Welcome to my 2022 End of Year Review

This is one of my favorite episodes to prepare and produce each year and so here we are in Season 3 of the Release your Resistance podcast. 

Just like in season 1 and season 2, I have spent some time reviewing all of my monthly interviews that I did with myself once a month, each month of this past year. 

I’ve compiled all of the answers, and I’ve looked for through lines and patterns and repetitions, things that stand out and new information. 

I also reviewed my previous 2 End of Year Reviews to see what overarching patterns or through lines or plot points there are and I found a few. So I’m very excited to share my reflections of my 2022 with you. 

I hope that this episode gives you something to think about. 

Maybe it gives you something to consider as you start a fresh new year. It’s possible you find something that you have in common with me. 

Maybe you find something about which you and I are complete polar opposites. It’s all good and it’s all fun. 

I invite you to do this practice with me in the coming year, if you haven’t started it already. 

It’s one of my favorite things that I do. I get so much awareness and enjoyment from both the monthly interviews as well as the year end compilation.

it’s just a really great self reflection exercise.

Carry over from previous years:

As I was reviewing the last 2 End of Year Reviews, I saw the pattern of what I’m going to call the “August Slump.” I live in Arizona. it gets very hot here in the summer. 

I have noticed that I “hibernate” in the summer because I tell myself it’s too hot to go out or to do anything.

Being proactive about my “August Slump”

By the time Summer rolled around this year, I had forgotten about last year’s advice that I gave myself (only 6-8 months earlier) that I needed to proactively set a goal or create a project or something for me in August. Coincidentally, I did set a goal of finding and painting a number of dog portrait commissions – but then I back-burnered that goal by deciding to plan and carry out an elaborate anniversary party instead.

In 2022, I made it through my August Slump by obsessing over party details. 

Finding Balance

A big question for me in previous years has been finding balance.

Reading my interviews this year, it seems like I have allowed the pendulum to swing extremely in both directions and I am now (for now) finally coming to a natural set point. 

The distribution of balance to productivity is NOT as work-heavy as I assumed it would be and I’m starting to accept that (after 2+ years of resisting it without realizing it).


Projection is still a HOT topic for me as it has been in prior years. As minds often do, my mind let me think that thinking about projection is a new fascination for me recently! (Even though I mentioned it last year and maybe the year before too!)


I figured out my word for 2022 just about half way through: Experiment! 

I thought – what a novel and unique (and fun) word for the year! 

Then, as I relistened to the 2020 and 2021 End of Year reviews, I realized experimentation has been a running theme for me for years now!

2022 Concepts + How I Felt

I want to read to you how I felt throughout this past year. These are some of the words that repeatedly popped out in my interviews as I checked in with myself each month.  

I really like these words. I want to give myself credit for feeling these feelings and, and living these concepts in 2022.

I’m sharing them with you now to inspire you. Maybe you can even borrow them and plant them as seeds in your psyche to carry you forward in 2023. 











Showing up



Things are going my way


As I read those out, I do notice that those concepts and the way that I was feeling didn’t exactly describe what I just mentioned a moment ago, about my distribution and my balance, being more on the relaxed side versus the driven side. 

But I think that is probably part of my misunderstanding about myself. 

I can feel relaxed while I am engaged in something, while I’m imagining the possibility of something, I do not have to be taking any action on it in that moment. 

I’m certainly more balanced when I’m feeling open and optimistic and purposeful. 

I want you to think about those words and how they might fit into your life as well. 

Other Topics

I want to share some of the different media and pop culture that I’ve consumed. I really love being a consumer of culture.

New favorite Author in 2022

Dr. Wendy Suzuki – https://www.wendysuzuki.com/

She has written a few books which I’ve really enjoyed. 

The first book that I read by Dr. = Suzuki was called Healthy Brain, Happy Life. 

It’s a personal program to activate your brain and do everything better. Wow, what a great title. Of course, I wanted to read that book. 

The thing that I loved so much about that book was, yes, of course, it was a personal program, but it’s very personal to Dr. Suzuki. 

She actually wrote the book, in my view, like a memoir and she shared her own reported path of how she activated her brain and how she learned to do things better in her life. So I really loved hearing her personal story, as well as all the evidence-based examples and suggestions that she gave. 

Good Anxiety 

Then, the second book that I read, at first I thought, “I don’t know if I really need this book. Maybe it’s not really for me.” But, I like her as an author and as a teacher. 

