100 Highlights of 2017

Derek Magill’s 100 Things That Made My Year post inspired me to write one, too. Here are my 100 highlights of 2017:

  1. Making more trips back home to Ohio.
  2. Finishing up a large analysis and recommendation project for a large customer at eResources.
  3. Writing and publishing 261 original blog posts.
  4. Visiting TK and Michelle in LA.
  5. Visiting Joshua Tree National Park for the first time.
  6. Driving up the Maine coast and visiting Little Cranberry Island, the setting of The Secret Life of Lobsters.
  7. Getting an early morning email from Isaac Morehouse asking for a call, which led to me joining the team at Praxis. I joined as the CTO.
  8. Hiking around Acadia National Park in the rain.
  9. Spending a weekend with my best friend, Sean Nelson, at his new place in Chicago.
  10. Helping a suicidal friend.
  11. Surprising my journalist friend Liz Essley Whyte with a custom portfolio website.
  12. Visiting with Marieke and Brent Desmond in the spring, learning about their engagement in the summer, and then attending their wedding in the fall.
  13. Building TK Coleman a new website.
  14. Rereading The Story of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang.
  15. Going to one of my favorite restaurants, Ssam Bar, and having duck ssam for lunch.
  16. Going fly fishing with Amanda on the Delaware River and having dinner at Uncle Brother on our anniversary weekend.
  17. A week of reading and travel between jobs.
  18. Working with Sara Morrison, Brian Nuckols, and Derek Magill for a whirlwind three days in Atlanta to switch out marketing automation platforms.
  19. Standing by my parents’ fireplace this winter.
  20. Visiting the Machovina Carlsons, keeping an old friendship alive, and learning about how a loom works.
  21. Emailing Mr. Strohm, a teacher, former boss, and mentor, about books.
  22. Carrying firewood with my Dad.
  23. Making pizza from scratch with family.
  24. Working on my patience, empathy, and humility.
  25. Improving my javascript skills.
  26. Discovering some sci-fi classics for the first time from James Hogan and Philip K. Dick.
  27. More dates with Amanda.
  28. Losing some weight at the beginning of the year and successfully keeping most it off all year.
  29. Meeting so many awesome young people at Praxis Weekend 2017.
  30. Building the Praxis curriculum portal.
  31. Rewriting 90% of the Praxis bootcamp curriculum in my first 6 months.
  32. Having Thanksgiving with some new friends: Bjorn and Pamela.
  33. Preserving a lot of food that we grew or picked ourselves. Using your own ingredients adds a lot of character to the dish.
  34. Fun summer and autumn hikes and picnics with Amanda.
  35. Learning the ins and outs of both Hubspot and Salesforce from Sara Morrison.
  36. Learning sales and marketing skills from Isaac Morehouse, Derek Magill, and Brian Nuckols.
  37. Late night conversations with TK Coleman about technology and philosophy.
  38. Taking primary responsibility for the Praxis bootcamp curriculum.
  39. My Dad taking a new job at the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at the school district we both went to. He has my old email address from when I worked on the tech team there!
  40. Buying an iPad Pro and working with it outdoors multiple days a week.
  41. Meeting many of my Praxis coworkers in person for the first time in Atlanta.
  42. Successfully completing the Whole 30 in February and staying primarily low carb after that.
  43. Making conscious decisions about what high carb or high sugar items are worth consuming vs what isn’t worth the sluggishness that follows. This Christmas, in particular.
  44. Learning how to coach from TK Coleman.
  45. Spending more time considering other people’s perspectives.
  46. Watching Amanda’s professional growth at Convene.
  47. Learning from brilliant people at the NYC D3.js meetups
  48. Making an effort to discover new local places to eat and work. Amanda and I explored many small towns in the Hudson Valley on our Saturday work/play treks.
  49. Visiting my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandfather in north Georgia and exploring the Chattahoochee National Forest.
  50. Making trips to celebrate family and friends’ birthdays in Chicago and Ohio.
  51. Writing Christmas cards for the first time.
  52. Making a conscious effort to give more praise.
  53. Making a conscious effort to own all of my mistakes, misjudgments, and miscalculations.
