Happy New Year 2022!!!
May it be a little better than the last two years. I hope you have had a wonderful New Year’s Day. We got up early enough to see the sunrise at the East River, even though it is rainy and gloomy today. Then we went to our favorite diner for breakfast. The rest of the day we have relaxed at home with the cats.
Personally I am excited to leave 2021 behind because it was a difficult year, full of challenges and transitions. While I was excited when the year started [here], I sobered up quickly. For this year I hope to find lots of positive excitement (and hopefully also quiet moments) with our baby girl and to find more answers how life continues.
A Short 2021 Recap
2020 had been hard, too. So I thought that, with a promotion in my job, I would pour myself into work. Then, in February I first slipped at work and sprained my right elbow. A week later, on my way to my second Covid vaccination, I slipped on ice and broke my right wrist. Because I had done such a good job breaking all wrist bones and dislocating them, my arm was in a big cast for weeks. At least it made me learn how to handwrite with my left hand.
Around that time Arti and Lotti got spayed. Unfortunately, shortly afterwards Arti had a horrible heart infection and ended in the cat ICU for 5 days. She almost died and the doctors called her recovery a miracle. She has to take her heart medicine daily, but has otherwise recovered very well.
In spring Rich and I decided to buy an apartment. Our lease would be up at the end of June anyways and we couldn’t extend it any longer. We found a great real estate agent and quickly fell in love with a Coop in Turtle Bay. While our offer was accepted within a few days, it took us forever to close on the purchase. It took the bank so much longer to finalize our mortgage. Eventually, we only moved in mid-July and not at the start of June as originally planned. At least we have loved our new home ever since and are very happy with our decision.
On the very positive side, we went on vacation again this year. In April we flew to Florida to stay with Rich’s granny, in July we spent a week with his family in the summer house in Maine. Besides, I went on a foliage road trip to Vermont in October and we managed to camp for one night on the Hudson River.
Also, we found out in early June that I was pregnant and so I spent the majority of 2021 being pregnant (fortunately). I have learned how uncomfortable it is, while still making me immensely happy. Now I can’t wait to meet our girl in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, it turned out that, after we had applied for my Green Card, work and travel permit in early April, that I didn’t receive either by 1 September. That forced me to stay at home and made me quite miserable. I wasn’t authorized to work, I wasn’t allowed to travel and thus missed my granny’s 90th birthday party. It took me a very long time to come to terms with the situation. I became my own worst enemy and judged myself badly.
Eventually we had our Green Card interview at the start of December and by now I have the little card (we maintain a love hate relationship). But those months at home also made me realize that I defined myself too much through my job and that I didn’t enjoy working as a teacher as much as I once used to. So, also in December, I resigned from teaching fully, after having taught for 13 years. Despite this being a tough decision, it has left me with a feeling of relief and calmness.
2022 therefore starts with a blank page for many things and I can’t wait to have a year to – and this time purposefully – focus even more on just myself and our little family. Instead of resolutions, this year I try to stick to my monthly goals and, of course, I still have my 101 Things in 1001 Days going on.
My Goals for January 2022 are:
- pack my hospital bag in time
- wash all baby clothes
- try to take at least one 20 minute walk per day
- take several books to the little free library around the corner
- visit the dentist
- use my paper content planner and create a schedule for at least the first quarter of 2022 (and stick to it)
- prepare blog posts for February as much as possible
- prepare our tax return as much as possible
My Goals for December 2021 were:
- send out all Christmas cards and gifts asap – yes, and most luckily even arrived in time
- finish most of our nursery – we are done for now
- enjoy Christmas in NYC to the fullest (with lots of walks to all the lights and displays, to the holiday markets, and to Central Park) – I did my best even though I couldn’t always move comfortably
- make an excellent Christmas dinner when Rich’s parents visit us – I think so, we had dumplings, red cabbage and roasted duck
- finish at least one more module of the Coursera course
- make at least 5 different kinds of Christmas cookies: almond cookies, anise almond clouds, thumbprint cookies, Christmas elephant ears, crunchy cookies
- set up an editorial calendar for the blog and stick to it
- wrap up several things that need to be done before I start into the new year
- make our own gingerbread house from scratch – we didn’t find the time and will probably still do it in January