I know some people that I interact with and some of my clients care about this topic a lot. So, I decided to go ahead and read this book. 

The title of the book is Good Anxiety: Harnessing the power of the most misunderstood emotion. 

I just have to say, I was wrong that I wouldn’t like it. I loved it. What about creating a study group around it so that I could discuss it weekly with other people?  There were so many examples and the advice and tips and strategies shared. 

If you are a person who struggles with anxiety, or if you’re a person who doesn’t struggle with anxiety, I still recommend the book. I really enjoyed it. 

New to Me Podcasts in 2022

You’re Wrong About- https://yourewrongabout.com/

It’s a journalist who does a deep dive into  and researches topics that were reported on in popular culture but that we may be wrong about. 

The episodes that I’ve listened to have mostly been 2 people discussing the topic they both researched and both hosts bring their own perspectives and memories about how they heard about or learned about whatever the subject is. 

They get together and they reconsider a person or event that has been miscast in the public imagination. I love it. 

I love hearing all the behind-the-scenes, dug up research that I wouldn’t have thought to look for or wonder about. 

I haven’t listened to the podcast in a binge style where I listen from one episode to the next all the way through. Some of the topics are pretty heavy for me. So I usually scan the list of episodes and if I have the emotional bandwidth for a deep dive into what may be a disturbing topic, I’ll try it out.

I’ve told other people about this podcast. 

It’s really caused me to think critically about a lot of ways that I consume media and news and pop culture events. 

Office Ladies – https://officeladies.com/

On the complete other opposite end of the spectrum, the other podcast that I started listening to this year and have been binging from the first episode now all the way through and loving so much is the Office Ladies Podcast. It is fully 100% entertainment for me – but I have also learned so much about the behind-the-scenes of how television shows are made and I’ve picked up some very random trivia too.

The Office was was an NBC TV show Two of the actors from that television show became best friends throughout however long the show was running.

These 2 actors, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, maintained their friendship after the show and they decided to start a rewatch podcast where they go back and watch all of the episodes and then share their own behind-the-scenes experiences. They interview people who helped produce the show like the props director and set decoration and writers and directors and camera operators and all these things that maybe the average non-entertainment adjacent consumer wouldn’t ever think about when we watch a TV show. 

I love their friendship. I love the way that they interact with each other and their guests. You really get a sense of their humor and their thoughtfulness. Even if you didn’t ever watch that television show, if you’re open to watching it, maybe watch the first episode and then go listen to the first episode of the Office Ladies podcast. 

See if you like that combo of seeing it and then hearing people talk about it. It might be fun for you. 

Fiction I read in 2022

All of these book recommendations have a common theme about strong/ damaged, female characters, who, maybe we could say, behave badly -without giving too much away.

Who is Maude Dixon by Alexandra Andrews 

There is a vacation and travel aspect. So there’s a little bit of adventure and there is a murder mystery. 

I remember the day I read that book, that night, I went out with some friends and I was like, “Oh, you’ve got to read this book. It’s so good.” 

So yeah, I’m telling you the same thing, if what I’ve mentioned piques your interest, go find it and read it. 

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

This book is also about travel. It’s about a desert island and first, vacationing on it, then feeling trapped a little bit, on this spooky island with these other characters who we aren’t 100% sure of. There is some mystery and suspense there as well. We’re not sure of the characters who is who they say they are. 

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this before. I found it very fascinating and entertaining. 

The story is that there are students who are part of a clinical study of psychopaths. They all come together in this study led by a psychologist at a university. He wants to learn about the psychopath’s moods and movements. The psychopath students are all mixed in with the general student population without being identified as psychopaths, they’re going to school with them. 

Then there is a murder. The characters have to figure out who is who and what’s happening. 


If you would have told me or foreshadowed these surprises for me in January of 2022, I would have been very doubtful. I wouldn’t have believed what you were telling me. 

But of course, in hindsight, these surprises have incorporated themselves into my life in such a lovely way and they do make sense.

Dog Sitting

Backing up a little, in 2021, I was grieving not only the loss of my dog but some same-aged dogs of my friends and family who I spent a lot of time with and frequently dog sat.  

I was really close with all of these dogs. My own of course, but also the other dogs who would stay with us whenever their families were out of town. 

