I spent New Year’s Eve in London, watching literally thousands of fireworks at once from my friend’s high-rise apartment. I know I say the same thing every year, but 2023 was my best year ever and I’m excited for yet another run around the sun. Here are some highlights from my year:
I always do a lot of house projects, but this year was extreme. I don’t keep track, but I bet I worked on projects for at least 70% of the days I was at home. My favorite project is the secret pinball arcade I built with my father, along with the spiffed up tea room that it shares a wall with. I’m also nearly done with an insane tea labeling project that I will write a whole post about once it’s finally finished (and once it stops becoming even more complicated). I also built an automatic pool filler (in a way no one has ever done before), made significant progress on my spa, did a crazy amount of home automation, and many other projects.
I was thinking the other day about how I can’t even remember what life was like before 3D printing. It’s such an integral part of most projects that I’m not sure what I’d do without it. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m happy with how much I’ve learned and improved.
I spent a really great amount of time with family, but by far the highlight was getting to spend time with my grandmother after not seeing her for around five years. As she got older she become more withdrawn until years had passed and no one had talked to her or seen her. Then, suddenly on Christmas, she called us and invited us over. It was such an incredible time that it was without a doubt the happiest moment of my entire year (which was pretty much nothing but happy moments strung together). I’m so grateful for this.
It seems silly to talk about pinball here, but I played every day I was home and many days I wasn’t. I love getting better at things, and I’ve certainly gotten a lot better at pinball. It’s a great thing to work on solo, and also a fun game to play with friends. My wife and I have a four machine tournament every night!
Travel With Friends
As I scanned through my 12 monthly updates for the year the thing that stuck out the most was just how many great trips I went on with my friends. At least 3 long cruises to interesting places, Budapest trips, Japan trips, Istanbul trips, etc. For a while now my top priority has been quality time with quality people, and I think I had a really good amount of that this year. I also had a lot of friends and family members visit in Vegas, which is always a treat. I love hosting and it’s a luxury to have enough space to do so.
When we were in Greenland, we decided to swim out to an iceberg to climb on top of it. I’ve historically hated cold water and wouldn’t even swim in our pool when it was 100° out and the pool was 78°, but something about the near-freezing water in Greenland flipped a switch for me. Now I go into every cold plunge I can find, and I swim in our swimming pool (~47°) through the winter in between steam room sessions. Upon arriving in London I met a friend for Sauna and swimming in a 44° pool. This may not seem that crazy to a lot of people, but it’s been a long time since I’ve made such a huge shift on something. It’s a good reminder to not get too stuck in one’s ways. Most of my friends have been enjoying cold water for years.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t work all that much this year. Whenever I was home I’d spend most of my time on house projects and only address urgent stuff for CruiseSheet. That said, I had a few months where I pushed and built some stuff that I was behind on. I also upgraded to a better server, had some productive meetings, and the business did well.
Last year I said I wanted to be more consistent with my workouts. I did really poorly on this the first half of the year, and then really well the second half. The biggest impediment is that often my projects are physically exhausting and keep me busy through my normal workout time. Sometimes this is a good reason to skip, but other times it’s an excuse. Overall I’m pretty happy about how I did, but there is room for improvement.
I also said that I wanted to be less pushy with my friends (trying to get them to move to Vegas, especially). I think I struck a good balance here, but I also asked a couple people and they said I wasn’t too pushy anyways.
When reading back over last year’s list I was a little disappointed to see that I had only two things I wanted to work on for the year, so I’ll leave some more this year:
In 2024 I’d like to wrap up some projects. Right now I have to finish my tea project, which would have been done if I didn’t keep adding to it, finish the sauna side of my spa, and rebuild my virtual pinball machine. I’m definitely better than I used to be about finishing projects, but the spa should have definitely been finished by now, and probably pinball too. This is sort of an easy goal, because there’s no way (I assume) these will drag on for a year, but I’d judge this one based on how I finish other projects too.
This should also be a pivotal year for CruiseSheet. The way we’re currently operating isn’t really sustainable long term, so we have some decisions to make and implement this year. I’m looking forward to giving it some more focus and getting into a good trajectory.
I’d like to get at least one more friend to move to Vegas. There are two in particular who are considering it and who I think would really benefit from moving there.
This is sort of a dumb and arbitrary goal, but I’ve been to around 95 countries now, so I’d like to get to 100 so that I never think about the number again. This is also a bit of a shorthand for making sure I’m doing some exploring of new places in addition to visiting my favorites.
I didn’t spend enough time in Hawaii this year, so I’d like to go more. I also would have liked one or two more Budapest trips, and another island trip. Booking three cruises back-to-back sort of messed those plans up. Oh, and speaking of the island we NEED to put a new roof on the yurt this year.
I hope you had an amazing 2023 and that your 2024 will be even better. As always email my name at my name dot com and let me know how your year went and what your goals are for 2024.
Takussaagut is how you say goodbye in Greenlandic.
Photo is a nice view of Tahiti from the last cruise.
Superhuman 5 is probably full, but I will do another one as soon as makes sense, hopefully also in 2024.