2022 Annual Report: Emergence

A year ago, as I wrote this summary for 2021, I was in Nova Scotia. We were fumbling through Omicron’s outbreak, haphazardly managing schedules and isolations and scrambling for booster appointments. I wrote,

I suppose it’s less optimism that 2022 will be different, and more hope. To be honest, I don’t care to contemplate another year of this.

Looking back at the last twelve months, it’s clear that it was different than the year before. Maybe not back to normal (whatever than means now) but it certainly felt like emerging out from under something. Right around the two-year mark of the pandemic really hitting Canada, it felt like things began opening back up for us. I began driving to the office 2-3 days a week. We did a little staycation here in town, went to see Jacqueline Novak live, and went to a few fun “flight club” wine tastings at Chez Nous. I also went to a Leafs/Habs game, a Sigur Ros concert, and a Jays game (where I saw Aaron Judge tie Roger Maris’ home run record).

We even got back to trying a couple new restaurants like Constantine, Eastside Social, and Greta Solomon’s here in Toronto, while visiting old favourites like Barberians twice, Richmond Station twice, Ascari, Kojin, and Aria, and others I’m probably missing. Sure, we’re not quite back to our old gastronomic selves in Toronto, but we do get after it when we’re out of the city. Trips to NotL took us to Treadwell twice (four times, truthfully; each time we went back for lunch the next day), Redstone a few times, and The Yellow Pear. We also made sure to hit some amazing restaurants in Montreal (Monarque, Marcella, Nora Gray, Maison Publique, Pichai), Halifax (Drift…many, many times; The Black Sheep, Café Lunette, Trattoria da Claudio), and Quebec City (Lapin Sauté, Chez Muffy, Chez Rioux & Pettigrew) too.

And yeah, we still haven’t left the country (or even gone west of Kitchener) since the pandemic began, but we did get down to wine country a few times, Montreal for a relaxing week, Halifax for my university 25 year reunion, all over Nova Scotia for a longer trip in August, and Quebec City for a very chilly long weekend in November.

There was plenty of reason to stay put in Toronto too. Having a house means more visitors from out of town, so we hosted N+J in Feb, brother #2 in May, brother #1 + fam in June, T+K in June, brother #2 + fam in July, and N+J again in November. I also got to have dinner out with old friends from MBA and undergrad days, and we had dinner with D+K at their house and at Kojin with K+P. It also gave us extra time with Kramer, who has become even more relaxed and affectionate (as I type this he’s lying next to me on the couch, purring and trying to coax me into a belly rub), and who has taken to kind of yell-meowing at us when we leave for too long.

Another thing having a house has meant: renovations. Sometimes the bad (read: expensive) kind, but sometimes the fun kind too: in November we finished construction on a new wine cabinet in the basement that holds ~700 bottles. You can imagine how excited I am about that.

So yeah: house-hermiting aside, it did feel like 2022 was a year of re-emergence for us. Still, the pandemic is far from over: 2022 was the most deadly year yet for COVID in Canada. To wit, this fall we got COVID-19 a second time. Luckily, the combination of this variant + all the boosters in our system made for a much easier ride than the first time, but it still wasn’t fun. But apart from that (and minor injuries to Lindsay’s eye and my finger) we came through the year pretty unscathed, which is always a reason to be thankful.

One other big re-emergence for me: while I’m watching virtually no new movies, and consuming far less new music, I’ve started reading books again. I read about a book a month in 2022 for a while before tailing off in the fall, but plan to start back up this week. Speaking of this week, we opted to stay put in Toronto for the holidays this year. No airports, no weather delays, no dodging storms on NS highways, etc., etc. As much as we’ll miss spending time with family, that’s exactly why we spent 2.5 weeks there in August. So we’ll catch up on TV, pet our son, not work, eat mountains of chocolate, drink the good stuff from the wine cellar, play games, and just generally recharge. Not a bad way to end the year.


Annual reports from past years:


[Cover photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash]

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