Then, through some weird coincidences in 2021 it worked out that I got to dogsit for some random people who I randomly met who had the most adorable dogs

It brought me so much love and joy and companionship and I just love  having a little dog nearby and working with me and hanging out with me and someone to focus all my attention on. 

In February I was telling my friend Deirde, who is a sometime listener of the show, that I just wish there was a way that I could get more people to bring their dogs to me so that I could hang out with them in my house because I really love that. She told me there is a way! I can have that! There’s an app for that!

I signed up for the app, and I created my profile and I made myself available and immediately someone brought their dog to me for a long weekend – so lovely. It was so fun.

Then, another person brought their dog to me! Some people brought their dog for just a day. Some people brought their dog for a few days or much, much longer. 

I have met so many sweet, loving dogs this past year. My home has been full of dogs one or two at a time. It has been just the most fun thing. What a fun surprise 

In April, (while journaling) I had the idea “maybe I need to meet a new fun, interesting friend or get a new hobby.”

I have met many fun, new friends this year – but let’s talk about the hobby.

Dog painting!

My mind did think that maybe that would be a good plan. 

I had no idea what a new hobby might be or if I would take any action towards it or if anything would come of it. 

In May, I got this little brainstorm about how I could transfer photos of dogs onto little miniature canvases and then use some paint to embellish the photos and have kind of like this mixed media work of art.

So I tried that. They didn’t turn out at all. They were really, really ugly. 

So I thought okay, back to the drawing board. This project didn’t work out the way I envisioned it. 

It would probably be better just to skip adhering a photo to a canvas and actually just paint the dog directly onto the canvas. 

I needed to figure out how to paint a dog. have painted dogs before. I have taken art classes before and those dogs that I painted although great paintings, didn’t look the way I was envisioning these dog art pieces that I wanted to look.

I had a very specific vision and very high standards for myself. 

So I found some teachers online. I watched some tutorials. I joined some programs that specifically taught me how to paint dogs. 

I practiced and I studied and I learned the techniques. I bought the supplies and I tried and I got better, and I kept going. 

Then. I set a goal for myself, in June, that I would paint 30 dogs in 30 days just to really show myself that I could and I did. 

So now, I have a brand new hobby/income stream of dog painting. 

I have given dog paintings as gifts. Now I also offer dog paintings as commissions and another stream of income in my business.

It’s such a great new hobby. Who would have known in April, when I just wrote that innocent little idea in my journal that maybe I need a new hobby, that all this would come of it?

New Experiences in 2022

Started using my own journals for my daily journaling

Backing up a little bit, I started creating my own journals and notebooks in 2021. 

I was my own first, best customer because I created the journals I wanted for myself, but those were all for specific purposes – like Bright Ideas and Brainstorms, and Birthday Lists and my own Planner. 

For my morning journaling. I was still using my COVID supply of journals that I had bought in bulk when I was afraid I wasn’t going to get the style and size of journal that I wanted while everything was under supply chain restrictions. 

In 2021, I had used up that supply so I decided that I would use my own journals for daily writing in 2022. 

That has been really fun for me to be a daily consumer of my own creations and get used to a slightly different size and feel from what I’ve been using for the past few years. 

But I love looking at my bookshelf and seeing all of my own journals with my own meaningful cover design and inspirational phrases on the front. 

Clovr Spa

Another fun new experience was something I found in January and I wasn’t sure what would happen with it. 

I didn’t really have any big expectations but I frequently get into this mode of deciding I want to go somewhere new once a week or maybe once a month.

Or, I want to try new places or I want to only support local businesses. 

I frequently get into the these little modes of seeking out those specific experiences. 

In January, I needed a gift for someone and I wanted it to be local. I wanted to go somewhere new that I hadn’t ever experienced before. 

There’s a spa near my house called Clovr. I walked in one day and I said “I might want to get a gift certificate and I’d also like to have a tour.” 

They showed me everything and told me about their membership program. I went home and I thought about it a little bit and I looked at their website again and then I went back the next day and I signed up for a membership and I bought a gift card. I’ve been going to that spa ever since.

Massage Chairs

One of the best features, that my husband and I both love so much, is the chill lounge. They have these massage chairs. 

On the tour, they showed me that they have this dark little room with soft music playing and these beautiful landscape images on the television with these four massage chairs, and I said “that’s nice, but that’s not something I’ll take advantage of” 

I’ve sat in massage chairs when I get a pedicure and I find it really annoying and jarring and not relaxing at all. 

