101 Best of 2022

A year can seem like a chapter in a story of your life. Work can often feel busy and consuming. We all walked through years of the COVID pandemic, and another year of Zoom calls; I was sure there was more to this chapter in my life. Looking through my journals, pictures, and calendar from the year inspired a huge sense of gratitude for the life I have. Here are the best of 2022 (with links in case you want to try any of these for yourself this year).

  1. 2021 end-of-year review and processing with Terry. (Making a mind map of monthly highlights in family/fun, work, and well-being). Talking about our observations, lessons, and takeaways from the year.
  2. The 9th year of meeting with a group of men. It has been a safe community for learning, growing, sharing, and praying for one another. This year we discussed the book, Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund.
  3. Investing in Boundaries.me courses with Henry Cloud. I liked the assessment at the beginning to help tailor my learning to my specific needs.
  4. Getting Learning Management System (LMS) training for designing online courses for our organization. Working with my wife to help develop courses on Global Mindsets and Behaviors: Crucial Conversations, Working in Networks, Empowering Others, and Intercultural Leadership.
  5. Writing out “101 Things” my wife and I wanted to do in 2022 and talking about our dreams, hopes, and goals for the year, and doing many of them.
  6. Engaging with my team in the 5 Voices Bootcamp from GiANT with my friend of 40+ years, Tom Nebel. Take the powerful 5 Voices Assessment for free at https://giant.tv/5voices/leadersrising
  7. Being part of the VP Global Leadership Development and Human Resources team for the past ten years with a great boss and incredible teammates.
  8. Learning and participating in Immunity to Change (ITC) developmental sprints with many of my teammates. ITC is a peer-based coaching cohort aimed at understanding the underlying assumptions that block our growth and change. Mind Tools has a good explanation of the process of how to overcome the immunity to change in ourselves and our organizations.
  9. Taking the new Birkman inventory and seeing how I have grown in vital areas over the past 20 years. The Birkman Method reveals four key perspectives of every person: Motivation, Self-Perception, Social Perception, and Mindset. In understanding these perceptions and how they influence each other, individuals can better understand the emotions and actions that drive their life.
  10. Practicing the Wheel of Awareness with Adam Young. Based on work done by Daniel Siegel. Wheel of Awareness recording. It seems a little “out there,” but every time I have slowed down to be more mindful, I have learned new things or gained new insights about my life. Try it out on a walk.
  11. Toe Correctors and toe yoga: My physical therapist recommended these to strengthen my feet. It gives me a broader toe base for running.
  12. Good Earth Sweet and Spicy tea. I just love the taste.
  13. Visit from my sister and her husband from Wisconsin, and hiking in the Econ River Wilderness.
  14. Kayaking in Silver Springs. A 5.4 mile, four-hour, easy, with-the-current kayaking adventure to see manatees, fish, gators, and the usual fare of Florida birds and monkeys on the shoreline trees. The most transparent water I have seen. This is our favorite.
  15. Taking visitors to Orlando Wetlands Park near Christmas, FL. We biked around the lakes and enjoyed leisurely walks. Check out their Instagram page to see the wildlife and natural beauty you will encounter.
  16. Best new restaurant in Orlando: The Tamale Company on Curry Ford. Rated # 1 on Yelp.
  17. Getting to see friends I have had for 40+ years: John Dickerman (MN) in Orlando, Tom Nebel (WI), Tegan Blackbird (PA), Tom McElroy (IN), and Rod and Sandy Akins (CA).
  18. Learning to make BBQ Cauliflower Wings
  19. Airbnb in Largo, FL (near Tampa) and bike riding weekend on Honeymoon Island and Pinellas Trail with friends.
  20. Our team F2F. We are distributed team from the UK, Sacramento, CA, and Orlando.
  21. Driving to Groveland, FL, to Green Isle Gardens to buy Florida native plants. Then, planting them in our garden.
  22. Getting an adjustable, electric standing desk. It has really helped my back. I got this one on Amazon.
  23. Walking the beach shoreline with my wife at the Canaveral National Seashore all the way to the end to the edge of NASA property. 
  24. Celebrating my son John’s 30th birthday in Orlando with all our kids. 
  25. Bike rides at Hal Scott Preserve, Little Big Econ and the Ditch of Doom, and the trails of the Tosahatchee Wildlife Management Area
  26. Getting Specialized Rockhopper bikes and going mountain biking at Santos Trail and down the Sink Hole
