Three Lessons from the Second Hardest Year of Life (2022)!

In 2013, our boys were 2, 4 and 6 years old. The second half of 2013 was arduous to walk through as it ended up being my mom’s end days on earth, bravely breathing through cancer. I remember my mom’s desire for a bath, shaving her head and cutting her nails, the ever-present pain and then the soft look in her eyes each time the boys were in her presence. December 26th, 2013 my mom ended her days here on earth.

Now, we have walked through another year with entirely different challenges that have brought us to our knees and make us appreciate even more what 2013 taught us. Since this date in 2013, we have lost Sexy Neck’s mom, his grandparents, his uncle and my uncle. All beloved and all dearly missed. We have moved homes twice, changed two different jobs, walked through a fascinating time in history (2020 + 2021) and have had other people come and go from our lives.

In 2022, our boys are ending the year at 15, 13 and 11 years old. I am unsure if I can use words to express the feelings of utter frustration and “loss” that we experienced in this one year which was compounding for many years. When you journey through someone with cancer you are at the mercy of so many things: the health care system, fatigue level/capacity/expertise of very human doctors and nurses, the disease itself, and the actions of others. Now, we have become enveloped in other “systems”, have been affected by our own and others post-C@vid fatigue, and simply have gone down paths where we have had to shifts our dreams and goals. We had to let go of many dreams (sport and business related) as we choose to keep our family our priority.

As we slam shut the door on this year, Sexy Neck and I have sat down and done what we do best: connect. I then did what I do best: write.

Here are our musings about 2022 and how we are going to shift into 2023 with our hearts, eyes and minds wide open to what we want this one short and beautiful year to look like.

The 3 life lessons that we have painfully learned this year are:

  1. Be clear in your vision so that if it’s not aligned you can say no. 
  1. Give things to God. 
  1. Keep your family first. 


  1. Be conscious what you fill your mind with (Books, movies, podcasts, friends…) and stay away from the “scroll hole”.
  1. Be disciplined with your time because it is the highest currency. (Value your time and treat it as THE GREATEST resource you have) 
  1. Be more conscious of your blessings. Express and show gratitude.

And that’s it folks. I am not going to get into the nitty gritty of the year because it’s now, thankfully past.

Whether 2022 was a growing, sowing or loafing year, may you have kind-hearted, authentic people, including yourself, surrounding you to help you turn 2023 into anything your heart, desires, soul and mind need.

God bless you my beautiful friends.

xoxo Joanna

6 thoughts on “Three Lessons from the Second Hardest Year of Life (2022)!”

  1. Happy New Year to you, Steve and the boys! May this year be full of health and happiness for all of you!


    div>Cathy Sullivan 

    Sent from my iPhone


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  2. THANK YOU Joanna, for sharing your heart in your beautiful post. I’m truly sorry for your losses over the past years… yet, even through the pain, you are able to find gratitude…your blog provides a sweet perspective and creates hope… thank you for allowing me to join in:)

    All of life’s goodness is wished for you, Steve and the boys… of course, you don’t need wishes… you already have what’s most important ❤️

    Cyndi T

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Happy new year Cyndi! What a gift to see your message pop up in the comments. Thank you for taking the time to comment, encourage and also share your gratitude for my musings. I wish the same for you and your family. How is Marlee doing? I am wondering if she became a teacher too?

      1. Hey Joanna!

        Catching up:) Marlee became a registered nurse, along with her 2sisters, meg and Emma. Our youngest Delaney is entering her 1st year of teaching programme next year.

        Thanks for asking! It’s been a challenging few years for everyone but I think we are coming out of it still, with some threads of hope for a bright future:). Dave is retired and me? Soon:)… looking forward to a new season of well… new😍!

        Take care Joanna… you are still teaching me with your blogs… I thank you!


        Sent from my iPhone


      2. Ah Cyndi, this is amazing to hear! What amazing professions all the girls are in. WOW! I cannot believe that Dave is retired…and you soon as well. Where are you teaching these days?

        I hope that you feel bright threads of hope (I love that visual and can imagine rainbow coloured threads) as you find your new normal in this new season.

        I am so encouraged and appreciate your message. It is such a gift to be able to share this journey with authentic people like YOU! Big hugs and blessings from us both. (Steve read your comments too!)

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