Played a bunch more last night - once you nail down some of the formulas, and some basic strategies (build fires!), I was really enjoying it a lot more. Steep learning curve for sure - but when you get the hang of it, it really takes off.
Finding your way out of a jam is the best part of the game for sure. A few times I thought I was permanently screwed with next to no health and surrounded by those black ghosts... but I figured out how to make some food, and realized the benefit of fire, and that's when the whole game really clicked for me.
Currently in Year 9 with a good amount of health - looking forward to (hopefully) beating it. If anyone knows how to kill those fucking wolves, LMK!