LIFESTYLE | Reflecting Back on 2022

Maybe it's who I follow, but I have come across a number of people who have said that 2022 was a tough year and though I am trying to resist falling into the trap of "Good riddance to 2022 and bring on 2023!" we all know what happened when we thought that about 2019 going into 2020. It's no surprise that I find it hard to characterize 2022 as anything other than the year we lost our beloved kitty companion Hugo, but I really wanted to look closely at the rest of the year as bad and good things will continue to happen on our individual life timelines and whether they happen on the calendar year, fiscal year, or however you want to organize time, I don't want to say that one year was bad so the next year must be good. The next year will just "be" and I can choose to add some things to it or circumstance will spice it up for me. Whether I like the taste is another issue, but as I turn 40 this year, I will probably throw more caution to the wind and open myself up to new experiences!

Snow in Vancouver

What I remember the most about this first month of 2022 is how Vancouver had just experienced true double digit negative degree weather that had me freezing for days as the heat in our building was not working properly so it was 15 degrees at my place! I also was SO looking forward to the movie "The Eternals" only to have it be a total letdown, but thankfully seeing the new Ghostbusters movie renewed my faith in movies again!


I started using the grocery delivery service SPUD this month and really enjoyed it so have continued to use it about once/month. I used to think they were incredibly expensive, but once the price of food starting going up everywhere, I figured I'd start getting things delivered as even going to the grocery store during a busy week isn't enjoyable. The produce is always good and if there is even an egg broken, they refund you the price of the egg!

I was also doing a lot of Lunar New Year content as this month launched the Year of the Tiger and discovered some fun biology-themed earrings made by Alberta-based artist Woodsmoke and Willow!


It was super stressful month at work filled with audits, difficult personalities and general annoyances so this was the month where I placed one of my biggest CBD orders yet from Birch + Fog! My nails were a mess and it took me a long time to feel caught up after everything that happened this month. I was just exhausted, but the bright light was seeing the movie "Turning Red". It was an homage to my childhood as a Canadian immigrant and hilarious for both my husband and I!

It was also the first month that the mask mandates were lifted AND the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that my friend and I went shopping at the mall! It was an interesting experienced as most people were still masked especially retail employees, but we had a good time and it was just fun to end the month doing something fun. 


We went to the actual movie theatre for the first time since the pandemic to watch "The Batman"! We still don't do it very often, but when we do, we pull out all the stops and do the VIP experience! I also went to my very first party at a restaurant for a good friend's birthday since 2020 and while it was strange to be completely unmasked, it felt good to be among friends again.


We started using every Sunday to do either something as a couple or for the house and this month we did a massive apartment clean up and office swap so that shelving we had in the living room was moved into the office and vice versa. It was a lot of work and something we are still working on!


Hugo had his first intestinal flare up this month that had him moaning in pain, but it cleared up within a few hours and by the time we took him to the vet, he was back to his normal self. Looking back, this was definitely the start of it all, but we didn't think anything of it as he went back to eating and doing his normal Hugo things. The one positive thing I remember about this month was going to a physical LEGO store for the FIRST time to pick up The Daily Bugle! I had a great experience, left a review and then the manager emailed me personally to thank me for my feedback! As a manager myself, I always wish people would take the time to let me know of the good instead of solely just the bad!


I had a fantastic July because it was my birthday month and I took a nice week long vacation that I spent with my husband and also visited my mom at her store in Steveston. The weather was so nice and it was good to be out by the water. I was also blogging a lot more and had already scheduled a month's worth of blog posts for #SheetMaskSunday plus Wednesdays as I had been doing two sheet mask posts a week to get through my stash. All was good and I was enjoying the summer.


I have anxiety just seeing this month in writing. I had the August long weekend off and then just two days later Hugo had a similar intestinal flare up in the morning before we left for work. He looked nauseated and wouldn't eat anything, but both my husband and I had to leave so we figured he would be fine since the last episode cleared up in a few hours. My husband came home early and Hugo was still feeling poorly. We all know what happened just three days later and my entire world changed. I know I sound dramatic saying that, but having never experienced true loss before, this is all I know. Hugo was a better friend than some humans in my life which is why his loss still sends me reeling into a spiral of grief. His death coloured my passion for life a shade of grey indifference and I just stopped caring about blogging, watching movies, reading and even my relationship with my husband. We were both so sad for months and though it is better now, we talked about Hugo and how much we missed him every day. We will honour him and Hemingway with some art, but still have not found the right artist yet.


