Amy’s Top 10 Favorite Things 2022
Nerds Gummy Clusters
I am not much of a sweet-tooth and I swear I haven’t eaten Nerds since third grade, but this year, I officially found a new favorite candy. The texture, the experience, the crunch followed by the gummy center. These are just too good.
The Song “All I Know So Far”
Spotify recently informed me in my year-end “wrap up” that I spent 1,794 minutes listening to music by Pink this year, putting me in the top 0.1% of Pink listeners! I am NOT surprised, and I would bet that 1,500 of those 1,794 minutes were spent listening to the song “All I Know So Far.” It was my 2022 anthem and played on repeat many days in my car and office.
I’m almost always late to trends, so I apologize for my delayed enthusiasm for Wordle, a game that the New York Times started way back in 2018. My cousins taught me how to play a year ago, and they share my affinity for this once-a-day word game. Our daily text group has added some smiles to my day. If you’ve never played, it’s never too late to begin (and actually, BEGIN would be a great starter word – I think I’ll try that tomorrow!)!
I got a pair of boots first to keep my toes warm in our harsh Chicago winters, followed by a pair of sandals (which have become my FAVORITES), then another pair of boots because they were cute and you know how this goes…LOL. I love the wedges, the boots, the tennis shoes, and this year, I even added house slippers that are spectacular to my collection of Sorel footwear! Every single pair is comfortable and stylish too!
Celebrating Small Daily Wins in a Big Way
I watched a lot of my daughter’s college volleyball games this fall, and found myself repeatedly inspired by the pure, unfiltered, “I am a bad a#%” energy of the way Avery and her teammates celebrated small wins! These amazing girls weren’t apologizing for their wins. They weren’t downplaying their small successes. They were exuberant and joyful and LOUD. Even better, they celebrate whether the end result of the game is a win or a loss. Check out these pictures, and consider with me how to incorporate even just a little more of this into your day-to-day life.
Parenting Older Kids
I have loved parenting my kids at every age, but I must confess that I am MUCH better suited for kids ages 12 and over than for babies and toddlers. Parenting teens and pre-teens brings challenges for sure, but they are so much more independent. I love watching our three figure out exactly who they are, they play games I actually enjoy playing, they have gotten so good at the sports they play (Lord have mercy, t-ball is like watching paint dry! LOL!) and they make me laugh with their stories, dancing and imitations of their dad and me. Here’s to all of us navigating all the highs and lows of parenting, but this year, I’m grateful to have kids that are all old and tall enough to look me in the eye!
From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks
As always, I read a LOT of books this year. While many were excellent, From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks stood out among the rest. Perhaps because I turned 45, the message of this book brought it to the top of my list. Declining intellectual and physical skills that are a natural, expected part of the human life cycle and getting older can actually provide an opportunity for a deeper, more meaningful life experiences. If you’ve crossed the bridge of 40-45 years old, I’d highly recommend this book.
Listening to podcasts has become a valuable part of my daily life. I can listen while getting ready in the morning, while driving, while taking a long walk, and of course, during my least favorite weekly chore, grocery shopping. Like in everything, I have an eclectic collection of pods I follow, and I occasionally tear through a good murder mystery too! I laugh, I learn, and I am challenged by the voices that come into my life through this fascinating medium.
Writing my First Book!
I took action on a lifelong dream this year, signing up to participate in AJ Harper’s Top Three Book Workshop. AJ’s one on one coaching and incredibly informative workshop walked me step by step through the process of writing my very first book. I defined my core message and ideal reader, created an outline of the teaching points on my office wall with post-it notes and then converted it through hours of writing and editing, into the first 63,000ish-word draft. There is exciting news coming soon on the publishing of the book and when it will be available for purchase, but for now I am celebrating the birth of a creative work of love!
We took the kids for a long weekend to Boston this year in the summer and had a blast! Freedom Trail, Segway and Duck Boat tours, a Red Sox game and tour of Fenway, tons of delicious food and a stay at a super-cool boutique hotel called The Verb across the street from Fenway filled our days in this fun, energetic, historic city.