Trees and Robots

by Jacopo Scazzosi

2022 yearly theme: Intentional Heartbeats

Happy 2022! Just as I’ve done for 2020 and 2021, in this post I review the past year through the lens of my 2021 yearly theme and discuss my new theme for 2022. Never heard of a yearly theme? Episodes #95 and #110 of the Cortex podcast will blow your mind.

My yearly theme for 2021 was Limited Heartbeats, a theme through which I wanted to orient my choices towards a better work/life balance (better allocation of heartbeats) and a more healthy lifestyle (more efficient use of heartbeats).

How did I do? Quite badly, in a good way.

2021 turned out to be a truly wild year, both personally and professionally, with lots of unforeseen changes and chances.

In the background, the third and fourth waves of COVID-19 infections and the advent of the Delta and Omicron variants significantly impacted our collective ability to plan, travel and coordinate. At times, it felt like life was unfolding upon ever shifting dunes of sand.

Professionally, my business partners and I decided to part ways and shut down the company. I should have seen this coming, in retrospect, as by the beginning of 2021 we had clearly grown too far apart in our approaches to running a business and the conflict had been dangerously edging towards poisoning the workplace. Hindsight, however, is always 20/20. Letting go of something in which I had put so much of myself has been one of the most emotionally draining things I have ever done. On the positive side, I am very proud of the degree to which we supported those who worked with us, clients and employees alike, during this transition. I was particularly pleased to see our employees moving ahead in their careers, with increases in both salaries and responsibilities. We had made it a point to make our company a place of personal and professional growth and we succeeded in doing so. Everyone is in a better place, now, and I have no regrets. New year, new company, new adventures.

Personally, I lost a dear family member, bought a house with my partner, got engaged to said partner and started both renovating the house and planning the wedding. Overall, a truly joyous year of shared growth and deeper commitment to my wonderful half, laying the foundations (literally and metaphorically) for the years to come while having great fun doing so.

Somewhat surprisingly, I got to the end of 2022 feeling as happy, alive and satisfied with myself as I have ever felt, although I am also particularly tired. I can feel that I am not the same as I was at the end of 2021, perhaps having grown into a superset of who I was. The feeling of growth is a wonderful feeling, and not one I get every year that goes by.

When it comes to balancing my professional life with my personal one, improvements in the reliability of my estimates and in my interpersonal skills resulted in significantly more days of regular working hours. However, the combination of all of the above truly overwhelmed my ability to schedule and prioritize my non-working life, to the point that I eventually surrendered myself to the current, doing my best at keeping the boat upright and afloat. In turn, this led to yet another year of little to no exercise and hobbies.

As last year’s theme still feels very relevant to this year’s me due to the limited success I had with it, my theme for 2022 is both a continuation and a specialization of that of 2021: “Limited Heartbeats” becomes “Intentional Heartbeats”, orienting my choices towards a better work/life balance and a higher degree of intentionality in how I spend my time outside of work. Grabbing a hold of the runaway rudder, steering the boat towards calmer waters.

Plus, I really need to work on my fitness, which would have dropped to an all-time low if it weren’t for the daily walks and playtime with our canine companion.

How will I do? See you in 2023!

PS: a big shout-out to my lovely future wife for distilling my thoughts into such a wonderful theme.