2022 Happies and Crappies

I recently listened to Kate Bowler’s podcast in which she and Kelly Corrigan debriefed 2022 using the framework “Happies and Crappies.” While I have done some extensive reflection on the year using Emily P. Freeman’s 10 Questions for Reflection and Discernment, I’ll frame this public reflection using Kate and Kelly’s simple “Happies and Crappies” framework. As a bonus, I’ll end with a short exercise I am borrowing from Emily. 🙂


I don’t think I need to write much about the happies, so I’ll present them as captions to these photos from the year. Celebrate with me that there were some really sweet moments this year.


There are lots of things that didn’t go so well this year. The edited list of things that I am willing to tell strangers on the internet is:

  1. Our family really struggles to eat dinner together regularly, for a host of reasons including competing schedules, a variety of food preferences/needs, and our general lack of commitment to doing so. This drives me nuts and I want us to do this more often in 2023. (I know that’s not a SMART goal; don’t @ me, educator friends).
  2. I really don’t like multi-modal meetings. I don’t like attending them and I really don’t like leading them.
  3. This year I’ve faced some significant health challenges that were a major contributing factor to me needing to take my mental health more seriously. I’m thankful for good insurance, faithful friends, and family who stepped in when it was just too much.
  4. The confluence of puberty and a neurodivergent child made parenting more challenging than ever this year. We’re gathering some new supports and reaffirming our desire to love each other well in 2023.

Emily Freeman suggests that after you reflect and before you move into a new season, you name four things. I’ve named them and illustrated them because I am an insecure overachiever (thanks to Adam Grant for that phrase).

A progress I’m celebrating: In my last post, I talked about how hard it is to answer the question “What do I want?” or “What do I need?” I have made quite a bit of progress on that this year. I’m taking the time to really sit with the truths of who I am, how I’d like grow, and what I might need to move forward.

A pivotal decision I’ve made: Based on the progress I just mentioned, I decided to take an extended medical leave for the Spring 2023 semester. I have never had 15 weeks disengaged from work. This is already pivotal in some ways, but I’m sure throughout that time it will be pivotal in ways I did not anticipate.

A question I’m still carrying: How do I let things go or put things down when I am overwhelmed, frustrated, and/or outraged at something related to work?

What I want most: To know in my mind and heart that my worth as a person is not defined by my productivity or the way I care for others. In general, these are some of my superpowers but I need to disconnect them from how I feel about myself.

Wishing you a 2023 in which you embrace both the happies and the crappies, surrounded by an inner circle of folks who love you through it all.