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31 December 2022

A Refreshing Respite

Huh.  I find myself in the usual position of writing this in the waning minutes of the year, but this time I'm finding it weirdly kinda refreshing, albeit still in the usual and frustrating way.

In particular, I'm struggling a bit to recap the year that was, in part, because, for the first time in a while, I have quite a bit of optimism for the year ahead.  (I suspect I'm not alone.)

Don't be mistaken: After the trials of the last few years, it'll be critical not to enter 2023 with any particular expectations.  Walk in slowly, no sudden movements, don't startle it — all that good stuff.  But I think, despite the necessary modicum of caution, there's actually a lot of concrete reasons to be hopeful.

Work life is progressing.  Stabilizing from the peak-pandemic chaos, surely, but not into anything resembling the past.  We welcomed new coworkers in April and May to expand our team, and they're already helping bring us well into our next phase of existence, as we continue to have more prominent impacts across campus.

And yet somehow, personal life is maybe progressing even more?  I finally have some decent answers to some long-standing questions.  Of course, major answers, while helpful, often beget further questions.  So still a bit of work to do there, especially in the weeks ahead.  I'm never one for resolutions, of course, but nevertheless poised for progress and positivism there, too.

Meanwhile, family have been struggling a bit here and there, especially these last few months.  Some ups, some downs, to be sure.  But broadly a bit more on the better side than the worse side at present, which is a relief.

In any case, it's been busy, and it's been good to have a bit of a break from it all.  During my stay in the Erie area, the weather sure has been, uh, variable: We broke the record low on 23 December with a temperature of –2 °F (–19 °C) on 23 December, only to break the record high a week later on 30 December, with 64 °F (18 °C).

Ah, home, sweet home.

Now if I could just get over dealing with the last ten days' worth of sugar.

Random tangent: It looks like all three major networks arranged to break from their primetime New Year's Eve programming for local news an hour early, at 22:00 EST.  Makes sense: Not only is the overall pageantry less rushed, but also ABC no longer has to cut away from national just as it hit midnight in Puerto Rico.  I hope that's able to stick around in future years, and wasn't just a one-off because this year's broadcasts aren't on a weeknight.


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