2022 in review
I think I'll reflect on 2022 as a defining year in my life. Not because of any major singular key moments but because of an ultimate mindset shift. At Major Digital - the agency I'm a director at - we've lacked clarity about "why" we do what we do for years - we're extremely good at what we do, but we lacked that purpose, that vision.
In 2022, after much effort, that crystalised perfectly - in the belief of better. What was so personally defining is that, unknowingly, it fully aligns with my own why - to make things better; I even wrote about it back in 2020.
It has focused how I want to approach my life.
This post is my review of the year. An opportunity for self-reflection and future record.
Although not a "project", my agency is such a fundamental part of my life it feels sensible to put it here. As previously mentioned, 2022 was a year of clarity for us and while the first half of the year was somewhat trying, the second half was transformative for our culture and what we stand for.
Monday Night Football
There's more in a bit about my stats for the year, but this year saw a complete overhaul of the MNF stats website that I work on with my good friend, Sam. The previous version was built on React and was rendering everything client-side, yuck. The latest version was rewritten from the ground up in NextJS with SSG (Static Site Generation) and TypeScript. I optimised and improved all of the data loading and manipulation, added a range of new features and essentially set it up for easier future development - of which there is plenty planned.
After essentially rebuilding my site back in the first lockdown in 2020, it's taken me until late 2022 to regain the desire and drive to get it ready to go live. I ended up rebuilding it again and got it in a state that I'm happy for it to go live. There's lots more I want to do, but I'm unsure when I'll get them ready so I wanted avoid "perfect being the enemy of good".
I worked plenty on a baseline starter project for both NextJS and Gatsby in 2022, but it isn't yet finished.
Sport and fitness
My fitness largely falls into two categories: football and the gym.
For the former, we have our Monday Night Football site, which we use to track and log attendance, teams, and goals - which is now in its 8th year. This makes it easy for me to know that I played 40 out of a possible 47 games in 2022. Of those 7 games missed, all were through injury or illness. It's my highest total in 3 years, but that's largely down to Covid impacting the number of games we'd been able to play in 2020 and 2021.
In addition to these games, I also played in three 11-a-side games which is more than usual (doing one a year is typically good going).
My aim is to attend the gym (I go to 'Intent' which is a semi-private PT gym) once a week (in addition to football weekly) but that can sadly get impacted either by injury, illness or availability. Since Intent have opened up a new location far closer to me, the availability aspect should be easier. In 2022 I made 30 visits which is far below what I'd like to achieve. With a second baby on the way, that will inevitably impact my availability, especially for the first few months, but I'd like to try to target 40+ as a bare minimum for 2023.
TV & movies
High-quality TV shows are the norm these days and, despite always feeling as though there's a few I've missed (I see you House of Dragons and Severance this year), there's been some exceptional TV. My highlights are:
- Wednesday: Season 1 (Netflix)
- Andor: Season 1 (Disney+)
- The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power: Season 1 (Amazon Prime)
- She-Hulk: Season 1 (Disney+)
- Stanger Things: Season 4 (Netflix)
- The Boys: Season 3 (Amazon Prime)
- After Life: Season 3 (Netflix)
- Arcane: Season 1 (Netflix) - released in 2021 but I only watched it this year
- The Umbrella Academy: Season 3 (Netlfix)
- Peaky Blinders: Season 6 (BBC)
On the movie front, with our cinema visits considerably down both pre-pandemic but also pre-child, it's selective viewing at the big screen these days. That said, I made it 7 times in 2022, with my highlights being:
- Avatar: The Way of Water
- Top Gun: Maverick
- The Batman
Other than movies at the cinema, other highlights watched this year include:
- Glass Onion
- Everything Everywhere All At Once
It was a quieter year than most for me on the videogame front due to two factors. Firstly, the games I did play were typically quite long and, secondly, between other mediums, family life and desire, there's only so much available time. However, this year did see some excellent releases, of which, my highlights are:
- God of War: Ragnorok
- The Last of Us: Part I
- Horizon: Forbidden West
This year was no different than previous years, I remain an avid Podcast listener. I certainly expanded my podcast library this year, adding a few new programmes to my usual rotation.
Pocketcasts is my podcasts app of choice. Delightfully, they do a "Year in review" summary which showcased that I spent 21 days 9 hours listening this year (with most of that being sports based at 18 days 5 hours). There are a lot of podcast-style shows that I watch/listen to on YouTube but I've currently got no easy way to aggregate that data.
I'm not an avid reader. Aside from the occasional book here and there I've read a handful in the past decade. However, this year I finally got into audiobooks in September and have read 5 books since then (easily more than the last 5 years combined). My highlights are:
- Starts with Why by Simon Sinek
- High Performance by Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes
All of my "chosen" music is streamed through Spotify (I have no way to track my radio listening habits), and thankfully Spotify do all the heavy lifting with their yearly "Wrapped" service. My highlights for the year are:
- Coheed and Cambria (due to their new album)
- Enter Shikari (probably my favourite band)
- Bo Burnham (his album 'Inside' is a regular listen)
- 19,281 minutes
- 321.35 hours
- 13.4 days
Aside from these more easier to track and compartmentalise, I continued seeing my son complete his third full year of life - I cannot overstate how affirming and joyous I find being a dad. So the news of a second on the way (due Feb 2023) is both exciting and daunting.
I haven't set any New Year's resolutions for a long, long time, and this year is no different. However. I aim to make things better everyday. Thus truly living to both my new mantra and the essence of Major.