Sunday, December 11, 2022

Gaudete Sunday 2022

Traditionally, I reflect back on the year on the Feast of Christ the King which is the end of our liturgical year. The end of Ordinary Time got away from me as has much of 2022. Whereas 2020 and 2021 gave us time perhaps to think and reflect, 2022 was all about making up for lost time and DOING. 

When we finally got clearance to move around as we once did in the world, everyone was traveling, scheduling, and planning. This year was difficult in different ways than the previous two years of this decade. 

I'm reflecting today as we are half way through Advent- the beginning of our new year. Better late than never, right? And Gaudete Sunday is a day that we get to rejoice so I am reflecting and rejoicing on this 3rd Sunday of Advent for the year of 2022. 

Though we were able to gather for Christmas and NYE in 2021, Covid cases were still rampant and there was still much anxiety surrounding our gatherings. It felt good to be reunited, though, with my NYE crew after a 3 year hiatus. 

2022 was off to a difficult start. One of my best friends from college was diagnosed with breast cancer and was starting chemo treatments. One of my colleagues and deacon of my parish that I was close with suddenly passed also from cancer. And yet one more friend, our dear friend Dana who had been battling cancer lost her battle, too. We gathered at the beginning of the year often to remember Dana, raise money for her and her family, and to carry on her legacy. 

                                            Fundraiser for Dana, February 2022

Things started to pick up a little in the Spring as I began to travel. I traveled quite a bit in 2022. Here are some of the highlights:

Above: my friend Raven and I took a weekend trip to the Eastern shore of VA which I had never been to.
Below: for my Spring Break, I drove through West TX from El Paso to Marfa to Midland. It was such a wild adventure that I'm so glad that I got to do! I rang in my 41st bday with a friend in Texas. 

My niece made her first communion in May which made for an interesting road trip to Ohio after flights were cancelled left and right this Spring, still a result from Covid. 

My family rented a house over the summer in Duck, NC in the OBX in June of 2022
I flew to Montreal and took a train to Quebec City for my first solo international trip in July 2022

I took a road trip through West Virginia to Kentucky to be reunited with childhood friend I hadn't seen in years. 
I flew to New Orleans to celebrate a friend's birthday with some college friends.

I also made my annual trips to Raleigh, NC, Virginia Beach, and Annapolis, MD to see some museums, visit friends, and attend my 2nd annual Renaissance Faire respectively.

There were many happy reunions and friends who came to visit me in Richmond after a couple of years of being isolated:

Some of my besties came in from out of town to visit VA with me. 

Above: some members of my NET team from my volunteer year almost 20 years ago were reunited when my school brought in a current NET team to lead a retreat for our students. 

Below: my parents return to Richmond and this year we attended Maymont Glow together. 

My friends and I were able to gather for Halloween again this year (Corn was also very much a theme of 2022...)

And of course, there was wine:

I am grateful and rejoicing for 2022, but hoping that 2023 will slow down a little so we can take in and enjoy even more our day to day. 

Happy Advent!