Venice Beach, CA

While this has been a profound year for all of us in ways I’d be silly to try to summarize (cue: Captain Obvious), it’s been a profound year for me personally, for reasons that both have nothing and everything to do with the macro changes we’re all experiencing.

Before sharing, I want to fully own as clearly as I can for those that don’t know me how much I live a life of privilege. I’m an adult white male born in the USA, I have access to just about anything I want, and I live a comfortable lifestyle with more disposable income than I need.

Further, I’m writing this with complete awareness of and compassion for the sheer devastation and loss so many of us have been experiencing. So, it is perhaps an insensitive and risky move for me to ‘brag’ about how many good things have come my way this year. However, this gratitude share is part of a value system I hold dearly, and in my humble opinion, not sharing this out of fear of appearing boastful to strangers would be a true shame.

Here’s a quick summary of my 2020 experience, for all two of you that are interested:

  • I got married to my best friend and the strongest partner I could ask for
  • I started a dream job that was a moonshot a few short years ago, at a salary I used to think was not possible for me
  • (Thanks to my wife) I now own a beginner’s surf board and have evolved into a post-novice, pre-beginner level of surf mastery
  • I helped facilitate my mom walking into a wonderful rehab and she’s now safer and healthier than my family and I could have hoped for at the start of the year
  • I hiked 3 (more) national parks with my wife (and saw 3 bears)
  • I said goodbye to my Nana, finding a deeper sense of appreciation for her impact on my life than I realized I had
  • I’ve gained a beautiful baby niece (thanks to my amazing sister-in-law)
  • I’ve continued to build community with both old and new friends, using creative combinations of virtual and physical solutions, allowing me to both heavily rely on and be heavily relied on incredible people
  • I have averaged about 8 hours of sleep per night for the year, with the best sleep hygiene I’ve ever had in my life
  • I finished my Invisalign treatment and have a healthier bite than ever
  • I’ve deepened my meditation practice, finding more capacity for embracing all of life with an open heart and sense of wonder
  • I’ve increased my commitment to healthy intake with mostly plant based whole foods (other than the sweets that I can’t not eat sometimes), and zero social media (other than LinkedIn!)
  • I’ve had the pleasure to receive mind-blowing good news stories helping to frame my optimistic outlook (without putting my head in the sand)
  • I’ve continued my fitness journey with an incredible group of like-minded athletes, and PR’d my front squat
  • I’ve watched my resting heart rate settle into an all time low
  • I’ve watched countless sunrises and sunsets from the pacific shoreline (in water and on sand)
  • I’ve watched my wife slay the GRE and her grad school applications
  • I’ve continued to build financial security and prosperity for my future family
  • I’ve listened to people with more curiosity and am continuing to develop skills needed to meet people where they are (rather than struggle with where I want them to be)
  • I’ve had ample down time with my wife as we continue to deepen and strengthen our bubble
  • I’ve sold her on the idea of GETTING A DOG!!!!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this inspires an (ever so tiny) wave of gratitude and appreciation for the good things that come into our lives every day (even when painful things happen too).