  54. Learning to draw. More importantly, breaking the misconception that I couldn’t ever learn to draw.
  55. Writing weekly posts about how I’m using my CSA vegetables led me to get creative about using uncommon vegetables. I heard more positive feedback about that series than all other Cook Like Chuck posts combined.
  56. Noticing small details like how detailed and interesting sardine packaging is.
  57. Upping my cocktail game with barrel aging.
  58. Visiting the farm where our CSA vegetables came from and getting to know the farmer.
  59. Getting more adventurous with my ingredients.
  60. Taking more time to document my work, cooking, and learning.
  61. Shooting some short videos of my Grandma and aunt talking about traditional family foods.
  62. Getting off the beaten path for coffee and food in cities we visit for the first time.
  63. Set up the automatic texting system with Salesforce, Zapier, and Zendesk to text people when they apply and when their application status changes.
  64. Automating things at Praxis like deliverable notifications, check-ins, Bonjoro tasks, and curriculum tracking.
  65. Ignoring 99% of the news in favor of books and podcasts.
  66. Made the Praxis network map.
  67. Made the Praxis Talent and Opportunities portals.
  68. Listening to my favorite wind chimes on the back porch at my parents’ house.
  69. Chatting with Grandma in her Sun Room.
  70. Talking through situations with coworkers where we had strong disagreement and quickly resolving them by explaining our reasoning. Everyone I work with is very reasonable, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
  71. Amanda and I coaching her brother through the career change and job finding process.
  72. Figuring out how to thaw a frozen windshield washer fluid line during a road trip.
  73. More deliberately taking advantage of inspiration when it strikes, but also not waiting for inspiration to make progress on work.
  74. Cryptocurrency taking off in a massive way.
  75. Coming together as a team to handle curveballs and setbacks, and subsequently growing from that.
  76. Taking a stand against ad tracking by discontinuing use of Google Analytics, Disqus, and email open tracking. I also block trackers in my email clients and browsers.
  77. Taking more time to notice the beauty of the Hudson River and the Palisades.
  78. Watching the snow.
  79. Learning to ask myself, “Is this a drop everything problem?” And setting appropriate priority from there.
  80. Shifting my mindset from fulfilling contractual agreements to providing as much value as possible.
  81. Starting the shift from being at the beginning of my career and jumping in on everything I can to saying no and prioritizing.
  82. Making a dedicated effort to question my own assumptions and take note of when I fall prey to fallacies and illusions.
  83. Hiring my first trainer to align incentives and get my physical fitness in order.
  84. Realizing that instead of driving people toward a certain decision, it is best to lay out the costs and benefits as you see them, have a discussion about them, and have the person reach their own conclusion. Personal buy-in is key.
  85. Deciding to go all-in on personal responsibility and rejecting political solutions and shifting responsibilities to others.
  86. Starting breathing routines.
  87. Using Exist.io to pull in and correlate my activity data and track my mood, and checking in with myself midday to ask, “what can I do to make today better?”
  88. Realizing that how you approach problems mentally is more important than the mechanics solving them.
  89. Learning about Claude Shannon.
  90. Realizing that there is a strong connection between your physiological state and your mental state and making physiological changes accordingly.
  91. Visiting Uncle Bernie before he passed away unexpectedly.
  92. Stretching more.
  93. Giving lots of gifts to friends and family.
  94. Upgrading my camera from a 40D to a full frame 6D Mark II.
  95. Finding a fantastic used 24-70mm f/2.8 L series lens.
  96. Selling a bunch of stuff we weren’t using on eBay.
  97. Meeting a friend to eat our way around Flushing, Queens. Fantastic dumplings and an incredible tea tasting.
  98. Touring FDR’s homestead, the Vanderbilt mansion, and Staatsburg.
  99. Walking across the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie.
  100. Going to see the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival for the 6th year in a row.

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