I like writing a review post every year so I can have a succinct record of how I spent the year. As usual I am aware of recency bias so I’m not sure how accurate is this recollection. I wrote this post by going through the obvious highlights that popped up spontaneously in my mind, followed by a scan through the year’s writing and photos. I write quite a bit about my health journey with exercise and nutrition, so please do not proceed if these topics make you uncomfortable.
- this past year I placed most of my energy and focus on improving my health and fitness. The goal was to improve my mitochondrial health through diet and exercise and hence lessen my migraine symptoms.
- from looking at my journal entries I seem to be less emotionally tortured than previous years.
- someone I care about went through a major health scare which gave me a searing reminder of how life is impermanent.
- still religiously masking, avoiding social interactions in person and dining indoors. At this rate this may be our lifestyle for the foreseeable future. I’ve written about this several times before but I’m already spiritually fatigued from dealing with just a chronic migraine and I have no desire to deal with additional cardiovascular and neurological issues from an infection. We may get infected anyhow, but at least we’ll go down knowing we’ve tried our best.
- overall I had a monastic-like year with a focus on everyday practical routines which nourished me physically but left me a little lacking spiritually. Kind of ironic, I know.
- yet in a way we were so stimuli-deprived that each time we went out for a novel experience it truly felt spectacular. Since we were both of a diet for health-related reasons, every opportunity to eat out felt like a rare feast. Perhaps we do need some form of sensory deprivation in cycles.
health, fitness & nutrition
- started walking a lot more this year, especially walking in place while watching tv
- 4,256,798 steps (which is a record since I started tracking steps in 2014) vs 2,014,544 last year
- 9km was probably the record for a morning walk:
- started regularly running again.
- I logged my food on Cronometer for most of the year (yes going to Bangkok disrupted this completely) to understand the nutritional breakdown of my food. I was very surprised to learn how challenging it is to have a nutritionally complete meal that consists of the required vitamins and minerals daily. I don’t know about you, but previously I had this belief that vitamins and minerals were like for an optional boost to health – but now I have learnt that they are vital for many processes in our bodies. Without them we are practically functioning at some level of impairment.
- cooked most of the year due to my partner having histamine issues, so I took the opportunity to cook for myself too – I went through weeks eating nothing else but my own cooking, a first in my life. got much better at cooking, like properly searing a steak (still not great at it).
- was on a low carb diet for most of the year – ketones are neuroprotective.
- saw a traditional chinese medicine physician almost weekly since July till date.
- had gua sha for the first time:
- had my 3rd vaccination in the beginning of the year, and 4th one in november.
- resolved to write every sunday (again).
- wrote 53 posts this year (including this one) vs 39 last year.
- significant posts
- reached 1004 days of bullet journalling & 447 days of morning pages. They are a rich source of self-knowledge, and also a space to listen to myself.
- first overseas (more like overland) trip in 3 years to Johor Bahru (thanks covid!).
- took a plane for the first time (with n95s, nasal sprays and a personal HEPA filter) in 3 years to Bangkok.
- still taking a ton of street photography, but still think am not very good at it.
- …and also taking the occasional portraits for the partner:
- completed my target of reading 52 books, though as usual I left it till the very last minute and kind of cheated by slipping in a few novellas. I did spend weeks trying to finish Anathem (937 pages) which till now I’m not sure if it was worth the effort.
- favourite books
- as mentioned my partner developed histamine issues late last year so this year we had to go through a lot of tending and healing together. Thankfully my obsession for health research paid off (that’s how I deduced she might have histamine issues in the first place, doctors would probably shrug it off as gastrointestinal issues) so she gradually healed with a ton of pacing, nutritional supplementation, and a strict diet stricter than mine, arguably – thankfully she adhered to it willingly.
- celebrated 79 months as of december
- she got into sewing so we started wearing couple clothes:
Overall I would say I had a very mundane year, but the mundaneness was perhaps necessary as I learnt to nourish my body for the first time. The two trips overseas were definitely a highlight – Singapore has a lot to offer for a very small country but it is just so enlivening to experience different worlds. In my first 2022 post I wrote that I wanted to learn how to self-amuse and have self-joy, I would say I have gotten better at both but I am nowhere near having a spirit which I endeavour to. Maybe I am just a little greedy.
I’ll write more about what I wish to work on in the incoming year for my next post.
I write these every year.