It seems I’m making a ritual of this. I’m not sure I mean to, but it’s nice to think that even though I don’t consistently journal or reflect, I might at least have these yearly retrospectives to look back on when I’m older. And I (or the kids? should they come?) might then find some novelty in seeing these brief recaps of what was happening and what I was thinking about back in my younger days.

Since this year isn’t a particularly big year, I’ll once again go with the format of what happened and what I expect will happen.

First of all, and most of all, this was generally a very good year for me. One of the better ones of the recent set. There was peace in it. Probably because they were partially for public consumption, the first two birthday reflections I wrote really underplayed how not at peace things were for a long while there. I’m still trying to understand things (that is part of what lies ahead of me) but the short of it is that, for who knows what reasons, my mental health was in a very bad spot, and relief took a very long time to come. To borrow a newly discovered metaphor, it felt at times like a grandfather clock was calling out to me, and we hadn’t yet figured out the trick about having a playlist ready.

So, the peace. Not constant, but significant.

Some other things that rise to the top about this past year are a handful of really meaningful and sometimes heavy conversations. Some were steps toward being more fully known, and some where steps toward understanding myself better. Some felt critical to the peace. Others just deeply inspired me.

I was reminded of the occasional horror and reliable good that comes from being honest; I was gifted language that has helped to relieve a heavy burden; I was able to understand that there are some things worth checking in on for my own sake; I was reminded of now.

For those conversations I’m grateful to my in-laws, Ron and Esther Knott, to Elise Harboldt, to Danica Kushner, to Daisy Lopez, to Jason Lemon, and to Kyle Emile for hearing me and speaking to me, and for altogether being really good people to me. I’m grateful most of all to Livvy, the very best of conversationalists, whose support and love and intellect and humor and precision have continued to fill my life with so much meaning and joy.

For the many less weighty but still deeply good and enjoyable conversations, I’m grateful for all the other friendships: the new, the revived, and the ones that have persisted.

Some other notable parts of last year were skiing (of course), the start of a daily music habit, attempts at gym going and the injury that interrupted it, beginning to embroider, making our website, putting up art, a smattering of trips and visits, Sabbath dinners, the first Denver Summery, lots of thoughts of kids, the skateboard skateboard skateboard skateboard skateboard skateboard skateboard gang, the starting up of some correspondence, and finally, finally getting my long awaited fanny pack.

As for next:

I expect to travel more, to get my eyes fixed, to furnish our bedroom, to find a really good therapist, to see Livvy enjoy her work, to spend time with family and friends, and to get a better sense of what our long-term future might look like, and where.

I’d like to start some more events (The Book Report Society, a PowerPoint club) create more things (embroider a magical snake, build more LEGO art, add more features to our website), build in more opportunities for novelty (go outside more often, start talking to strangers again), and increase the role of writing in my life (correspondence, essays, documentaries, explainers).

I also hope to launch some major projects at the studio, and help get Types and Symbols to a less client-dependent position. This year might be too soon, but getting the bus factor up would also be great.

If you were around this past year, thank you for helping make it a good one. More than anything, what I want is to keep living, and that’s a good place to be.