The End of 2021/Beginning of 2022 December 31, 2021 3:24 PM   Subscribe

What's something old you're leaving behind, and something new you're taking with you? General chat thread for ruminating on the year past and the year to come.
posted by curious nu to MetaFilter-Related at 3:24 PM (50 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I haven't watched TV in 5 or 6 months. That's going to continue.
posted by nestor_makhno at 4:12 PM on December 31, 2021 [7 favorites]

Leaving my old job behind, taking on the new retirement lifestyle.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 4:17 PM on December 31, 2021 [11 favorites]

Thank you for this - as it is helping me put into words some ideas I’ve been shifting around in my head for a while now.

I would like to leave behind my impulse to apply external fixes to internal problems. At its simplest, I have a stack of books that are meant to help me feel / be better that haven’t been read past the first few chapters. I have craft and hobby supplies purchased because I was wishing I was making time for the hobby itself.

And I think I’m ready to move forward from that. So, in the new year, when I get the urge to “fix” something about myself, or to make a purchase intended to caulk over some inner feeling of emptiness, I am going to work toward just sitting with the feeling first and seeing what is revealed.

I hope the New Year brings everyone here exactly what they need.

Much love to you and yours.

posted by hilaryjade at 5:57 PM on December 31, 2021 [29 favorites]

Leaving renting with roommates behind, onward to my new house that I bought!
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:05 PM on December 31, 2021 [31 favorites]

Not many changes on the horizon, personally, a lot for my country.
Yesterday was my birthday, and I always wish for more of the same.
posted by signal at 7:32 PM on December 31, 2021 [9 favorites]

I will start a new job in a couple of weeks!

I also had a birthday yesterday.
posted by NotLost at 8:06 PM on December 31, 2021 [8 favorites]

Can it really be a new year when every day is blursday?
posted by bixfrankonis at 9:01 PM on December 31, 2021 [9 favorites]

I've been bingeing Ted Lasso lately and am resolving to take some of that attitude into 2022.

I want to spend less time and energy wallowing in things I can't change -- from the atrocious state of the world to personal pain that I struggle with every day -- and spend more time on the things I can do something about. I want to notice the good things and put my energy into the people around me, the people who love me and will return that energy and care. I want to despair less and do more to make my corner of the world, at least, as good as it can be.
posted by contrapositive at 10:03 PM on December 31, 2021 [13 favorites]

This year I realized how much I'm still letting the fact that I am the youngest of my siblings influence my actions. Which is pretty absurd as I am about to turn 50.
I've stopped waiting for their cooperation or permission to make decisions affecting my father's care. Also calling them out on when they are rude to me.
So significantly more conflict happening. But hopefully it's worth it. At least my one sister has been excellent about it and we've had some good talks. The others not so much.
posted by Zumbador at 11:31 PM on December 31, 2021 [13 favorites]

This neato thing with my heart has really, really got me. I dare not get sick, I'm barely leaving my condo, I'm going starkers mad. I love to have alone time but -- this is too much.

I'm in the beginning of researching regeneration of heart tissue with stem cells. My cardiologist has told me that it's not ready for prime time, and perhaps it isn't. But I'm digging into it, slowly, since I don't know my way around yet -- I'm circling around and around, learning what I can.

That's pretty much my M.O. when learning new things, I try to bring items/ideas I've come across here or there, I've got them spread all around me, and then piece by piece trying to bring it together, it's like a big honkin' jigsaw puzzle, one piece at a time snapping it together.

I am afraid. I am furious that this has happened to me -- fucking covid. Frightened by this whole goddamn thing which I do not -- not yet, anyways -- understand, and do not know what steps to take, if any.

I'm not one that will sit there like a brain-dead chunk of meat and let doctors do what they do. It's my body, and it's my responsibility. I learned when seeking out medical armistice with this manic depression thing that ultimately it is me that's got to assume responsibility, that shrinks are often caring and want to help but it is at least 70% up to me to learn, then act upon what I've learned.


