2022 New Years

The start of 2022 has been a rollercoaster already, mostly due to the Omicron variant’s surge through our community, re-traumatizing us with flashbacks of remote work and quarantine isolation. This is why I’m here to bring some light into your newsfeed with a few things I’ve noticed and enjoyed about this yearly winter refresh we call the ‘New Year.’

Connecting with family and friends

This holiday season was the second of the pandemic, and while the first was a messy, anxious jumble of zoom calls and messages, the second felt like something to lean into. Even if zoom calls were still your (biological or chosen) family’s reality, I found that the quality time spent with our loved ones this year was tinged with more warmth and love than I’d ever seen. Nowadays, we’re all just grateful to be here, in a digital or physical space, with each other, and forever in debt to those vital connections that kept us going the last few years.

A shift in priorities for working people

The ‘Great Resignation’ has led millions across the globe to quit their jobs in favor of living off savings for a while, working for themselves, or finding something better suited to their needs. Meanwhile, companies have had to adapt to a workforce with demands for fair working conditions, adequate pay and what have you, leaving workers with more leverage than we’ve seen in a long time. No matter our individual priorities, I think most of us can agree that this reevaluation is much needed. Cyclical burnout and consistently low wages (especially considering the increasingly expensive world we live in) require it. Also, unions are a beautiful thing.

New infrastructure coming soon

The $1 trillion bipartisan bill, Pres. Biden’s biggest accomplishment in office so far, will begin to make a visible difference this year. It invests millions into infrastructure projects across the country, including trains, roads, bridges and most importantly (in my humble opinion), the power grid. If we’re going to transform our energy systems in the coming years to deter further climate catastrophe, we need a complete overhaul of our torn-up patchwork of power grids. We’re working on it now with more intensity than ever before.

We’ve got this

After lots of poking and prodding, I found a sense of optimism hidden somewhere in the folds of the pandemic’s third year. Having been through some of the most intense times any of us will ever live through, I think it’s fair to say that going forward, we will be alright. Work will be a nightmare, mental health will have its ups and downs, tragedy will abound, but the thing we can focus on this new year is our truly remarkable resilience despite the backward nature of life right now. I’m sure everyone’s found a couple of ways to cope with working from home, or feelings of isolation, or health scares. As we look toward the future, we will only get better, stronger, more resilient. I truly believe that we’ve got this.