And while Lenin read a book on Marx
A quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died
2021 was supposed to be the year the pandemic died (Miss American Pie), which only seems half true. Loads of people got on with their life, including us, but we’re 2 years on from learning about covid-19 and lots of other people are panicking (or feeding on panic) about a variant that, just like the Spanish Flu, seems to have evolved to be more transmissible and more mild. Let’s hope it represents the end of Covid.
There’s also been lots of behavior in the spirit of Lenin and Marx and plenty of dirges sang in the dark. It might be remembered as the year mainstream media died - or at least when they finally jumped the shark.
I want to ignore Covid as much as possible, but it’s hard to start anywhere else. Now that it’s been mentioned, let’s move on.. for me 2021 was a great year not at all like I expected. I had a few listed goals and I accomplished very few of them. But it still feels like this year was a wild success. Let’s go through with it..
6 Minute Mile
Nope, nada. I started fighting some nasty plantar fasciitis in the spring, and I’m still fighting it. This put a serious damper on my running and made me miss any shot of hitting running goals. I still ran a couple 7 min miles in the course of some interval training and fast runs, but nowhere near 6.
The plantar is manageable now and hopefully continuing to diminish. The really positive out of this was just how much I missed running. I took 6 weeks completely off at one point and was near going crazy without being able to run. I like that this is an activity that’s been engrained in my pscyhe.
Again, nope. I think the most I did was just over 70 at once. I’m still happy with this because I didn’t train specifically for doing 100 the way I had in the past, I just did some strength work again and made sure I still had my strength.
I didn’t want to have a metric’d goal here because it’s not about the number, it’s about maintaining the habit. And this one remains engrained in life. I read 52 books this year or a book a week. Anything around 50 is sustainable, especially as most of these were nonfiction. 20 were novels and half of those were re-reads. Here’s the list:
- Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
- Why We Drive by Matthew Crawford
- Pappyland by Wright Thompson
- The Hidden Half by Michael Blastland
- Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #6) byCharlaine Harris
- All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7) byCharlaine Harris
- From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse, #8) by Charlaine Harris
- The 100 Year Life by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
- The Scorpion’s Tail by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
- Write Useful Books by Rob Fitzpatrick
- Built To Sell by John Warrillow
- How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis
- Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
- Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- Afterlives of the Saints by Colin Dickey
- The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
- The Infinite Machine by Camila Russo
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
- Super System by Doyle Brunson
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
- Hyperobjects by Timothy Morton
- Disunited Nations by Peter Zeihan
- Galileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger
- The Accidental Superpower by Peter Zeihan
- The Quiet American by Graham Greene
- How to Hide an Empire by Danile Immerwahr
- Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
- Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
- The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman
- The End of All Things by John Scalzi
- The Human Division by John Scalzi
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
- Life After Google by George Gilder
- Bloodless by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
- The Outsiders by William Thorndike
- How to Day Trade by Andrew Aziz
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
- The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
- The Complacent Class by Tyler Cowen
- Unsettled by Steven Koonin
- Billy Summers by Stephen King
- You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
- Microcosmographia Academia by Anonymous
- How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
- The Power of the Powerless by Vaclav Havel
- Find Your Six by Patrick Kilner
- Layered Money by Nik Bhatia
Thinking About Food
Well, I thought about it. This was a lesson on goal-writing. Too wishy-washy. Make it something executable next time.
I think I did better at this. When I’m with people, I focus more on being engaged and in the moment rather than continuing with my introverted ways. We had more gatherings at our place this year and having people over was always great. I’m still using my paper notebook regularly, and it’s still true that I’d rather start with paper than a keyboard. All good things.
I’m still on my phone, but less, and especially less when I’m with people (at least I think so). I don’t miss Facebook at all, and I think everyone should get off of it. The only social media I use is Instagram and Twitter. Instagram is actually useful (woodworking, photography, friends, etc) but posting is mostly for me. And I’ve become much more fond of Twitter, but I had to make it work for me first by creating two separate accounts.
Nope, nothing really. Another goal-writing lesson: don’t try to manufacture a hobby.
Optionality and Revenue
The last goals were interesting and sort of went together in an unexpected and wonderful direction. I had planned on focusing on something new in terms of acquiring revenue for my family, I just didn’t quite know what. 2021 ended up being the year I became CEO of the awesome company I work for. This was a big change and required a lot of focus. What’s interesting is that, from the outside at least, I’m not sure a whole lot appeared to change; my schedule is relatively similar, for instance. But approaching this role represented a very different mindset shift and a lot of focus. Thus far it’s been enriching, exciting and decidedly outside of my comfort zone, all of which are Good Things.
Maureen and I still have an interest in exploring additional businesses or real estate, so it’s something we’ll still be focused on going forward.
So what else happened in 2021? Well quite a lot! We gained a new godson, I sponsored a good friend converting to Catholicism, I built an outdoor couch, we hiked the Adirondacks, we had a floating happy hour in the middle of a pond, bought two cars and a boat, and spent a lot of time on the sand at the beach. 2021 wasn’t what I expected but it was a great year!