I Am Joe’s Blog:

December 31, 2012 • 7:00 PM

What I Did in 2012

After breakfast today, I sat down to start writing my annual “what I did this year” blog post. (See earlier posts from 2011, 2010, and 2009.) This has become a sort of healing ritual for me, a way of mentally moving from “Wow, I feel like I set yet another record for underachievement last year” to “OK, actually I guess I did kind of all right, despite the huge number of undone things on my to-do list.” But my heart wasn’t in it, because one big accomplishment I’d hoped dearly to be able to report on hadn’t happened yet.

Then I went for a walk with Morgen and Soren, and while we were out, I got a phone call telling me that finally, after weeks of agonizing delays and bizarre snags, we’re closing on our new house in San Diego today. By the slimmest of margins, I will end 2012 as a homeowner for the first time ever! (Mad props to Jeremy and Jesse at The GreenHouse Group!) And that sort of changes my outlook and attitude as I ponder the rest of what did, and didn’t, happen in the past year.

Buying a house, especially a first house, is an enormous undertaking for just about anyone. For me, it was even more complicated—partly because I’m self-employed, and partly because I did most of the process while still living in Paris, nine time zones away. I could tell you the whole long story, but it would be boring. Suffice it to say it was a massive project that sucked up most of my time, attention, money, and (occasionally) will to live for the last couple of months. It kept me from my regular work, from my family, and from sleep. But now, as of today, it is DONE.

At midnight we’ll celebrate the start of the new year and of homeownership by drinking sparkling California white wine—a rare treat for us, because all you can find in France is Champagne ;-). We will also eat our favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream (something else you can’t find in France). And we will wake up to a gigantic pile of projects that we can now attack with renewed vigor and without the distractions that have plagued us for so long.

With that preface out of the way, I can now offer, with much less sadness, the list of things (virtuous and otherwise) I remember accomplishing in 2012:

This year featured a significant increase in speaking engagements, both in person and via video:

I also spent quite a bit of time doing non-work-related stuff:

That’s about it. Now, if you think this list is long, you should see the things I intended to do but didn’t! That is one serious list, which of course now rolls over into 2013. Oh, the places I meant to go, the things I meant to see, the books I meant to write (and read)! Well, I appear to have fewer excuses in the year ahead, but you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice.

Happy New Year!


  1. December 31st, 2013 | 8:30 pm

    […] over unfinished projects and unfulfilled ambitions, prompting me to catalog everything I did in 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009—just to prove to myself that those years were more productive than […]

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