One of my best friends was clean and sober for 20 years but he got careless, give alcoholism even an inch and you're in danger. His intention is to start again tomorrow, a new year, a resolve to set things down, embrace recovery.

He's pretty sure that he'll be able to just set it all down.

Sometimes it works that way. Often it doesn't.

A person not only has alcoholism, alcoholism also has that person. Denial tells alcoholics that they can do what they decide upon, when they decide upon it.

It's been a hell of a ride, watching him loop the fucking loop behind this drinking/drugging thing, watching him and determined not to abandon him.

Any alcoholic or drug addict who is clean and sober, it's a gift.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:54 PM on December 31, 2021 [15 favorites]

Leaving behind: Unpleasant uncertainty, such as bad relationships, general confusion about the future and a lot of disappointment.

Bringing in: Pleasant uncertainty, such as who will win Masterchef UK this year, or what will happen in the book that I'm reading next, or what the place I'd like to visit will be like.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 1:40 AM on January 1, 2022 [7 favorites]

Last year I discovered a really helpful concept around feeling accomplished: that it’s a triad requiring Courage, Skill, and Effort. I’m taking this concept with me and leaving behind all my objections to putting effort into things (this is where I struggle with the most).

I’m also working on keeping things simple. That served me really well last year. Recognising too that sometimes to make things simple for a client means there’s a lot of complexity behind the scenes. That’s ok, I get to decide what my comfort levels are with this.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:54 AM on January 1, 2022 [12 favorites]

Oh and one more! I’m creating room to make mistakes. A lot of them.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:56 AM on January 1, 2022 [9 favorites]

Happy New Year to all! Thank you for this question. I need to think about it - my immediate thought is that I'm still carrying a lot of things I would rather leave behind, and cannot achieve the new things I would like to. bixfrankonis, blursday is a good word and a good concept, thanks.

Oh - two possible new things, or at least the equipment for them. A friend gave me her old loom a couple of months ago. I am hoping to have the energy to play around with it if nothing more. And also expecting to enjoy rabbit-holing on the internet about weaving. And I impulsively bought an exercise bike just after Christmas. At the moment both these things are hampered by needing to clear out a Room of Doom to have floor space for them (I have hoarding issues). I also can't get the exercise bike up the stairs because it's so heavy and the only friend I'd feel able to ask has injured her shoulder. I have just ordered some rope off the internet in a plan to haul it up using the banisters as leverage. This may be a very bad idea. I also probably need to frame an Ask about not having a heart attack if I start to use the bike (unfit person).

I also followed mochapickle's suggestion in the question about end of year not-coming-unglued - to sign up to the January Cure at Apartment Therapy. That question in general has some good answers if others are feeling bleurgh about new year, thanks Nieshka for asking it.
posted by paduasoy at 2:22 AM on January 1, 2022 [8 favorites]

My mom has pointed me in a new career direction that would actually be perfect for me. I’m rallying the courage to do it but am trying to mitigate my discomfort with it being her suggestion.
posted by bendy at 3:04 AM on January 1, 2022 [11 favorites]

I'm trying to keep all of the people on my lifeboat still in the boat for one more year & that's about as much as I can do.
posted by bleep at 6:48 AM on January 1, 2022 [15 favorites]

I cleared out a ton of things from the basement and the garage last year (about 4(!) pickup truck loads), and this year I would like to continue Getting Rid Of Things. Except, it seems, for books -- I must have bought/acquired about 30 books last year, and I just signed up for this so more are coming. Eventually I guess I will have a house that only has a little bit of furniture and cooking things, and tons of books. Sounds okay.
posted by JanetLand at 7:15 AM on January 1, 2022 [10 favorites]

I'm leaving behind a toxic family member, a decision I only reached in the past week or so. I took up bicycling in 2021 and I'm going to keep that up in 2022. My goal is to do the RAGBRAI, or some similar long-distance ride, in 2023. 2022 will be for cementing the physical gains I've already made.

