#415 - 2021 → 2022

6 minute read

It’s the end of another year. Let’s review…

Themes of the Year

2021 ⇒ 2020 All Over Again?

Blah blah blah pandemic.

At this point it’s annoying and boring to talk about how the on-going COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything in every domain. The year continued to be dominated by the influence of COVID-19 in every possible location. At this point every business has either figured out how to live with it, or they’ve already failed. We’ve all lived with it. It’s affected everything. This is me acknowledging that fact. Moving on.

We Moved House

This will be a recurring theme. The biggest event that happened this year was us relocating from a suburb of Kansas City to a new home in lovely Lawrence, Kansas. It happened in August, and it changed everything about how we operate. It’s been a huge huge undertaking that massively knocked a lot of things off-track… and I regret none of it.

The move really threw everything that was working well out the window. I stopped exercising. I stopped playing guitar. I stopped having free time for stuff like, say, maintaining a website. It is something we’re slowly working our way out of, the new year will help with that transition. Also the fact that we went HARD on the house over break1.

I wrote about this in my previous post. I’m still re-discovering things I used to do that worked really well that I’d forgotten about. This is a front I’m actively working on.

…Not Much Else

Really nothing much else comes to mind to share when I think “2021 was the year of _____”.

I guess you could say 2021 was the year of family, but I don’t expect that 2022 (or any year thereafter) will be much different, so it feels wrong to write 2021 was “The Year of Family”. My wife and I spent countless hours with our kids and each other, and that’s exactly what I wanted.


I set out some pretty black-and-white goals for myself for 2021. Checking my report card now… yeesh.

Goal Result
🔴 Purchase an Overseas Trip Didn’t happen.
🔴 Take a Couples Vacation Didn’t happen.
🔴 Eat Out <53 Times I ate out 120 times. Was essentially on track for success until we moved, which means we’ve eaten out a scary amount since then.
🔴 Log 156 Workouts Finished 115. Was on track before the move.
🔴 Post 18 Gillespedia Articles 2
🟡 Post 18 Columns 11
🟡 Log 250 Guitar Practice Sessions Logged 214. Was on track until we moved.
🟡 Finish my free audit of a MIT Systems Engineering Course Got about 1/2 done. I did take a Systems Engineering course for Credit from Georgia Tech, though.
🟡 Integrate all “Data Journal” data About 75% complete. I haven’t yet reached my desired end-state of a portable, extensible, queryable “Personal Data Warehouse”.
🟢 Watch 26 New Movies Finished exactly 26.
🟢 Read 26 Books Finished 27. Started and stopped an additional 4.
🟢 Complete 52 Creations-of-the-Weeks Success!
🟢 Take a Family Vacation Success (several times)
🟢 See the Grandparents 20 Times Saw them >50 times
🟢 Decide on Next Living Situation Massive Success (…he wrote sitting in the kitchen of his new house in his new city)
🟢 Buy a New Car It’s reserved… but not yet actually here. Credit given.
🟢 Create 150 New Notes 232 new notes added (and 114 older notes were updated)

More along these lines in the Top 5, below.


Honestly I don’t want/need to go on forever about how I feel about this year. Here’s the best way to sum it up

I may not have accomplished all my goals. I may have some enduring challenges that very much remain on my plate for 2022. But neither of those things stopped this year from being perfect. At multiple points this year I thought to myself “this is what life is about. I hope my life flashes before my eyes whenever I die so I can see this moment again.”

If you’re thinking that, you’re living right.

Looking Forward to 2022

My goals for 2022 aren’t perfectly lined out yet. Right now I’m thinking they will be more modest, both in terms of number and difficulty. Some more on that in the Top 5, below.

Some non-SMART goals:

More time listening to music, less to podcasts.

Re-establish the hardcore use of Streaks on iOS.

Hone my work systems.

Make the generation of the quantified yearly results for next year (and subsequent years) easier by integrating all the various versions of my “Life Tracker/Data Journal/Personal Data Warehouse” into a single, cohesive project.

Top 5: Quantified Results of 2021 & Goals for 2022

5. Times Eaten Out - 120


This is much higher than last year (when COVID was new) and well above my original goal for 2021 of eating out once/week. We weren’t terribly behind pace until after we moved in early August.

In the name of moderance, I’ll only set the goal for 2022 to eating out 2x/week (104 meals).

4. Named Workouts - 115


Again you see a massive hit after we moved in August. Weirdly July was super light, and August itself was my heaviest hitting month of all. Odd result.

This is basically on par with my average annual workout count over the past 9 years:


Next year I want my workout count to be greater than my eating out count. That’s good motivation both ways I think.

3. Sleep - Many Metrics

In 2021, I spent 7.9 hours in bed each night, but only slept 6.9 of those hours. On an “average” night I slept from 11:37pm to 7:27am. This is much later on both fronts than my previous years’ results. Not sure why I slipped later in the day. Maybe cause I’m writing this at 12:34am.


2. Creative Consumption

Alright #2 and #1 were kept here for symmetry with last year’s review’s Top 5. In this case, though these numbers are all in the table in the body of this Column. Maybe I’ll standardize this whole thing at some point. Or not I’m only human.

1. Creative Output

Same thing as number #2.


Ball. My younger son. One of his first 3 words.

  1.  In the past 7 days my wife and I pulled, sanded, and primed all the trim in the house, tore up carpet and replaced it with laminate in a bedroom, replaced 15 electrical fixtures, painted 3 rooms + 2 ceilings, installed a new camera, painted 4 doors, bought 4 other doors, installed 6 of those doors, organized & cleaned the basement, and put together a loft bed for our son. Still more to go, but the end is in sight.