I thought I’m not a person who really enjoys massage chairs but I was wrong because these massage chairs are different. They recline and they have this air pressure that compresses your arms and your legs. They have a heated seat and they have all sorts of different settings programs. I never knew that It could be like this. 

As part of my membership, my husband and I get to go whenever we want to sit in the chairs.  So, we’ll go and do a 30 minute routine on the chair before we go grocery shopping or just in the middle of the day before we start work.

It has just been such a great new experience that I love so much. Plus, I started getting regular facials and I go there for a pedicure once in a while and I’ve had massages. Clovr Spa is one of my favorite new experiences in 2022.

Meditation during Journaling

Another new experience for me in 2022 (and I just can’t believe it’s taken me this long to start this new routine for myself) is meditation during journaling. 

In 2021, we had a podclub about meditation and I admitted that while I believe in meditation, and I believe in the benefits and I have meditated, it wasn’t a daily practice for me. One of the members of podclub said you really should just do it. I thought “maybe one day, maybe I will one day.” 

2022 was the year that I decided to go ahead and incorporate meditation during my morning journaling practice. 

Now,I look forward to it as part of my ritual. I think it really has helped me pay attention to how my body responds to what I am thinking, to notice my thoughts and have more awareness and have a little bit more calm and assurance throughout my day because I do have that space in between my thoughts. 

I’ve also started using a guided meditation with my Bluetooth sleep mask. When I go to the massage chair, I get situated in the chair, I turn on the program that I want and then I also start a guided meditation to listen to through a Bluetooth sleep mask so that it blocks out any light or other people moving around and I hear the sound right in my ears. 

I’ve also used that guided meditation sometimes if I have trouble falling to sleep, or if I wake up in the middle of the night. I like having that Bluetooth sleep mask, giving me that guided meditation right in my ear and using the sleep timer on the podcast player so that it turns off automatically when I do fall asleep, 

5 Lessons Learned in 2022

Intentional Problem Solving

My mind always wants to solve whatever I put in front of it (so I want to be very intentional about what I put in front of it). 

Frequently, I catch myself trying to solve a problem that is not mine, or trying to solve a problem that isn’t even something I need to solve. 

I frequently also notice that I have problems that I am not trying to solve and I’m just suffering with the problems. 

So I just really want to continue to be intentional if ifI have a problem. I will solve it. If I’m trying to solve a problem that’s not my problem to solve, I will drop it. 

I hope you notice this problem solving in your life too. If you’re not solving your own problems you can start and if you are trying to solve other people’s problems or problems that don’t apply to you, you don’t have to anymore. 

Cutting All the Details in Half

Notice all the ideas and details I think of and then just cut half of them. 

My mind is so good at coming up with details and embellishments and ideas and suggestions. Many of them are good, but, many of them are many more than I need. Especially during my party planning in August, I was just a fountain of great ideas of more details and more embellishments and more activities and more things and more decorations. I really needed to tell myself, “yes, it is a good idea and I don’t have to do it.” 

More Than I Want

My brain offers me more than I want to do in so many areas of my life. My brain will just suggest that I could add this part. I could create this new thing. I could experiment with this new idea. My brain just gives me so many ideas- more than I want. So I just need to be able to tell my brain no. I know lots of us are people pleasers and have a hard time telling other people No, I think I have a hard time telling myself No. So I want to work on that. 

Love Being Bugged by Other People

(it took a few months to notice the pattern, but finally) I want to notice when I’m bugged by other people!

I love noticing when I am bugged by other people, because then I can dig in and find out what part of that is projected onto me. 

Why is it bugging me because there’s part of that that is hitting me somehow.  

There’s part of that that is buzzing something in me and I want to really look inward and find out what is being buzzed. 

What is being hit or triggered, and explore that. So I want to look forward to noticing that other people are bugging me instead of being annoyed when other people bug me.

Intentional Routines 

In 2022 that I’ve incorporated and I really appreciate:

  • meditation while journaling 
  • self care every week
  • scheduled time with friends and family

I have tried to be thoughtful and intentional about scheduling time with my friends and family and seeing them and spending time with them frequently.

I am trying to take advantage that I do have the openness in my schedule and the proximity to the people in my life and even the people who are not close to me geographically, I really treasure the time that I get to talk with them on the phone or on the computer.