I'm also attempting to be kinder.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:36 AM on January 1, 2022 [10 favorites]

I like where I am in life, both personally and professionally. A 2022 that is a repeat of 2021, just with much less pandemic, will be perfectly fine with me.
posted by COD at 8:00 AM on January 1, 2022 [4 favorites]

I'm leaving behind my need to explain myself. I realized it comes from Child Me, who was taught that Nothing Is Never Good Enough, so I had to explain, and justify, and be pecked to death.

But I'm not the child anymore. I'm the mom, in point of fact.

It's actually pretty rare that I owe anyone an explanation.
posted by champers at 8:09 AM on January 1, 2022 [14 favorites]

I relate to that, champers. One phrase that has helped me a lot this past year is something a friend said to me when I was debating whether or not to go out of my way to share something with someone. She offered, “it’s for them to find out.”

I’ve found it’s a suggestion that’s been useful for many situations. I hope it can help you too.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:27 AM on January 1, 2022 [7 favorites]

I’m bringing forward my new understanding that all discretionary spending is about emotions, and if you can find a way to get those same emotions for free, then you can save all that money and maybe retire someday. This is kind of related to hilaryjade’s external fixes to internal problems insight. I got clear on this about eight months ago and it has been life changing.

I would like to leave behind the formless anxiety that makes me
procrastinate at work and ignore unopened mail at home. This may require therapy. It is meaning my life distinctly worse and I don’t have much insight into it at all.
posted by HotToddy at 10:56 AM on January 1, 2022 [15 favorites]

I am leaving behind internalised ableism and working on acceptance.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:16 AM on January 1, 2022 [11 favorites]

I'm leaving academia behind. I start my new job on the 10th.
posted by egregious theorem at 12:01 PM on January 1, 2022 [16 favorites]

Aside from the pandemic, the only thing I'd like to finally leave behind is the low-level background radiation of "is this job eventually going to crap out on me" that plagued me for years. I am in a place I like, with a boss I love, and they seem to like me back, and things seem to be stable, so I no longer have to feel that weird brace-for-impact cringe whenever I see my boss go into a closed-door meeting with someone else in management or anything like that (usually when I saw a lot of that going on it was a harbinger of some kind of staffing shakeup which usually lead to me getting laid off or booted over to a worse boss or something like that).

Also I would like a working knee again please. I'm almost there, but I'd like to be all the way there. (And while we're at it I would like to eventually stop having to do physical therapy sometime this year.)


I busted open the black eyed peas I got from the Rancho Gordo bean club just now, setting some of them to cook following a recipe someone else posted to the Rancho Gordo club blog. While I have all of the ingredients to hand save for the jalapeno (which I can happily live without), and so it's convenient, I chose it because it just sounded so damn good. The house is now perfumed with the smells of bacon and garlic and the peas are starting their first simmer.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:16 PM on January 1, 2022 [10 favorites]

All of these answers are so wise; I truly appreciate this community so much.

During the start of the pandemic, I sort of lost my ability to concentrate on reading a book. I want to pick that back up in 2022. Future MIL lent me a book like 2 years ago that I'm going to finish today, and I've got my Kindle on the charger and will check out what's on Hoopla later on.

I also want to finish crafting projects, and not acquire any more until I make a big dent in this huge pile I have in my home office. We'll see.

The Chicagoland area is starting off 2022 with getting 4-8" + of snow, so it is a good day to tuck in and start on both of those goals.

