John Leahy- Podcaster, Musician, Broadcaster, Audiobook Narrator, Storyteller
Dec. 31, 2022

2022 In Review- A Farewell to A Very Challenging Year

Happy New Year everyone! 

As we embark on another journey to end one year and begin another, I'm here to say that I am welcoming 2023 as I have never welcomed another year before. This blog post will serve as a year in review, and a hopeful look ahead to a happy healthy prosperous 2023. 

All years have their challenges. We expect that. We need adversity to grow and learn. That being said, there were certainly a fair share of gut punches in 2022 in my life. I'll start by sharing the difficult times, and then transition on to the good things that happened. 

First, my father died in May after a long, protracted battle with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 83. It was heartbreaking to see him suffer at the end of his life, but we are comforted by the fact that he is in a better place now. His legacy and life will live on forever. As I type this, his photo is looking down on me, smiling. Not a day goes by that we don't think of him.

On April 1, we had an unfortunate accident here at home, which led to eight long months of upheaval. A water pipe burst under our upstairs kitchen sink, which led to significant and severe damage, both upstairs and downstairs. A steady stream of contractors, plumbers, and electricians came in and out of our home. Also during this time our bathroom wound up needing major repairs, from the plumbing, to installation of a new tub, to the entire bathroom ultimately needing to be done over. To top it all off, our well ran dry in the summer and we needed to make the conversion to town water. This process was very expensive- to the tune of $24,000. And in the final week of 2022, our sump pump in the basement gave way, resulting in a flooded basement. As I write this, our basement is bone dry and the new pump is installed and working nicely. Such is the peril of living in a 100 year old home. The building inspector came out to the house to do the final inspection on December 1 and we passed- exactly eight months to the day that the original accident happened. 

The toughest part was the period of time (six weeks) between the accident and my Dad's passing. There was a LOT on my plate- and a very difficult stretch. My Mom also was operated on this year, after she fell at home- and working my Dad through all that- her absence- was extremely difficult. My sister and I had to basically do round the clock shifts to watch over Dad until Mom got nursed back to health. 

So that's the tough stuff. Now on to the good stuff. 

2022 saw a new era begin with my work career. After 17 years of doing our Merrimack hockey games on the radio, we made the transition to television. ESPN+, to be exact. Having wanted to do TV work for a long time, this was and is exciting for me. There are a lot of benefits to doing games on TV, and I am happy that I'm getting this chance. I do have mixed emotions though- I miss going on the road, and would like to see that return at some point. Going on the road is an essential and exciting part of the broadcasting experience, and I want that to come back. But, that being said, it's a blast doing the games on TV. 

Music was as important as ever to me in 2022, as I did my share of Open Mic Nights, mostly up in Concord, N.H. at Area 23. I do that every other month, and it's great fun. That will continue in 2023. Music lifts me up in the good times and saves me during the bad times. I'll begin 2023 with brand new strings on my uke guitar. Expect to see more songs online from me in the new year. It's an unbelievable release to play. 

2023 will also mark the first time in four years that a vacation will happen! We are booked to go to Nashville in April. The last time I experienced a vacation was in May of 2019, when we went up to Toronto, Canada. The circumstances of the last four years have prevented me from going anywhere- from COVID, to my Dad's situation, to the home repairs, add that all up and we've been restricted here, unable to move. The last time I went on a plane was in October of 2019, when I went to Upper Michigan on a Merrimack road trip. To say a break is needed is the understatement of the year. 

The podcast was great fun in 2022, and I hope to gain momentum with it in 2023. We had many great guests on, and we'll start the new year with my friend and colleague Jesse Goldberg Strassler, who received a call up to the major leagues last summer and made his Major League debut in- Fenway Park with the Oakland A's. I am still holding out hope that I can return to baseball broadcasting , maybe even as soon as this summer. 

So that's my summary. A lot went on, but at the end of the day, I'm healthy, stronger, and ready to welcome 2023. I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and joyous New Year.