2022 in Review: No Thanks

December 31, 2022

I knew this year was going to be hard, but it was a real test on all of us. From mass shootings in Buffalo, Ulavde, and over 600 others, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, there was death all around us. Throw in the carnage from the accelerating climate crisis and it felt like we were in last days of humanity. If it weren’t for the sizable wins by Democrats and the World Cup performance of Lionel Messi, the year might have been a complete write off.

The lowlight of 2022 was American women losing their right to choose but the highlight of the year was the hearings of January 6th Committee that deftly presented the case to the American people that Donald Trump employed multiple tactics to overthrow American democracy. It was must-see TV and we can only hope 2023 gives us indictments for the orange traitor and his inner circle of enablers. Watching him flail after his November 16 campaign announcement has bordered on high comedy. (Do you know anyone who has bought his “collectable” NFTs? I don’t.) Maybe he and Elon Musk can compete over who has the lamest social media platform.

All that informed my own year, which included heading to Ukraine to help resettle refugees, spending a day at Auschwitz, working on a federal DHS grant to find ways to interrupt extremist violence, and talking to the media about the rising threat of Kanye West. It was a great distraction from my personal life which I struggled to make sense of my domestic circumstance. I started the year in the depths of despair and I’m ending it with a healthy dose of “I don’t care.” A great somatic therapist allowed me to connect the dots from my childhood abuse to the problematic patterns in my history and finally take agency in my life. I know I’ll be fine.

The thread through this all has been the complete joy of watching my daughter move from being a silly second grader to a chess playing third grader (still pretty silly). Her growth as a person has been both challenging and inspiring. Particularly interesting has been watching her negotiate the encroaching gender norms and fairly successfully smashing them. Gen Z will have its own relationship with patriarchy, but it’s not your mother’s Riot Grrrl feminism.

I didn’t blog much in 2022. I got 26 posts out, mostly about my trip to Ukraine, which I am still processing. The posts about my separation reflect how hard I was working to fix things, but it takes two to tango and I’m starting to think I should find a better person to dance with. When I hosted poetry readings in Atlanta, I used to make fun of middle-agers who read poems about their divorces. I’m not going to be that guy. Besides, 2023 has much to offer. There will be baseball and birthdays (Disney turns 100). Russia getting the hell out of Ukraine and maybe the last Daylights Savings ever. Great music I don’t even know about yet. I have tickets to Springsteen’s February 25th show in Portland. (But who will I take?) And maybe I will blog about the Trump family in custody. Who knows?

I’m ending the year on a melancholy note but there has been immense joy in 2022 between the crushing moments of sadness. We can use the year push us to keep our children safer and our democracy stronger.

2022 WTW Posts

I Became a Teacher Because of Sydney Poitier (January 15, 2022)

Represent! Why We Need a Black Woman on the Supreme Court (January 30, 2022)

La Historia de Cómo Encontré mi Corazón (para el Día de San Valentín) (February 13, 2022)

My last hours of 57, when I grew up. (February 19, 2022)

In the Toilet Paper Tube of History: Watching the Battle for Ukraine in Real Time (February 27, 2022)

Psychoanalyzing the Attraction to Chaos, or Why I Want to Go to Ukraine (March 13, 2022)

On the Polish Border with Ukraine: Watching the World Change from Up Close (March 25, 2022)

The First Two Days on the Polish-Ukraine Border, as Bombs Fall on Lviv (March 26, 2022)

One Night in Lviv (Makes a Hard Man Humble) (March 28, 2022)

Panic in Auschwitz: Putting the Present Moment in Context (April 2, 2022)

Where I’ve Been, What I’ve Seen, Who I Am: A Brief Reflection of My Time in Ukraine/Poland (April 6, 2022)

The Rescue of the Girl in the Red Coat: Gratitude for One Ukrainian Dad (April 17, 2022)

Seriously, What’s Wrong with Men? Lighting Fires in Post-Roe America (May 12, 2022)

It’s All Too Much: You Don’t Want to Arm This Teacher at the Moment (June 6, 2022)

Talking to My 7-year-old Daughter About Abortion (June 25, 2022)

My Jim Crow Marriage: MAGA Co-dependency (July 21, 2022)

Gender – Nature vs Nurture 8: The Looking Glass Self (August 7, 2022)

To Escalate or De-escalate, That is the Question (August 23, 2022)

“Where did my friends go?” Wives as Unpaid Therapists (September 14, 2022)

The Catch-22 of Trump 2024, or, How Donald Trump’s Comical Death is Democracy’s Great Hope  (September 19, 2022)

Sept. 26, 2012: My 10-year Reconstruction Begins (September 26, 2022)

Ukraine Days: Reflections During a DakhaBrakha concert (October 1, 2022)

The Complexity of the Game: Making Sense of the World Series (October 28, 2022)

I Was a Third Grader (November 15, 2022)

Foreshadowing Fascism: The Spike in Anti-Semitism is Bigger than Trump and Kanye (December 7, 2022)

Dad’s Top Discs of 2022 (December 14, 2022)

A Room for Andi: Creating Space in the House of Patriarchy (December 25, 2022)

2022 in Review: No Thanks (December 31, 2022)

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