Wishing only the best this year for everyone!
posted by Sparky Buttons at 2:15 PM on January 1, 2022 [9 favorites]

I have stepped back from a need to constantly distract myself. I have had a long term addiction to audio books and listen all day and much of the night, because I was often doing something else at the same time I was listening to kind of silly books so I wasn't focused on the story either. No more ear bud in my ear and I have also kind of limited my computer time so I don't fill that space with that. After a few days of very high levels of anxiety I have settled down and feel so much better.
posted by InkaLomax at 2:18 PM on January 1, 2022 [7 favorites]

I'm thinking this will be the year I let go of the college town I've lived in for more than thirty years and move to the Salt Lake City area to be near my grandchildren, whom I haven't seen since before COVID. Thinking of posting an Ask for help feeling more happy about it.

Would also really love to let go of the fear that keeps me procrastinating on my writing. I've gotten to where I write for twenty minutes pretty much every day and this is huge compared with where I was (I literally give myself stickers on a calendar for this), but I'm realizing I'm not going to accomplish what I want to unless I increase it.

And add in a replacement for that stupid addicting spider version of solitaire (probably my favorite writing procrastination device). I think taking a break is good. I think getting stuck in a rabbit hole of not being able to let go until I beat the fucking game is not good - at least for me. So I guess what I need is something that enables me to take short breaks without ending up feeling bad about it.
posted by FencingGal at 2:33 PM on January 1, 2022 [11 favorites]

I finally finished 95% of my Holiday cards and went across the street to the corner mailbox to send them out and the mailbox is gone.
posted by bendy at 5:30 PM on January 1, 2022 [12 favorites]

One of my goals is that I’d like to live in a real city.
posted by bendy at 5:42 PM on January 1, 2022 [6 favorites]

During the start of the pandemic, I sort of lost my ability to concentrate on reading a book. I want to pick that back up in 2022. Future MIL lent me a book like 2 years ago that I'm going to finish today, and I've got my Kindle on the charger and will check out what's on Hoopla later on.

I have noticed that sometimes, when I can't concentrate on reading a book with my eyes, I can concentrate on listening to a book if I do something else with my hands at the same time. It might be worth trying an audiobook out to see if that also works for you at all; it's been one of the few ways I'm able to reliably focus on new material for a while now.

I am leaving behind internalised ableism and working on acceptance.


I am re-starting ADHD stimulant meds in a couple of months and tinkering with my meds in part because my ability to maintain focus without engaging hyperfocus has just absolutely gone to shit in the past three to four years. I'm working on new

I left Texas behind in 2021, and with it my PhD program. I'm living through my first real winter in something like fifteen years and startling myself with how much I'm enjoying it. I have a new postdoc I'm hoping will give me a stable place to land.

I am also hoping to acquire a new puppy sometime in 2022, partly as a prospect for service work but more seriously as a prospect for dog sport and engagement. I've been taking classes again, and I know how to handle and socialize a puppy through COVID now. I don't think there will be venues for competition I feel safe at any time soon, but I'm really learning to appreciate obedience work too, so... we will see.

also: puppy.
posted by sciatrix at 7:38 PM on January 1, 2022 [20 favorites]

At the end of January, I am leaving my job of 5 years working for a boss who thinks I'm a charity case, and starting a new role with a team that told me while they were recruiting me that getting me to accept the position would be "a coup." It's going to be a big change but I'm excited for it.

At the same time, I am grieving the loss of my beloved cat Dexter, who we had to put down two weeks ago today. He was an amazing cat and a part of my family for thirteen years, and I feel hollow going into the new year without him. Part of me feels almost ridiculous for taking his loss so hard, but it's really messed me up.
posted by biogeo at 12:17 AM on January 2, 2022 [28 favorites]

biogeo, I'm so sorry about Dexter. Losing a big love like that is so hard.
posted by mochapickle at 11:36 AM on January 2, 2022 [6 favorites]

Aww blogeo, I am sorry about Dexter as well. It's never easy but this time of the year makes it especially hard. Be kind to yourself.

