I can’t believe 2022 is over already. Like 2021 I didn’t feel as though as much changed in my life as has changed in many prior years, but this year I feel much less directionless than last year.
Prior to the pandemic my main productive outlet was CruiseSheet. No cruises sailed during covid, so the business ground to an absolute halt. I’d occasionally work on the site a bit, but it was disheartening since no one was visiting the site or booking cruises, so I couldn’t tell if anything was actually working.
In 2022, though, things came back in a big way and are now better than ever. Revenue is up, the site is better than ever, I’ve built tons of automations and processes to keep it humming along with fewer errors, and I’m enjoying it more than ever. It is my most successful business yet and it’s a perfect blend of variety of projects to work on and automation so that I can work whenever I want for the most part.
I also got featured in a ton of news publications, including a national video interview on the Today Show that I filmed in my tea room!
I mention it first not because it’s the biggest part of my life, but because it feels like the biggest change.
One of the things I’m most grateful for this year is getting to spend tons of quality time with my family under normal circumstances. Every year until 2020, one entire side of my family comes together for Christmas, usually for about a week. All aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings are there, and we mostly just hang out, catch up, and play codenames. We skipped in 2020, 2021, and did a smaller version in 2022. This year we were back to original form and it was probably the happiest one yet.
Besides Christmas I also went on trips with family members, visited all of my siblings and parents at their homes, and had many of them visit me. Family time is some of my favorite time, so I was glad to get even more of it.
It was also an amazing year for time with friends! My main group of friends that I travel with did 5-6 big trips together as well as a handful of smaller ones. I was able to go to Tokyo and visit my friends there for the first time in years. Many friendships got deeper than ever, and the amount of quality time with friends was excellent. A lot of great things happened for many of my friends, and I liked sharing in their joy.
I went to at least a couple new countries (Turkey and Slovakia), and maybe more that I can’t remember off the top of my head. I visited all of our shared properties, some of them multiple times, and made a huge push and got Budapest properly furnished. We only had one island trip, but it was a great one.
I also went on TONS of cruises, at least 7-8, including my first ever river cruise. I got to go on an inaugural sailing, two transatlantics, the biggest ship in the world, and some others. I don’t get as much work done on cruises as I used to, but they’re now all getting Starlink, which I think should swing my productivity back up (I’m more focused on internet-based stuff than writing these days).
I did some really great projects this year. Building my own virtual pinball machine was literally my main focus for a month, which sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it was almost like a vacation for me. I loved waking up every morning and making progress on it. I had to do woodworking, electronics, computer stuff, design, 3D printing, etc. So much fun, and now many of my friends play it with me.
My hot tub controller died, I ordered the wrong replacement, and in frustration decided to make my own. I had to learn a lot about how to make electronics, but the final product looks so pro that our pool guy commented that he had never seen that brand before. It was very satisfying to see something go from original idea to physical finished product.
I didn’t make as much progress on my spa as I hoped I would, but it’s now finally coming together and the steam room side should be usable by the end of January. I had to learn a lot about construction and wiring (wired it 3 different times to get it up to code…). The best part of the spa was working on it with my father, but hopefully using it will be even better.
I was happy that I was able to carry over my enthusiasm for time at home in 2021 into 2022. For the first time ever, I felt like I had the exact right balance between time at home and time away from home. In the past I’ve sometimes felt like I was running myself ragged going from city to city, but this year I think travel and time at home complemented each other well.
The boat had issues for about half the year, so I didn’t get out on the lake as much as I would have liked, and I also didn’t ski as much as previous years, but other Vegas stuff was great. I did an amazing hike to a hot spring, found a cool park, hiked in the mountains a couple times, went to 40 or so hockey games, and went to a bunch of other shows (Bill Burr, David Blaine, Cirque du Soleil, etc). What a city!
We also got a pet tortoise named Daisy, who has brought an unsurprising amount of joy to my wife, and a surprising amount of joy to me.
This year was really about friends, family, projects, and business. I traveled a lot, but that was mostly the substrate for quality time with others. If 2023 followed the same formula I’d be 100% happy. I’m a very lucky guy with an amazing life full of amazing people, places, and things.
Reflecting on what I’d like to be different this year, I thought of a couple things.
First, I became inconsistent with my workouts. Usually I can count on myself to work out on cruises and at home, but this year I often didn’t work out at home. I think the main driver for that was that many of my projects were physically exhausting. I still weigh the same and feel good so it’s not a huge deal, but I’d like to get back into the habit.
Second, I think I might be too pushy with my friends. No one has told me this, but I think I sometimes try too hard to give advice or get people into things that I’m into. It’s a balance because I’ve seen a lot of positive things come out of that, but sometimes I’m annoyed with myself for pushing too much. I want to make sure I’m being the friend that my friends want me to be.
Other than those two things, I’m happy with where I’m at and where I’m going. It’s nice to take a time and reflect on the year and to think about what sorts of amazing things the next year may bring. I hope that all of you also had a great year.
If you’d like to share your goals with me (and/or how you did with last year’s goals), I’d love to hear from you. 2023 goals at my name dot net.
Photo is one of the tea areas at Yakumo Saryo, my favorite Japanese tea house.
The gear post is coming, probably in about a week!
I just realized that I used a photo taken in the exact same spot (with the same title) in 2021. I guess I’m predictable!