2022 Review

Well, 2022. What a year. Sheesh.

I suppose I should write more words than that.

For me, 2022 has been a year of change and a year of learning to accept change. Depression has changed me.

After recognizing that I am depressed, I’ve spent a lot of time with counselors. They’ve helped me to focus on what makes me happy and satisfied and to minimize or jettison those things that stress me or make me sad.

It turns out that one of the things that was stressing me was railfanning – or, rather, the perceived need to be constantly trackside. In 2021 I went a little overboard with the railfanning and, although it was “productive” in terms of photography and blog posts, it wasn’t making me happy.

In 2022 I went trackside when I felt like it, and stayed home when I didn’t feel like it – which was most of the time.

I rediscovered my love of cycling and did a lot of biking in 2022. I plan to do more in 2023 once the snow clears!

I also rediscovered my love of night photography. I spent a lot of time around midnight at remote crossings, photographing trains and stars and the aurora borealis. I bought a new-to-me wide angle lens just for this and I love it.

Trips Out of the Country

Tram crossing the bridge over the Duoro River in Porto, Portugal

We were fortunate to travel out of the country – and off the continent – to Portugal in the spring and to Italy in September. Both trips were wonderful, Portugal especially.

I hope to write about the trains and trams in both countries soon. I wrote about our 2018 Italian vacation if you’d like a sneak peek of the type of trains they have. This time I photographed a lot of trams!

Trips Out of the Province

BNSF train under dramatic skies

I left Manitoba a couple of times in 2022.

I made a quick trip to Toronto in July… very quick, but I did see a few trains en route.

In mid November I returned to Ontario to visit my son and daughter-in-law (Between the Buildings), and spent a few days in the Waterloo area. It was great to see them again.

Triumphs and Trials

VIA Rail and CN trains in Sioux Lookout Ontario

I published a new book, Dances and Daydreams! That felt good… even if nobody has read it.

In July, I fulfilled a long-time wish to ride the VIA Rail Canadian. It was a short out-and-back trip between Winnipeg and Sioux Lookout, Ontario, but I was on VIA’s flagship train. I hope to ride it again, farther.

I fulfilled another long-time wish in November when my son and I railfanned at Bayview Junction. It was pretty special, especially with my son there.

On the “trial” side, I’ve talked about my depression (“Let’s Talk“) – maybe too much! 🙂

I want to say that I am fortunate that I was able to afford to go see counselors, without having to go on waiting lists. So many people have to wait to see a government-funded counselor, and they may not have the job flexibility to take time off or see a counselor during the day. I have a lot of things to be thankful for.

Plans for 2023

One thing I haven’t mentioned here before is that I’ve started to write a novel. My biggest goal of 2023 is to finish it. I imagine I will share more information on it as I progress.

I would like to revisit some grain elevators – and see new ones. I want to get into Saskatchewan and see some of theirs before they fall. I will have to wait until the spring so the roads are better and it’s warm enough to fly my drone.

Beyond that, I intend to do a lot of snowshoeing this spring, a lot of biking this summer, and maybe take some photos of trains!

By the Numbers

  • 82 posts here
    • 146,000 page views here in 2022
    • 185,000 page views on my old blog (crazy that it still gets so many views)
  • 469 comments (thank you so much!)
  • 57 videos published on my YouTube channel
    • 274,500 views in 2022
    • 7,900 viewing hours in 2022
  • Two series of guest posts:
  • Two new & continued non-railway series of posts:
  • 1,033 km biked over 137 rides in 2022

You can compare & contrast this recap with 2021’s: Looking Back, Looking Forward – Traingeek – Trains and Photography

Over to You

How was your 2022? What are your plans for 2023?

6 thoughts on “2022 Review”

  1. 2023 can’t come quick enough for me! I’ve been dealing with some health issues all year long and recently deaths in the family. Worst year of my life for sure! But all I can do is pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on going.

    Wish you all the best in the new year Steve!

    Onward and upward to 23.

    Reply
  2. 2022 was a good year but it went by too quick. I retired at the end of 2021 as it was time to get out and we were fortunate to have the means to do so. I thought life might slow down a bit but it didn’t. I did get much more time outside walking the dogs with my wife and lots of bike rides. Riding is a great stress reliver, it’s just you and two wheels. I can be in a forest in 10 minutes or at the tracks in 15minutes. Hope you have a great year Steve and I look forward to your posts and photos.

    Reply
    • Congratulations on your retirement, Eric! I’m glad you have been able to get outside a lot. I am really enjoying cycling. It’s peaceful and I get to explore places and see things in a different way.

      Have a great year!

      Reply
  3. I understand the need to feed the beast. I took time off from my blog for the same reasons as you. I couldn’t give it the treatment it deserved and I felt like I was forcing it. It was not making me happy. And, as for depression, I too have lived with depression and anxiety my entire life. I have worked hard, with the love and support of family, to find peace and accept it. I became a mental health public speaker in the federal government. I find the more I talk about it, the less power it has. Talking helps. We need more people to say they’re sick and not feel afraid. No one is ashamed of a cold or a broken arm. No one should feel ashamed when their brain is misfiring. It’s a physical ailment like anything else.

    Reply
    • Hi Michael, I remember you stepping away from your blog and it was completely understandable. I’m glad you are back blogging on your own terms.

      Good for you for becoming a speaker on mental health. We all need to talk about it more. Depression is invisible to others but so many suffer from it. I had no idea how much anxiety I was carrying around with me until I started digging into it with a counselor.

      Reply

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