I started designing a ring to honour both Hugo and Hemi using their August birthstones as they were born just one week apart. This was therapeutic and felt like a personal way to remember them. I also had to deal with some very unpleasant work issues where people I thought would support me told me to swallow my pride and pretend that I was being punished for something when I wasn't. I was told, it was easier that way. Things are "better" now in that I am looking like the bigger person, but to have such a lack of support from my bosses reminded me that I am on my own when it comes to work and that being a pretty, fairly young woman with a brain will always garner jealousy and shit talk. On a fun beauty note, I got dermaplaning done for the first time at Mint Smile Bar and had a wonderful experience!


We finally picked up a Sodastream as the price of fizzy things has skyrocketed over the last year to a point where it made more sense to buy one of these at the rate we were consuming pop and fizzy water. It has been SO NICE just having fizzy flavoured water or ginger ale whenever I want! Although, the most important thing that happened this month was that we adopted Huxley! He was matched with us and wasn't even listed on the VOKRA website yet and when we went to visit with him, he was very skittish which most cats are. Hugo and Harper were VERY friendly when we met them so this was the first time I had met a cat who wasn't super outgoing, but I felt Harper needed a friend and while it took her some time to tolerate Hux, they seem more playful now. He is quite the character though and very naughty so we have to watch him!


I went to my first ever Estee Lauder warehouse sale which was very fun and stressful at the same time. The crowds, the waiting are really not my cup of tea, but I am glad I tried it out! I also caught Covid for the very first time and while I was only super sick for about 3 days, I thought I was going to go crazy. I was coughing until the point of wanting to throw up and I just couldn't stop. My husband has asthma so I was SO worried I was going to infect him, but we had both already accepted the fact that he would get sick, but incredibly, he DID NOT! We kept the windows open, I slept on the couch and then he and I would wear a mask when we were in the same room. I also slept with a mask on while I was coughing and he never tested positive or felt sick in any way! I definitely caught it from a co-worker as 5 of us all got sick at the same time so after this, I started masking 100% with people at work as well as I had started relaxing over the last year. I would have caught it from a 1-2 minute interaction which just goes to show how contagious Covid is! I also lost my sense of smell and taste for 2 weeks which really sucked as I did not think I would get it back.


Last month was just busy with holiday retail shenanigans and then even more busy as I ended up taking on more responsibilities at work that left me with very little time to get everything done. Then we had a major flood at work two days before Christmas that was pretty intense and that right there was pretty much my "Hail Mary" for the season where I just sort of threw my hands up and said "Jesus, take the wheel". I did watch a lot of movies as my husband was away with his family for Christmas which was fun and then got to enjoy a few snow days inside feeling nice and cozy with the cats including Christmas Day which was gloriously quiet and peaceful. I would not have had it any other way! 

In terms of the reading, watching and financial goals I had set out for myself last year, I only managed to read 14/35 books and watch 90/100 movies (68 of them are new to me!), but I did add a new goal of watching 15 seasons of any show. They could all be from one show or if it's a new show, there may only be one or two seasons available like Andor, Severance or Wednesday. There are so many good shows out there that is seems a waste to not watch them because I am trying to fulfill my goal of watching movies. I lowered my reading goal to 20 books this year and kept my movie goal of 100 because I think it's doable. 

For my financial goals, I managed to save about 36% of my paycheck and will be about halfway to maxing out my TFSA, but still have about two years to go to max out my RRSPs. I had hoped to max out one of the two since I started this endeavour at the beginning of 2020, but in terms of dollars, I have saved just over $80,000 since committing to my finance goal which I feel should be celebrated! 

This was a little bit of selfish post as I do use my blog as a sort of diary, but if you have made it to the end with me, thank you! How do you feel about goals for the new calendar year? Are there things you have started that have now become habit? How did you feel about 2022?

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