  27. Shingle Creek Kayaking. Easy beginners kayaking in Orlando. We always rent from The Paddling Center; they have accommodating staff.
  28. Discovering Purple Ocean Superfood Bar. The Survivor Acai bowl and the Selva burger.
  29. Propagating and growing milkweed for Monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. Watching the caterpillars devour the plants, crawl off to make a chrysalis, and emerge a Monarch. The Monarch butterfly’s metamorphosis is violent and beautiful. We have seen this on our back patio 250 times in the past three years!
  30. Urban gardening on our back patio was another hobby we started during COVID. The past year, we have harvested cherry tomatoes, green, yellow, and red peppers, and a host of herbs, including basil, Italian oregano, rosemary, culantro, chives, and more. It is an experience like no other to go out on the back patio on cut-off fresh vegetables and herbs for a meal.
  31. Donating blood.
  32. My daughter getting a house.
  33. A long weekend in Atlanta for the Johnnyswim concert. 
  34. Visiting the Atlanta Zoo and seeing the pandas! Watch them live on the Panda Cam, but better to see them in person. We discovered that ATL Tiny Doors are a thing. The Atlanta Beltline and the Ponce City Market are fantastic places to hang out and enjoy city life. Krog Street Market has Jeni’s Ice Cream
  35. Seeing the difference between Empathetic vs. Dismissive Listening.This is a good graphic on the differences.
  36. Deciding to write a mini-novel trilogy and finally owning that I have a voice. Taking a course on Udemy on How to Write a Best Selling Novel. Hopefully, a finished book will be a highlight for 2023.
  37. Vacation to visit aunts in New Jersey and a cousin in Carolina Shores, NC. Travels took us through many new states on the east coast. We crossed the 17-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. There are freaky parts of the road that go underwater. We also rode the ferry with our car from Lewes, DE, to Cape May, NJ.
  38. Vacation in Lancaster County, PA. We enjoyed bike riding at Valley Forge, PA, on the way, and the River Trail near Columbia along the Susquehanna River. Dutch Country Hand-Rolled, Soft Pretzels in Mt. Joy, PA, are seriously the best pretzels ever. Pennsylvania is home to 80% of the nation’s pretzel production. We visited Longwood Gardens while in PA. Beautiful!
  39. Taking the Amtrak auto train from Lorton, VA, to Sanford, FL. This is an excellent option to park the car on a train and ride overnight to Orlando.
  40. The courage to go to counseling and own my issues has helped me become a more loving and present person. Still growing. Encouraged by a GiANT tool called “Know Yourself to Lead Yourself.” According to Adam Young, understanding our story is more important than we think. It has been insightful to understand how the manager and firefighter try to protect the exile. Boundaries for the Soul has a short description of this.
  41. Richard Rohr, quoted by my friend Dan: “Pain not transformed in pain transmitted.”
  42. Terry and I listened to a sobering podcast on “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.” on the impact of leaders, good and bad.
  43. Road trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Yes, you read that right. The internet says Milwaukee is a great place to visit, and we agree. We enjoyed the River Walk, Museums, Lake Michigan, and the eats. We were there for our biennial Cru conference and were pleasantly surprised by the city. I was born a few blocks from the Wisconsin Center District at Mt Sinai Hospital. 
  44. Seeing the house in Greendale, where I lived the first few years of my life. It was healing, and I felt proud of my parents.
  45. We bought the Leu Gardens annual pass, which has a reciprocal, free entrance to 300+ botanical gardens, conservatories, and arboretums throughout the U.S. We used our pass to visit Boerner Gardens in Hales Corners.
  46. Norske Nook has award-winning pies. They are the best. We bought two pies and showed up to my family get-together at the cabin. Huge win! You get a $6 credit when you bring the pie tin back, so we had to stop and buy more bakery goods for the trip home. They never made it to the Illinois border.
  47. Swimming in the Axhandle Lake and Long Lake, pontoon rides, fishing with my brother, fish fries, bike rides, walks, and hanging out with family at our cabin. 
  48. Celebrating our 37th Anniversary with a tour of the Leinie Lodge in Chippewa Falls and a Sweet Potato burger at the Blue Marble Pub.
  49. Picking blueberries at Michael’s Farm in Colfax with my sister. Terry and my sister made jars of blueberry jam that we are still eating in 2023. 
