am sitting here at a quiet desk, recovering. I am here at another amazing friend’s house in Honolulu.
Yes, I am in Hawai’i. And yes, I have spent a day in Waikiki and went shopping at Ala Moana for gifts.
But my friend needs to replace her refrigerator, and it is coming today. We spent the morning moving furniture and sweeping the floor. (I am writing now while we wait for the new refrigerator to arrive.)
Once it is here, we will move the food out of the old refrigerator and pack it into the new one, along with a bag or two of ice to keep everything cold while the new fridge gets itself going.
There will be more sweeping and mopping and putting things where they need to be.
And you know what? For everything else that I could be doing here, what I am most grateful for is that I am here to help her replace her refrigerator.
To everyone who has been buffeted by too many ups and downs in 2022, I wish that you have a 2023 with more good times, more success, more love, and more family
But may your year also be nourished by temperate oases of quiet and rest—where your biggest worry will be whether or not to hang the laundry, and your lunch will be a burrito no matter what is waiting for you in the fridge.
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Thank you for this post as I try to make sense of the world right now. 🙏🏽
Happy new year! The older I get, the more I appreciate the temperate times as well. Wishing you rest and small delights this year!