  • self awareness exercise every day

Most recently the new intentional routine that I’ve started and I’m about 30+ days into now is doing a self awareness exercise every morning

I told you about this in the the reminders and realization from the coach conference episode. I made the decision that I’m going back to the basics. I’m going to get to know myself. 

I’m going to remind myself of my own ability to have awareness of my thinking. I’ve been doing a self awareness exercise every single day and I love the results that I am getting. 

I am dissecting my thoughts a little bit more. 

I am coming up with powerful optional thoughts that I could think when my brain tells me “No, no, this is the only thing to think in this situation. Because I’ve been doing this exercise my muscle of coming up with other things to think is getting stronger. I find myself more thoughtful.” 

I find myself more aware of what I am doing and what I am not doing and why. 

It’s been so interesting and I cannot wait to invite you to share this with me next year. 

I’m going to make a targeted, intentional invitation for everyone to work on this together with me and to get the benefits with me.

Observations about 2022

All of these are basically the same thing said in a different way.

Untangling Myself

This goes along with what I mentioned at the beginning about finding that natural setpoint for myself between productivity and work and relaxing and enjoying

I’m still untangling myself from the societal expectation or suggestion of being an “employee in a work setting.” 

I don’t think I realized how deep that was tangled into my habits and actions and beliefs and preferences.

Whenever I talk with someone newly retired or who has suddenly found that their schedules and autonomy over their time has opened up, I hear the same kinds of experiences, fears and doubts I sometimes feel. Maybe you know someone who can relate?


I’m embracing wearing more casual clothes and shoes and having a more casual approach to my work life and vacations.

In 2020 when they were staying home, that was right when I started my coaching practice and I felt so professional and I felt so interested in being visible and showing up in the way that I wanted to show up. 

So throughout most of 2020 while other people were relishing yoga pants and not wearing makeup.,I loved putting on makeup every day and doing my hair,and picking out jewelry and wearing cute clothes. 

Now, in 2022, I’ve been really embracing the more casual clothes and shoes and comfort over style which has never been part of my identity before and it’s seeped into my approach to work and vacations. 

I love seeing myself become more natural and casual. 

In the past it was always very important for me to have a clear cut itinerary of what we would be doing and where we would be going and where we would be staying. 

Not Feeling Scheduled

I’ve had a couple of opportunities this year to be a lot more casual about that. One trip in particular, we woke up in the morning and we weren’t sure where we were going to be staying that night. Old Bex would have freaked out – but it all worked out perfectly!

I love not feeling rushed or scheduled nbeing efficient with my time. 

I like having a schedule and to check things off the list and know when and how things are going to happen. It’s been really interesting for me to see myself relax and let go in all of those areas.

Not Needing to Prove

Not needing to prove just being where I am.

In the past few years, part of my own resistance and my own struggle with myself has been my own artificial, personally made up, need to prove myself in some way. 

Now I’m dropping that and I know that I really don’t need to prove myself. 

I can just be how I am. It’s such a relief and it feels so good. 

Expectation and Obligation

Early in the year, I noticed: “I don’t like how I pressure myself “ I have dropped so much expectation and obligation since then.

I’ve allowed that pendulum to swing back and forth from pressure and rush and obligation to relax and empty calendar and nothing going on. 

That pendulum has just been swinging all over the place and, like I said, I really do now see that I’m kind of at this natural setpoint and it’s much less structured and rigid and expectation-filled then it has been in my younger years.

More Unstructured

I think I am showing up in a more unstructured and unplanned way. 

I’m settling into it and I’m getting used to it and I’m disconnecting from the habit of needing and wanting and believing in the benefit of structure and purpose and outcome.

I’m enjoying it. Even just the frequency of podcast episodes this year, I really allowed myself to drop any expectation of standard frequency or consistency or type or style.

I do have more things planned for this podcast for next year. But I feel like I’ve found a way to plan and look forward to things without feeling obligated towards them and without feeling that tension of resistance that I have felt in the past.

So there you go, a whole 365 days (probably around 22,000,000 thoughts) summed up into one post.

Links and Comments

See upcoming events: https://bexb.org/letsmeet/ 

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Join a daily journal prompt FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/journalingfriendship 

Shop for irresistible notebooks: https://bexb.org/quickshop  

Check out all the other stuff I do: https://bexb.org/links/

Share some of your reflections from 2022 – or let me know what we have in common or how we are polar opposites in the comments below.