It’s time once again to look back on the things that made the days, weeks, and months on my calendar memorable this year. And what a year it was.
Let’s dive in.
As we rolled into 2022, I found myself neck-deep in behind-the-scenes planning to announce Akamai’s nearly billion dollar acquisition of Linode, where I served the past three years as global head of communications. It was exhilarating and exhausting. When the deal closed in March, I joined Akamai to lead communications for the company’s cloud and developer initiatives.
The announcement workload subsided once the deal was done. It was instantly replaced with a flood of transition and on-boarding work with the new company. It was a lot. A lot of work. A lot of challenge and opportunity. A lot of fun. But, still, a lot.
I needed a break. So I packed my carry-on and duffle bag and took flight on a three week exploration of southern Italy with my family. Because it’s not just the work part of our life that needs recharging. The commitment to doing and being the best we can be at the thing that pays us to do it requires harmonization with the commitment to be the best we can be at the thing that pays more than money ever could.
Off to Italy we went, spending the better part of July roaming around Rome, the Amalfi Coast, Naples, and Sicily. We walked amongst Roman ruins; viewed incredible artwork; jumped off a pier with locals to swim in the Tyrrhenian Sea; experienced Taormina and Cefalu before “The White Lotus” made them the next must-see destinations; watched steam rise from an active volcano; shopped and ate our way through local markets; and pushed the limits of human caloric capacity by ingesting copious amounts of pasta, mozzarella, octopus, arancini, cannoli, gelato, wine, and Aperol.
Early in the pandemic, we subscribed to the Kimmel Cultural Campus Broadway Series. 2022 was our second year as members, allowing us to see a great slate of performances: Rent, Hadestown, Beautiful, Les Miserables, and Tina.
We also caught the Piano Man playing one of his sold-out monthly residence nights at Madison Square Garden. On paper, Billy Joel is getting up there in age; on stage, he’s still an energetic young man at the top of his game.
Not to be outperformed by Mr. Joel, my friend Brian and I went live with the first episode of a new YouTube series we’ve dubbed “Bald Guys on Bikes” where we shine a light on the people who make the wheels of the bike industry go ‘round.
We participated in democracy, joining others (including a future governor) in our small town to fight for basic human rights.
We took time to celebrate events big and small throughout the year: a friend kicking cancer’s ass, a college graduation, an 80th birthday, and my dad finally succumbing to his aversion of modern devices and buying a new iPhone (though mostly for the camera).
To cap the year off, we — together with a few close friends — adopted a barrel of grapes from the Yakima Valley and had the privilege of bottling our own wine.
And what’s a year in review without a few recommendations based on movies, books, songs, and television I discovered in 2022. Here are my picks for the best of the best this year:
- The Phantom of the Open
- Top Gun: Maverick
- A League of Their Own
- Abbott Elementary
- The Bear
- Our Flag Means Death
- “Billy Summers” (Stephen King)
- “Only the Strong Survive” (Bruce Springsteen)
Lastly, a look at a few of my favorite images I created with my camera in 2022 (click the images to see them full size):