2022 in Review

The year that was three

Lisa Renee
3 min readDec 15, 2022


Circles in a Circle, Wassily Kandinsky, 1923

As I attempt a review of 2022, it becomes clear that it’s not the exercise it once was. I used to enjoy the packing up of twelve months, the analysis of a neat chapter in a life. The years don’t stand on their own legs anymore, though. 2022 is ’21 is ’20. 2023 will likely be a continuation of the same honking catastrophe. Nearly three years, all mashed together.

Years are a state of mind, at this point, with no discernable end or beginning. We are in late stages — pandemic, democracy, capitalism, planet. We are quite possibly in the nebulous last stages of everything and it’s a mess.

This year has come to mean these pandemic years. I honestly can’t remember when anything happened. Time is lost, muddled, tangled up in its own threads. Did we eat the blue crabs on the porch this year or last? Did we meet the Californians two summers ago? When did we lose Aunt E, and when did Glory die? Which Christmas was the failed babka? The French onion soup? When was the lost book deal, the distance graduation, the eye crisis, the first breakup? When did I fall in love with dal, or start eating candy like a child? When did who have Covid, when were which vaccines? How long ago did I make that triumphant braided lemon bread, or the fabulous apple cake? When did we buy the ramen bowls, the lawn chairs, the guitar? Smoked fish at sunset on the lake — this year? Last? Both? Lost love, found love. Who remembers anything.

In my mind, it was all this year. Photographic evidence proves otherwise, though. So much has happened in these pandemic years, but it’s all one buzzy, anxious season. Up, down, around again. (And why is my life remembered in food?)

Memory is a liar when time is undone.

My year in books is impossible to recount, because my brain can’t find the year. I discovered Tana French and David Rakoff, Sarah Moss, Abigail Thomas, and Deborah Levy. I loved Wayward and Pachinko, and finally got around to The Secret History, The Fire Next Time, and The Hours, each magnificent. I hated those two books that everyone else loved (I will not name them). It all seems like this year, but couldn’t be. I don’t read that fast. Three years.

We’ve been yanked around like kites in a rough wind. Seasonal surges, a world in flux. Take the…