  50. Stopping at Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery for fresh cheese curds.
  51. Biking the Red Cedar River rail trail in Menomonie. Ending up at Lucette’s Brewing Company with my family for pizza.
  52. Road trip back to Orlando from Wisconsin. We stopped in the college town of Normal, IL, and biked the Constitution Trail, Nashville, TN, for the Grand Ole Opry. Favorite meal: Biscuit Love.
  53. Watching The Chosen. I love how Jesus treats people, especially the broken or suffering. I love the face of compassion of Jesus toward the man who had been lame for 38 years at the pool of Bethesda. Watch the clip.
  54. I was inspired by top-rated motivational speaker Ben Nemtin to live out our bucket-list life. Too many of our dreams get buried in day-to-day life, so he asked, What do you want to do before you die? I renewed my certification as an SHRM-Senior Certified Professional by attending the Florida SHRM Conference, where he spoke.
  55. We started the Listening Project on our team. Our goal is simply to listen and learn from national leaders in our company worldwide. Leaders comment they feel seen and valued, and we are learning about what is going well and what challenges they are facing.
  56. Terry and I were privileged to lead a development day for our headquarters interns. We taught the Myers Briggs Types to help them understand themselves, how to stay healthy, and how to recognize their stressors. They also learned to work better together, understand their differences, and put their learning into practice at an Escape Room exercise.
  57. We visited the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Terry’s father retired as Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and flew search and rescue. He flew his USAF Kaman HH-43 Huskie helicopter on the last mission to the museum. “These things we do…so that others may live.”
  58. Working on courses aimed at behaviors and mindsets. Free for anyone, Empowering Others, Working in Networks, and Crucial Conversations are completed and translated into major languages. Intercultural Leadership is coming soon.
  59. Climbed the WWII Lookout Tower at Cape May, NJ.
  60. Drove the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It is 17 miles of the bridge that occasionally goes underwater. Tried not to think about that part.
  61. Rode the Lewes, DE, to Cape May, NJ, Ferry with our car.
  62. Amtrak has one auto train in the U.S., and it travels overnight between Lorton, VA (near Wahington, DC) to Sanborn, FL (near Orlando). We tried it out on our return from the Northeast. We would do that again. Nice to be able to sleep on the train and have your car when you arrive.
  63. I started going to a Pilates class at the suggestion of my executive coach. Joseph Pilates created these exercises to help WWI wounded soldiers rehab by building core strength. I have had great relief from my lower back pain.
  64. I initiated a 360 Lite Review. Many friends and colleagues contributed anonymous feedback on my strengths and areas for development. I felt very known and loved by the thoughtful and actionable feedback session with a trusted friend. As with many of our resources, they are available for you to use. Visit Global 360 to start your review.
  65. Training and competing in the Great Floridian Triathlon along with my coach and friend, Rob Reynolds. Being supported and cheered on by Terry and Esther.
  66. Getting the Garmin 945 watch. It has been a game-changer for health and training feedback.
  67. I helped the Leadership Development and Human Resource leader for Africa study for her SHRM certification exam. I loved refreshing my learning and helping her pass her exam and become a certified professional.
  68. We spent another year composting with O-Town Compost. We have already been recycling for some time, and the combination has reduced our weekly trash going to landfills to almost nothing.
  69. We made shelves for our plants with IKEA bed slats and other recycled wood we found on the curb in our neighborhood.
  70. We found some fantastic deals on bike accessories at the Orange Cycle garage sale. We have also gotten several of our bicycles from them. Highly recommend them and their staff.
  71. Running the Blueberry 5K race with my daughter, Esther, in Clermont, FL. Free blueberry pancakes and U-Pick a pint of blueberries to take home.
  72. Alec Benjamin’s concert at the House of Blues in Orlando with Terry and Esther.
  73. Getting to experiment with my creative side and bring a creative lift to our team. A comic strip may be coming soon.
  74. Visiting the Stetson Mansion (Yes, the hat guy!) decorated for Christmas. We have wanted to see this for many years. It was spectacular.