My new year officially starts when not_on_display heads home which happened a few hours ago. I tried to set myself up for success by going out for a walk and starting to work through the suggested podcasts in my AskMe thread from last month October. I am on top of my year-end lists which mostly points to how vaguely empty the end of the year was, not entirely in a bad way. I have a few long-range job things, no short-range job things (also fine for now) and am working on my usual, outlasting the blues.

Trying to leave behind petty disagreements with n_o_d (and others, but him most of all) which can be hard for me because I grew up in a family of petty bean counters and scorekeepers. Trying to move towards compassion for people who aren't me and who have the right to be not-me in peace without either them or me being a bad version of the other. I talk about this a lot out loud here--everyone's hardest struggle is their hardest struggle, try to be a good friend to yourself, don't get mad at people for being a "bad version of you," try not to get mad in general--but it's partly because it's very hard for me to do. I set an intention at the beginning of every year. 2020s was literally just live through this, but I'm a little more well-rested to ask for a little more from me for this year.

FencingGal, you probably know this but SLC has a really stellar library system that's been doing some really progressive things in case that makes the SLC pivot seem any more appealing. My cousin used to live there and often raved about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:14 PM on January 2, 2022 [8 favorites]

biogeo, there is nothing remotely ridiculous about grieving for anyone you love. Most of us know from our own experiences that your grief for Dexter is not less painful just because he wasn't human. I'm really sorry for your loss.
posted by HotToddy at 2:28 PM on January 2, 2022 [9 favorites]

biogeo, I'm very sorry about Dexter. Losing a pet is hard. After my beloved Jeffrey died, I found out that Thomas Hardy wrote a poem about the loss of his cat, Last Words to a Dumb Friend.
posted by FencingGal at 2:49 PM on January 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

Now that I’m truly free of cancer (yay!), I feel like I can actually figure what what this act of my life called “retirement” means for me. I’m picking up my Duolingo Italian today, after spending almost 300 hours on it last year (we’re going in March barring Covid Omega or other disaster).
Bigeo I share your sense of loss - my cuddle cat through my entire cancer treatment died last year, and I miss him every day. Maybe this year will be time for more kitties, or a dog.
You’ve all been so thoughtful in your answers, it’s helpful - so thanks.
posted by dbmcd at 4:03 PM on January 2, 2022 [6 favorites]

Lives end, lives begin. I lost my elderly cat Kim back in the summer, she was the stubborn holdout from the house’s collective group of older cats. The joke was that she would live forever, and hate every minute of it. Only half true, as it turned out.

Then on Halloween weekend, I came in to some unexpected emergency kittens. A friend in the burbs, who loves cats but was in no position to take care of kittens, found three abandoned in the window well of her house. About a month old. It was initially stressful, they needed help to eliminate still for the first few days and they weren’t up to the task of cleaning themselves for the first two weeks. But they rallied, and they grew, and in due time they were adopted away, a little young still but everybody wanted their kitten in time for Christmas. They are all doing well in their new homes. We miss them, but that’s how it goes in the fostering game. And I suspect Fate isn’t done kittenbombing us, it will happen again in its own time.
posted by notoriety public at 4:35 PM on January 2, 2022 [5 favorites]

biogeo, my heart is with you. Thank you for giving a good cat a good life and a good sendoff. (On preview, same to notoriety public.)

FencingGal, I am at your disposal for any random SLC advice I can offer. We are an imperfect city but there’s plenty to love, and we will be lucky to have you.
posted by armeowda at 4:37 PM on January 2, 2022 [4 favorites]

I decided to adopt myself, and look after me, instead of looking after someone else. I am going back to my art, and the joy of being in my life. It is going to be a great year. Find your love, your joy, experience the little things each day has to offer. If your neighbor shows up at your door with something they cooked, never turn it down.
posted by Oyéah at 7:33 PM on January 2, 2022 [9 favorites]

This year I realized how much I'm still letting the fact that I am the youngest of my siblings influence my actions...

