A nice change of pace from my doomy gloomy Columns as of late.
Lot of pieces of good news happening all around me1. Not the least of which is the holiday season is here.
I recently amped up my defense against my auto-immune disease and it’s made all the difference. Where there was pain, there is now normalcy. The vague, underlying sense of constant fatigue is no more. It crept in so slowly, and was so consistent, I was hardly even aware it was there most days. Now that it’s gone, it’s obvious it was there. Everyone should be so lucky to experience the feeling of the end of long suffering. Getting out of bed and beginning the day without a grim reminder of your mortality and decline into decrepitude is… it’s unlike anything else. There is no comparison.
But, like a dog with a very hard life who’s adopted from a shelter by a loving family who treats him right, I am so nervous to grant myself permission to feel like everything is going to be alright. The future is unknown. For now, I’m just loving the ability to move around and exercise again.
In case it gets lost in all the other contexts in this post, the Quote is in reference to this section of the Column.
Lengthening Loops & Parenthood
Life as a parent of 2 young children is a series of loops. A series of the same types of events happen over and over, bookended by sleeps. The length of the loops increases with the age of the children.
When you have a newborn the cycle is happening 6+ times a day. Feed. Soothe. Play. Try to do stuff while they’re asleep.
As the baby ages into toddlerhood, the cycle extends out to 2 a day. Wake. Breakfast. Get ready for the day. Find stuff to play with. Try to sneak in things you want to do (or need to do) when they aren’t actively requiring your full attention. Then a nap happens around mid-day. Upon wake, you get a slightly different flavor of the exact same loop to finish the day.
Parenthood is everything I expected it to be. It’s easily the hardest thing I do, but also the most rewarding. It’s a blessing. It’s a curse. Becoming a parent is the biggest change I’ve experienced in life. I look forward to the future, but also know I’ll miss these days when they’re gone. I can still hold both my boys at the same time, but I reckon this time next year that won’t be possible.
2022 in Review
In my 2021 → 2022 I said “2021 ⇒ 2020 All Over Again?” I struggle to say 2022 didn’t feel like more of the same. Things obviously did happen and change. We all got a year older. My elder child started to truly become self-sufficient for some basic things. My younger learned to talk. My wife took a new job here in Lawrence and I took a new role at my job. We borrowed a car for the better part of a year while ours was being built. We became among the first people we know to own a fully-electric vehicle. I spent about half the year in the worst flare up I’ve ever had, which may be the story of the year. The day-to-day, though, felt like more of the same.
This isn’t a bad thing, per se. I’m very much living the life I chose and intentionally crafted with my family. See all of the above.
The only truly “new” thing this year was the creation of https://getinto.win - which isn’t really “new” as much as it is a crystallization of a project that combines nearly all of my hobbies and talents.
Goals and Results
I set slightly more moderate goals for 2022 than I had in 2021. The goals I set for myself were less well-defined, fewer in number, and explicitly ‘softer’.
Last Year’s Non-SMART Goals
More time listening to music, less to podcasts - I don’t think I made any changes. I’ve got a podcast in my ear literally as I write this. I’m very bad at realizing when I am and am not paying attention to something. In short: 🔴
Re-establish the hardcore use of Streaks on iOS - No analysis needed. I absolutely failed. 🔴
Hone my work systems - This one is hard. While I definitely tried to do this, I very much failed to create a “good” work system. Instead I spent so many cycles starting from scratch saying “this didn’t work”. Nothing ever took hold. 🔴
Build the next-generation Life Tracker and integrate in the old versions’ data - The Personal Data Warehouse exists. It was wholly built anew in 2022. It, however, doesn’t have any of the old versions’ data in it. On the whole: 🟡
|Eating Out||Less than 2x/week||🟡 107||Did better than I expected.|
|Exercise||Exercise more times than eating out||🟡 86 (cardio x 27, mobility x 9, strength x 50)||Given my back kept me from exercising at all most of the year, this is a pretty good result|
|Notes||150 new notes||🟢 266 new notes||Despite feeling like I never touch these, I clearly am.|
|Books||26 read||🟡 Started 30, only finished 22.||Need better books.|
|Movies||26 new movies||🟢 29 new movies + 6 rewatches|
|Columns||>6||🟢 13||My goal here is basically “just don’t stop being a writer”|
2023 Themes, Goals, and Ambitions
My overall themes to focus on going into 2023:
- More wood, fewer arrows.
- Use what you have & don’t start from scratch.
- To be venturesome.
I’m going to archive some of the projects I’ve been actively (or intermittently) working on. Specifically, I’ll be putting an indefinite hiatus on doing the Creation of the Week, Gillespedia, 30 Day Challenges, and
Some quantified goal’s I’ll report back on in ~365 days.
Eating Out - fewer than 125 times
Exercise - greater than 150 times
Notes - another 150 new notes
Books - finish another 18 books
Movies - watch 30 new (to me) movies
I am going to see if I can leverage the “Streaks” app to manage my day-to-day maintenance activities to free my mind for larger and more fun ambitions. Day trips. Pushing the existing ideas & projects further. Not settling for “what’s easy”.
Top 5: Best Movies I Watched in 2022
5. Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers
My name is Dale. I don’t eat whale. Why would you say that I eat whale?
4. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Amazing premise. Amazing man.
3. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
I’m a sucker for Marvel, and yet this is the only MCU Movie of the 3 candidates that made this list.
2. The Menu
Suspense & Dark Comedy. Go in blind. It’s brilliant.
1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
One of my Top 10 Favorite movies of all time.
You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone. Cinderella (the band, not the Disney princess)
I wrote these words, and within a week holiday plans had to be cancelled due to COVID, then separate from that both my boys got the flu (or something). So. Yeah. 😕 ↩