Finally, 2023 is almost gone.
To say it hasn’t gone as we had originally envisioned it would be quite an understatement. In reality the year has been a complete disaster.
It started in January when Joy’s sister called her. She was hysterical as her pup had passed unexpectedly. There was little we could do from Florida to help her but we did our best to find someone who could. This was the first disaster.
Next, in February our cat, my friend Lindy, passed away quite suddenly. He had never been healthy but this still came as quite a shock to me and I still miss him.
March was the high-point of the year. We traveled to Porto, Portugal and realized it was an area we would love to call home. When we returned to Florida I contacted a lawyer that specializes in expats moving to Europe and we thought we finally had a plan, but life had other ideas.
In April my mom died unexpectedly. She simply went to sleep and never woke up. She was the youngest of both of our parents and this is something I’m still not sure I’ve completely come to terms with. What we did realize, though, is that instead of Portugal we needed to redirect our efforts and move back to Chicago for a few years.
We spent the summer mostly tending to a very sick dog. He was old, 13, but seemingly healthy until 24 June when he had a massive seizure. From June until he passed on 5 October he occupied much of our time and energy, especially for my wife.
In September we found a condo in Chicago and put in an offer that was quickly accepted. We closed on 3 October and have spent the time since in multiple rounds of moving that didn’t see me completely moved until 4 December and Joy until 18 December.
Today, as I write this on 28 December, we’re doing our best to settle into the new place and re-establish a life closer to family.
I’d like to say I had a ton of professional and creative accomplishments this year but that would be a lie. My energy went into family. Instead of accomplishments I instead had a number of regressions that have haunted me through the year.
My fitness streak came to an end. I started drinking again. I stopped blogging for, at one point, up to two months when we were working on moving and I read fewer books than I have in a while. These weren’t things I’m proud of.
Some years you thrive, some you barely survive. As 2023 comes to a close I think the lesson of the year has been that nothing is forever and nothing is guaranteed. As a result I need to learn to roll with the punches and make the best of where life takes us.