Oh, Zumbador, my heart goes out to you. For youngest siblings being treated like family all often means being spoken to with micro to macrodoses of contempt and condescension by your older brothers and sisters in tones that they would never use towards friends lest they never have such. Nor say to strangers lest they get beat up.

I hated going to Christmas dinner my brother because I could not utter a sentence without instant refutation: I'm sure you are wrong!

When I had it out with him finally, he wised up and stopped. A little. But then his wife took over. I'm sure you are wrong ad infinitum.

I had much more fun after they moved away, staying home and watching TV with my cat on Christmas day, curled in my arms and purring like an outboard motor.

But all the same, you have to let go. Which is hard work. You just have to roll the same big rock up the hill every day. But you have no choice because life is so short.
posted by y2karl at 11:56 PM on January 2, 2022 [2 favorites]

I would like to leave behind the deep, deep grief I feel at not having the life I always imagined. That at 43 there has been no great love. There will likely be no wedding, and certainly there is no apartment where people come and go like on Friends. I grieve that. But it is time to let that grief be (not, not let it go, I'm not sure I can) .

So in that vein I would like to bring more contentment with my current circumstances. Again, not shooting too high, such as for happiness. Simple contentment will do.
posted by aclevername at 12:37 AM on January 3, 2022 [10 favorites]

Jessamyn, thank you for telling me about the library system in SLC. My daughter is very happy with it, but it's great to get info from an actual librarian.

And armeowda, thanks for your offer. I remember getting some help from you when I had a previous Ask about neighborhoods in SLC. You will be hearing more from me on this!
posted by FencingGal at 4:09 AM on January 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

Seconding aclevername on never being able to get what I want in life, and thus needing to learn to live with that and realizing this is as good as it gets. Seriously, things could be worse.
And I want to stop caring about someone who cares about me less than I do about them. I think that inequality is very bad. They care about me back, but not as much, and nothing but badness comes from that, unfortunately.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:49 AM on January 3, 2022 [6 favorites]

I hear you, jenfullmoon, and my heart goes out to you.
posted by y2karl at 1:18 PM on January 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

Not sure about leaving behind - almost two years ago I left behind a job and career I was deeply invested in and truly believed it would be my life's work. I didn't leave it behind voluntarily, but was a victim of literal politics and, as the lowest-ranking person in a particular group, was elected as the fall guy for a bad organisational review. I'm still dealing with leaving that behind, so not sure I can add to that.

Picking up - I'm not dead yet and I have a lot to offer professionally. The other day, I applied for what looks like a really exciting job in an industry I started my career in 40 years ago and which I left 20 years ago. Not confident on getting it, but I'm getting my energy for work back so, if that's no good, I'll dive into the job I've been kind of meh about for a year and give it a red hot go.
posted by dg at 2:22 PM on January 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

We have several folks doing the Apartment Therapy January Cure, so we've started a thread to follow along with the daily tasks and help encourage each other.

You can find it here.
posted by mochapickle at 4:23 PM on January 3, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm moving to Spain (Andalucia) from Mexico, and taking a nascent new craft in literary translation with me. Might just have something to post on Projects this year!
posted by Sheydem-tants at 1:55 PM on January 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

In this new year, I'm planning to visit my dentist. I normally go once a year because all I ever need is a bit of cleaning, but I skipped a year (y'all can probably guess why). This year, I'm going to go. My dentist is really cool, she has a lot of long, shiny, grey hair that she wears in a thick braid. Her last name means 'beautiful one' in one of the European languages. I'm actually looking forward to seeing her again!

The teeth I was blessed with are great; my dental hygiene routine, not so much. But in the past year, I've taught myself to brush my teeth once a day, every single day (yes, in my case that is an improvement). Feel free to point and laugh. Once a day is not so bad!
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

I’m leaving behind a substance I thought I’d never quit and taking with me the knowledge that not only can I quit, not only can I stay quit, but I never have to use it again.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:25 PM on January 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

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