2022 in The Long Game
Our crazy year in review.
Hello, Dearest Ones,
As those of you who read this newsletter know, this has been the most challenging year of my life.
I spent much of the first six months of the year in excruciating pain, having torn every ligament in my ankle last Thanksgiving.
I flunked a mammogram in the spring, but, after a terrifying couple of weeks, the doctors determined that the masses they found in my breast were not cancerous.
I caught COVID-19 in July at the MLB All-Star Game, wound up in the ER multiple times, and got so sick with a long COVID-related condition called POTS that I couldn’t drive or be alone for weeks and had to take heart failure medication twice daily for months.
My grandmother died in September.
Some days were so hard that I started literally putting gold stars on my bedroom wall next to the light switch each 24 hours I survived for encouragement. (It really helped, and I recommend this!)
I do not list these things in an attempt to qualify for a spot in the trauma/grief Olympics. There is no competition when it comes to these matters, and I know that so many millions of people had a worse year than I did. I recently finished Rob Delaney’s stunning memoir, A Heart that Works, about the loss of his two-year-old son to brain cancer. It both shattered me and filled me with hope about the resilience of the human spirit. I draw so much inspiration from people who have been dealt a worse hand than me and manage to keep going.
I mention all of the stumbles I endured in 2022 because I know so many of you are hurting during this time of year, and it can feel so isolating to go online and see the curated and airbrushed lives of friends and strangers on social media who seem to have it all together. It can be so painful to think that you are doing life wrong; whether you feel you have somehow fallen behind your peers career-wise or in the family, friend, or money departments, or if your life just doesn’t at all look like what you thought it would when you reached your current age. I know this feeling well, because mine doesn’t (for better and for worse).
I can tell you that if you are simply trying to get through the rest of the year, and hoping that 2023 will be better, that you are doing more than fine. Some years are for thriving. And some are for simply surviving. If you are reading this, you are still here. You are loved.
But my 2022 wasn’t all bad. My sister gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy named Grayson in November. After witnessing so many friends struggle with fertility and pregnancy loss, I have never and will never take the miracle of life for granted. Being an aunt to Grayson’s older sister, Emmie, has been one of the great joys of my life. We listen to Harry Styles and eat ice cream and dance. She is the antidote to everything bad in the world, and one day when she is older, I will tell her that her excitement and wonder and joy forced me into the present moment when I needed it most, over and over and over again, and got me through this year. It is quite humbling that a four-year-old has been my greatest teacher, but that’s because she knows what most of us adults have long forgotten: that there is no past or future. There is only, ever, right now.
Another great thing that happened: after five terrifying months wondering if COVID caused me permanent heart damage, my cardiologist gave me a clean bill of health last week, told me I could stop taking my medication, wrote a happy face on my chart, then hugged me goodbye because he said we would most likely never see each other again. I cried in the car on the way home. They were happy tears for my own recovery, but also heartbreak for those who never get that kind of news. I know how lucky I am.
And then there was you guys.
Somehow, in spite of the fact that I was sick for much of the year and unable to write as much as I would like, you all rallied around and pulled me through and encouraged me to keep going. When I started The Long Game back in August of 2022, I had no idea if anybody would even read it. Now, not only are people reading it, but as of last week this publication hit thousands of paid subscribers. (!!!!!)
I’m so excited for what I have planned for 2023, including more writing about baseball, and mental health and offering another 12-week Artist’s Way creativity course over Zoom for all paid subscribers. We had 30 or so people take the course over the summer and fall, and I’m hoping it will be even bigger this time around. I’ll have more information on that in the coming days. I also plan to start writing about more of my passions, including music, pop culture and soccer. I simply cannot wait for the women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next summer!
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But before we move on to 2023, let’s look back on the highlights of 2022. So now, without further ado, here are the 10 Long Game posts that had the most views and highest engagement this year:
What Happened to Me My COVID-19 story that I hope will help others. Please share with anyone dealing with long covid who could benefit from my story.
Our Health Care System is Broken Raging against America’s for-profit health insurance farce.
After a Devastating First-Round Playoff Exit, Where Do the Dodgers Go From Here? (Their roster has gotten significantly worse since I wrote this lol.)
Remembering Grant Wahl. He was the best of us.
The San Francisco Giants Might Not be the Worst Organization in the History of Pro Sports. The Carlos Correa debacle, revisited.
Actually, Steve Cohen is Great for Baseball. The Mets run MLB now.
Mourning the Loss of Vin Scully Did I mention 2022 is the worst year on record?
Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish and the Myth of the Playoff Choke Artist. Death to this narrative, please!
Blue Jays Stunning Collapse Delivers Generational Trauma to Toronto Sports Fans. One of the most brutal playoff exits any of us have ever seen.
If This Is the End, Cody Bellinger Goes Out a Dodger Legend. It was the end. :(
And…. my favorite story of the year that did not make the top 10:
Mike Trout Runs Fantasy Baseball League from Hell, Joc Pederson Gets Slapped. It’s the only baseball story that mattered in 2022, really, and my investigation is ongoing.
What paying subscribers got this week:
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