Friday, December 30, 2022

Friday Five - Best of 2022

2022 was a big year for me. Here are five things I changed that made my life better. Fueled by the constant threat of death and disability that the pandemic instilled in me, I had to act before it was too late. I felt a sense of doom that my life was being wasted, that I was merely existing in a stagnant pool. I envisioned living in my van if it got me back to feeling. 

1. Planning - I decided to make the following changes without knowing how I would accomplish them and without any guarantees. After YEARS of thinking about what I would change, I realized I'd get there. I used the SMART method to set my goals. Lots of deep breaths and forcing down fear were involved. 

2. Finances - I took an honest look at my money situation and realized I was getting poorer as time passed. I made a budget, cut out what I could live without, and finally faced my fear of money. We never discussed money growing up, it was in poor taste to do so, and a particular shame was attached to it.

3. House - Related to #2. I took advantage of the market in the spring. I had felt a duty to keep it, but it was too big, too expensive, and going to waste in our ownership. Selling it was like cutting an anchor loose.

4. Work - Because of #2 and #3, I could retire. I thought for sure I'd work for someone else until the day I died because of all of my perceived obligations. Only slackers don't have jobs. lol

5. Family - I lived in New Jersey for 55 years. Now, I live in Florida with my daughter and her family. I couldn't have made any of these changes without her. I always said she saved my life when I had her, and now she's done it more than once.

These are just the Big Picture Changes. There were so many smaller ones along the way this year, and some big ones I left off the list. I don't usually do a year-end review, so that's different, too. 

2023 here we come.


  1. The money thing remains an albatross for me, but I'm far better at handling money than I was even when I was working and making much more money than I am now. Michael has always been naturally frugal (as opposed to cheap) and I've managed to pick up some of his habits. Plus, it's finally starting to sink in that my mother really is a shopaholic, and emulating her isn't a good thing. She always scolded me about my spending--where does she think I learned it from?
    I'd love to hear from you again whenever you're up to it. I've missed your emails.
    Cie aka Ornery Owl

    1. Giving up a big house made a huge difference for me. And also narrowing my interests. I'm sending a quick email now to make sure you get it.

  2. Congratulations, Nessa. Good for you guys. You will miss N.E. and the east but will stay warmer in the winter. We were in Miami the day before Thanksgiving and went on an Alligator hunt, hunting pictures, in the Everglades on a airboat. We found two.
    We too will down size, live off the house proceeds and our meager retirement income. But we will only move a few miles and stay here in the Houston area. Our winters are tolerable and we have only had snow three times in the fifty I've lived here.
    By chance, while help Mrs. Jim make my computer I was looking at the blogging friends to see who all was still blogging. GLAD to find you here tonight.

    1. Downsizing has been a huge relief. We plan on travelling and still have a family cabin in Northern PA, so I'll still be seeing the NE. I've been to alligator parks and seen them. I want to see one on the side of the road, though. lol