2 min read

Wrapping up this year

Yes, another one of these to clog up your inbox while you're just trying to be done for the holidays

Well, would you look at that - 2022 is damn near in the rearview. Over the 12 days of Christmas I'm going to drop a few short posts of some of my favorite experiences from the year, but I also wanted to wrap up with a quick evaluation of this year in Routine Chaos...

I wrote last year about my approach to goal setting1. I came into this year focused on 3 themes:

  1. Make a living by making and creating
  2. Put down roots
  3. As a family, discover and explore our passions

I also had 8 specific goals related to those 3 themes. If I look at those goals and classify them as green (yep, we totally did this), yellow (you know, some progress), and red (epic fail) here's how they play out:

  • 2 green
  • 3 yellow
  • 3 red

And this is where the importance of the themes comes into play: regardless of what that breakdown says, it was actually a wildly successful year. An epic year. The 2 that came out green were the most significant goals for the year (I launched Routine Chaos as a design studio as my primary source of income...and it was solvent! And...we bought a house).

But in the yellow and red, something interesting happened - there were some interesting experiments, and there were some totally unexpected revelations. We completely whiffed on every single initiative under theme 3, at least on the ones that I thought would matter2. Here's what we did instead:

  • My sons got deep into the world of competitive Pokemon, and we travelled to 3 different countries to participate in Pokemon tournaments - including one of them being invited to compete in the Pokemon World Championships3

Want to guess where the Pokemon World Championships took place?
Want to guess which city hosted the Pokemon World Championships?
  • My wife launched her own portfolio of work within the studio that allowed her to support other entrepreneurs working in the fields of sustainability and holistic wellness, two areas that she's deeply passionate about.

  • All 3 kids joined various clubs and teams, and all of them found activities that have become a major part of their identities.

  • I went deep down the rabbit hole of home espresso, and in the course of it I really honed by home barista skills and convinced 5 of my closest friends to get into the hobby as well4.

So throw out those 8 specific goals. If I had to ask myself, "did you earn a living by making & creating, did you put down roots, and did you explore & discover passions?" I can resoundingly say, "Yes!" This year didn't really look like I expected it would, and that's thrown me a little bit for a loop as we head into 2023...I haven't landed my themes for next year yet, and I find myself a bit befuddled by all of the possible different ways that it could all play out. And all of that feels pretty alright. Life surprised me in 2022, and I hope it continues to in 2023.

  1. The short version: the higher order themes are more important than the specific goals themselves.

  2. For the curious: Write a new 10 minute play each month, Roast 25 kg of coffee, Get barista certified, Monthly informational interview with someone new.

  3. This is actually a thing. The reason this did not appear in my goals is because I had no idea this was a thing 12 months ago.

  4. In at least 1 case, going so far as to coordinate with the others to have an espresso machine and grinder delivered to someone's house.