2022 Retrospective

January 03, 2023

Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve any of my goals for 2022. Let’s go through each one:

Hit 20K in savings (again)

As of writing this, I’m sitting at $6,500. Not great, not terrible, but nowhere near 20K. Looking back, the main reason was probably the war that erupted in Ukraine in the first months of the year. Sending money to our family became my mom’s priority and I couldn’t argue with that. She sent the money and I needed to make up for the lost income where I could.

I also spent a lot more money this year than I had hoped to. This is no one’s fault but my own. Excessive spending and retail therapy can be just as nasty as binge drinking and over-eating.

Develop and keep a consistent workout routine

I tried quite a few times to do this but I was never successful. It never stuck. Not the gym, not working out at home, and definitely not all of the weird and inventive ways I tried to trick myself into working out.

The brass tacks of it is that it didn’t feel like a priority to me. It was a thing I wanted to do but it never felt like something I needed to do. So I did other things instead - some healthy and some unhealthy.

A part of me realized that getting back to my strength level of years past just wasn’t what I wanted anymore. Sure, I wanted to look nice without a shirt but I didn’t want it as badly as I had when I was younger.

The main realization I had was that while the gym had been my main source of therapy when I was younger, it’s been replaced with other, worse therapies. In the past I would clamber to go to the gym when I was stressed, now I go out with friends or have some beers. I’m not happy with this change and am hoping to reverse it in 2023.

Become fluent in Russian

This was an interesting year for language learning. I started out strong with Russian but eventually dropped it in favor of Italian. My goal became to go to Italy for two weeks in 2023 and so I made learning Italian a priority. It was fun! Learning a language you love usually is. I even went on iTalki and had some very embarrassing initial sessions with two native Italian speakers.

Eventually, though, I remembered why I wanted to become fluent in Russian. While it’s not my favorite language, it was the language I first spoke, the language my entire family speaks. It’s the language that my mom speaks. And I want to speak it just as well as them so I could have meaningful conversations with those I care about.

Selfishly, I also don’t want to be the Russian guy that barely knows his native language.

The Year in General

2022 was a fine year when I consider it all together. I made tremendous progress in my career, enjoyed some great times together with friends, and made memories that will last me a lifetime. It was also a year where my personal growth in other areas was stagnant: I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted to, I didn’t write much poetry or prose, and my physical health took a backseat to fun.

Every year that goes by is filled with lessons for the future - that never changes. This year I learned that I can’t just let my life be pushed forward by sheer luck and happenstance. I need to grab the wheel and direct the car toward where I want to be. That’s how I want to approach 2023.