  75. Fixing our dishwasher. This was a big deal because I never learned mechanical/electrical repairs as I grew up. I went up the diagnostic tree and found I needed to replace the User Interface Control Board. Thanks, YouTube.
  76. Favorite books: Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund, Sage: A Man’s Guide into His Second Passage by Chris Bruno, From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks, The Other Half of Church: Christian Community, Brain Science, and Overcoming Spiritual Stagnation by Jim Wilder, The Soul of Desire: Discovering the Neuroscience of Longing, Beauty, and Community by Curt Thompson, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. 
  77. Favorite Saturday activity: Getting herb and cheese scones at Buttermilk Bakery, vanilla latte with oat milk at Foxtail Coffee, and visiting the Heavy plant store.
  78. Getting a new laptop. My previous one lasted almost six years.
  79. Having a face-to-face Position Focus conversation on my critical work objectives and Professional Development Plan for the year. So great to get clarity on work and life.
  80. Rock Springs at Kelly Park with John and Julie Ellis.
  81. Taking a winter herbs and vegetable gardening class with Robert Bowden, author of Florida Fruit and Vegetable Gardening and former director of Leu Gardens for 30 years.
  82. Eastside Bistro in Avalon Park on Tuesday nights with friends and family.
  83. My 63rd Birthday. Being celebrated by Terry and my kids, and many colleagues for lunch and dinner. Terry surprised me with Monoculars for our nature and wildlife viewing.
  84. Retaking the updated Birkman assessment. I took the previous version over 20 years ago. It was insightful to see areas I have changed or gained more clarity on how I am wired.
  85. My first visit to Buc-ees, and “getting more smiles for my miles.” I may have bought some fudge.
  86. Leading a lesson on Stewarding Your Personal Growth on being a lifelong learner with new staff at our headquarters.
  87. Listening to Adam Young’s podcast four-part series on How to Engage Other’s Stories.
  88. Hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail from Grayson Highlands with Terry and Alice. I accompanied Terry to High Point, NC, for her to speak at a women’s retreat. I discovered Custom 83 Coffee and worked there for the day.
  89. Visiting Old Salem, a historic town telling the stories of people, including Moravian, Black, and Indigenous peoples, in the American South.
  90. Writing a blog, Getting the Most Out of Assessments.
  91. Writing a blog, Keep Learning, on what I learned from studying for professional certification.
  92. Contributing to the LMS course for training Leadership Development and Human Resources (LDHR) leader: Your First 100 Days in LDHR
  93. Getting Physical Therapy for tendonitis in my Achilles and beginning to run again.
  94. Dinner with my friend Tom Nebel with GiANT and learning three self-preservation questions: What am I afraid of losing? What am I trying to hide? What am I trying to prove? And to whom?
  95. Coaching sessions with Dr. Ray Wheeler. Ray, an author and friend, was one of our favorite teachers in our Masters in Global Leadership program eleven years ago.
  96. Coaching with Steve Caldwell every two weeks. He is the author of several books, including B4 Worldview, and blogs at http://profoncall.blogspot.com/.
  97. Zoom calls with my siblings.
  98. Going back to the chiropractor to begin getting relief from back pain.
  99. Family Christmas in Saint Augustine. Each person was in charge of a meal and an activity.
  100. Having a lifetime pass to U.S. National Parks now that I am over 62 and using the pass at the Fort in Saint Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos.
  1. Bonus: Discovering Austin Kleon’s blog. Austin is a creative blogger and author of Steal Like an Artist, and his blog, “100 things that made my year (2022),” inspired my post.

3 thoughts on “101 Best of 2022

Add yours

  1. Holy monkeys! My friend, you’ve been busy! And so much of it is real, hard work! The places you went to and the things you accomplished–awe-inspiring, to say the least. I’ve missed hearing from you and your wife, but I see now you had no time! Some of these I’d really like to sit down and talk to you about. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably and thoroughly!

    1. Thanks, Dayle. One can start to think life is all work. After reading through my journals for the year and looking at the calendar and pictures, I felt a huge sense of gratitude..like, “who gets to live this kind of life?” It was a perspective changer that made me feel so grateful for my life. Yes, let’s grab coffee at the office and have a convo. I am curious about what items you want to chat about.

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