2019 Year in Review

Social media seems to force us to post about our 2020 New Year's resolutions and how this next decade is going to be different than the last.While I fully support personal growth, development, and prospective thinking, it's important to reflect on the past twelve months and highlight all of the amazing experiences (positive and negative) I've had. I feel it's even more important to do this before setting goals for the year/decade ahead because we're so quick to focus on our imperfections and areas we'd like to improve rather than identifying what's already awesome.

2019 was a big year for me. I don't always believe in making massive change when you want to change your life; usually a small steps approach is more practical and easier to sustain, but in the case of 2019, I had a combination of massive moves and micro-experiences which added up to a very fulfilling 365 days.

The year included lots of time with family, plenty of travel, some new experiences with friends, traveling abroad, gaining new friends, weddings, funerals, and plenty of fun.

Noteworthy items

  • Moved to New York City - new city, country, neighbourhood and job; my third time moving across the 49th parallel

  • Started a completely new career at age 33

  • Closed a business that I deeply cared about

  • Went from seeing my nephew Finn 3-5 times per week to 3-5 times per month

  • Realized the benefit of being geographically close to some amazing friends who I'd been separated from for a while: Dominic, Jen, and Dave

  • Honoured to speak at the funeral of my “second mum” which was challenging but unforgettable

  • Was forced to be truly independent - find a place, live on my own without anyone in the city to fall back upon

  • Stopped doing math on a daily basis - this should change in 2020

  • Visited Portugal with my brother-in-law

  • Going through my 2019 camera roll tells me I travelled to (or at least took pictures in): Winnipeg, Toronto, New York, Palm Springs, Minneapolis, Austin, Atlanta, Denver, Virginia Beach, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Birmingham, Salt Lake City, Vancouver, Connecticut, Kenora, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Lisbon, Phoenix,

  • Attended my first NFL game as the Patriots crushed the Jets at MetLife stadium in Jersey

  • Attended the US Open Tennis with my dad in Queens, NY

  • Had many visitors and had up to three people sleep over at once in my ~500 sqft apartment

  • Proved that you can still meet new people and create brand new close friendships in your 30s

2019 in Numbers

  • 62 flight segments

  • 92 nights in hotels

  • 20 cities, 16 states, 2 provinces, 3 countries visited - work, travel, or conference

  • 7 - completed my seventh full marathon on my 17th trip to Las Vegas

  • 7 - number of years we ran Arnold Tutoring non-stop before closing in 2019

A Few Things I’ve Learned from 2019

  1. Family is always worth the cost/time/grind

  2. If you want something, decide quickly and make moves to make it happen; waffling is a waste of time

  3. There’s no substitute for being well rested

  4. You may as well go to the gym. The time is going to pass anyway and you can’t get that time or chance back. Tie up your shoes and you’ve already won.

  5. Breathing deeply is much more rewarding than scrolling Instagram

  6. This blog has been a cool way to stay in touch with people

  7. Life is way better when you take a glass half-full approach to as many situations as possible

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

Mike