2022 Yearly Review

Photo of a Rollercoaster staircase to symbolize 2022 in review

People frequently hear me refer to 2022 as the rollercoaster year, and for good reason in 2022. While a good amount of my life is driven by technology, there are a TON of personal hustles, side hustles, and life in general that honestly have given me a number of interruptions and reminders along with a fair amount of stressors. Sure, life is too short to not take advantage of every opportunity within your boundaries and reason. But you must find balance in life, in your career, and in your community.

In the past, I found it far too easy to just focus on all of the good things. Let’s be honest with ourselves – that only paints half of the picture of a full year of experiences. With that said, here are some of the good, the bad, and the indifferent events that gave a rollercoaster 2022 while helping prepare me and my family for a wildly interesting 2023!

  • January
    • Built a giant Lego Iron Man set for my desk background
    • Continued mentoring son’s FIRST FTC team 6996 for programming and autonomous design (competition in Corning, NY with a second place in Robot Design)
    • Planned some hustles and potential achievements for the year
    • Attended Managing Modern Desktops training at work
  • February
    • Community documentation updates for Microsoft Learn (love the ability to make a pull request and submit updates)!
    • Continued mentoring son’s FIRST FTC team 6996 for programming and autonomous design (competition in Amsterdam, NY with a first place in Alliance selection)
    • Started discussion on community side hustles with two different community stars
  • March
    • Attended MCT Connect Virtual Conference
    • Approached by Packt to consider writing an exam guide for the AZ-801 exam
    • Took and passed the AZ-801 – Configuring Windows Server Advanced Hybrid Services
    • Attended the MVP Global Summit 2022 (virtual)
    • Got to see daughter play in Second Chair Flute All-County concert band
  • April
    • Failed the AZ-700 – Troubleshooting Microsoft Azure Connectivity Beta exam (by 7 points)
    • Announcement and first session for Pathfinders Power Platform Community
    • Announcement and initial setup for Come Cloud With Us, with sessions planned for each month from here on out
    • Promotion from Manager to Director of Microsoft Applications at Nixon Peabody LLP
  • May
  • June
    • Experienced son rocking the mic on a 45 minute “Why you should consider FIRST” session for 75-100 people (first big time public speaking engagement)
    • Gave authentic “Why you should be a mentor” session for Pathfinders Group
    • First Come Cloud With Us session
    • Daughter’s travel football (soccer) season starts with two games a week
    • Attend lone concert for the year at SPAC in Saratoga Springs (Steely Dan)
    • Feeling burnout symptoms, starting to cancel or reschedule events
    • Write two more chapters of the AZ-801 exam guide
    • Renewed my Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
  • July
    • Renewed as a second year Microsoft Azure MVP
    • Recorded session with the incredible John Lunn (JohnnyChipz)
    • Agreed to mentoring FIRST FRC 1511 programming team for the 2022-2023 season
    • Anxiety building between life in general and work, mental health/sick days taken
    • Write two more chapters of the AZ-801 exam guide while impostering a bit…
  • August
    • Awarded Legal Excellence Award for Law Firm Administrator 2022
    • Made family trip to Pittsburgh, PA to determine next steps for wife’s Cystic Fibrosis “journey”
    • Somehow find the time to write three chapters of the AZ-801 exam guide
    • Mental health day taken to try and recover, missed daughter’s three-goal game for modified “football”
    • Celebrated an incredible travel “football” season for my daughter with 15 goals scored
  • September
    • Attended Microsoft Power Platform Conference 2022 and got to give high fives IRL while meeting many new folks in my network for the first time!
    • Had panic attacks when returning home, not knowing if I brought any sicknesses home
    • Two more chapters of the AZ-801 exam guide written, lots of technical reviews and editorial reviews needing updates, and an entire home and cloud lab setup to continue the rest of the book
    • Finally gave myself a colorful and authentic smiling image for my social network avatars!
    • Joined the Logitech Luminaries joint venture with Microsoft as an advocate and expert on collaborative tools
  • October
    • Attended in-person Microsoft Ignite meeting up with awesome community friends, getting the change to present in Ask the Experts sessions, and visit the Microsoft Campus for the first time!
    • Met my friend of 20 years for the first time in-person and spent an entire day with this incredible man!
    • Packed an entire suitcase with coffee and chocolate from Seattle
    • Helped organize and produce a Microsoft Ignite After party with an incredible group of community members
    • Attended Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst training at work
    • Mentored an internal “hackathon” team to learn from scratch how to build and train a Power Virtual Agent bot for service and support chat
    • Two more chapters of the AZ-801 exam guide written
  • November
    • Given the opportunity to present at the Rochester Azure Users Group to give a recap on experience and announcements at Microsoft Ignite
    • Dealing with multiple sicknesses, colds, and flu in our household for the entire month and struggled to even find time or how to really ask others for help
    • Really struggle with focus and distractions before the holiday season – even normal checklists weren’t working
    • Three more chapters written for the AZ-801 exam guide, questioning my decision to spend this time away from my family to write
  • December
    • Attended most of the Microsoft Airlift Conference to skill up even more before the end of the year
    • Pretty severe food poisoning which took roughly 3-4 days to recover
    • Most of the family sick again with colds, flu, and RSV – which took about two weeks of recovery
    • Anxiety in full gear worrying about general things – will my job be risked with all of this, will my family return to normal health, how am I really dealing with all of this, do we have the holiday planning in order for our family and kids?
    • Back on track with a focus to try and deliver three chapters for the AZ-801 exam guide and try to complete the final 4-5 chapters by mid-January, a month and a half sooner than expected
    • Recorded a session for Festive Tech Calendar to show how Come Cloud With Us produces our sessins and events
    • Ended the year with a much-needed vacation of 11 days spent with my family to rest, rebuild bonds, and reset our lives and our home!

And now for some reflections on what I can improve on in 2023:

  • Travel a bit more and continue to build a network of friends and family
  • Set a better work/life boundary – there really is no balance, but there are expectations that can be set for both of these
  • Take more vacations or daycations with the family and friends to get a fresh start
  • Reflect on what is important to me both in life and in my career, and evaluate my purpose and my SELF
  • Reading more books and playing more games with my children
  • Micro blog a bit more to get quick tips, tricks, and thoughts out to the community
  • Get to more live music concerts – man, I totally missed so many great events this year including the International Jazz Festival and need to get that balance back
  • Build more Lego sets…

Thanks to each and every one of you who were there for me throughout the good times, the bad times, and just to lend a hand or just listen. I see you, I appreciate you, and I thank you for your friendship, your mentoring, and your availability as part of my textable tribe. Take this as a reminder that no matter how people look or say how they are feeling, it may very well be a cover so PLEASE do check in on your friends, family and community members! That one text, IM, email or phone call could make all the difference for someone’s overall mental health. Just because someone carries it well, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy.

I know I’m not the only one experiencing a crazy life (whether naturally occurring or enabled by not being able to say “no” effectively). However, I feel it’s valuable to share that we all experience the highs and lows, no matter how happy or successful one may appear to be in an online world.

I wish you all the best in your pursuits in this new year, and I do hope that our paths do cross this year as it was great to see a bunch of you in person for the first time in quite a few years!

Thanks for reading this far!

CG

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