Over the past few years of the pandemic, my dog and I got in the habit of crossing the street to avoid close contact as we walked past another dog/human. Eventually it just becomes a habit that doesn’t fade just because the “stay away from all humans” portion of the pandemic has passed.

But then the habit became a dog who is more nervous around other dogs.

He’s more leash aggressive than he used to be.

Or maybe I think he is, so I pull tighter.

In the pandemic times, it was easy to believe the end was the answer. There would be an end to the things being out of whack and once we got there, things would be smooth. I’ll feel less cooped up, once I’m less cooped up, right?

2022 was a year that saw a return to normalcy.

Which is good.

Which is good right?

Normal is good right?

Normal is:

More travel, less masks.

More face to face, less FaceTime.

More restaurants, less take out.

More family, more friends.

Big races and bike rides.

All and all – less treadmill, more trail. A year filled with epic trips, great people, and some killer adventures. Really, all that I could have plotted out. I am truly lucky to have the partner, family and opportunities in my life, year after year.

But lucky doesn’t mean easy.

Lucky doesn’t mean always having perspective.

Lucky doesn’t mean normal.

Because normal also is:

Hospitalized kids and shitty ankles.

Better elections, but similar results.

A lot of movement, less momentum.

A batch of missed goals and misplaced expectations.

And less excuses for the agitation and languish.

A return to life as-we-knew it meant I needed to do more than just make it through another year. Honestly, I found the transition out of survival mode to be jarring. I still do.

Maybe hyper-vigilance just becomes unproductive anxiety if you aren’t trying to get through a virus, recession or coup.

Even for a dog.

I’m not yet sure what 2023 will bring. But I’m convinced “the end” doesn’t mean good habits won’t just find their way back in by accident.

We’re going to have to start playing with other dogs.

By The Numbers: 10/17


  • Extended Lake Stay – 2 weeks+ straight. Check. ✅
  • Granny-Pod Plans – Fail. ⛔️
  • 3x S.L.A.D – Or Seneca Lake Appreciation Day, meaning no chores, lake jobs or to-dos, just lake time. ✅
  • Automate Retirement Savings – ⛔️
  • Read 50 Books – ⛔️ 27/50


  • Travel Overseas – ✅ + (Hungary, Thailand, Mexico, PR)
  • 5 Parks – ✅+ We spent a week in the southwest. (Grand Canyon, J-tree, etc.) plus traveling all over Vieques)
  • 1x Kid-Free Trip – ✅ +We spent 7 days in Puerto Rico + 4 nights in Austin/TX


  • Streamline LG Offerings – ✅ We make a ton of progress here. Fully focused man.
  • Onboard 10 Full Price Grasp Customers – ⛔️
  • More Intentional Work/Life Policies – ✅ Meeting free Fridays + all team members went to a conference.
  • Speak 2x in Person – ✅ See Thailand and Hungary above.


  • Expedition-Length Adventure Race (72+ hours) – ✅ + We competed in the endless mountains 120 hour race. It was epic and probably the hardest thing I’ve done.
  • Weakness Focus at the Gym – ⛔️ 3x 225# Front squat (fail), 50 Unbroken WB (check), 10 Unbroken ring muscle ups 8/10
  • Run Sub-5 Minute mile – ⛔️. I’d like to blame my ankle here. But I didn’t even make a real attempt. ~5:27 in suboptimal conditions makes it feel achievable.
  • Mobility – ✅ Check.
  • Wall Backflip – ⛔️ Didn’t even attempt.

About my annual review: For the last 10 or so years, I’ve tried to look back at the year before and see how it stacks up, while also setting goals for the year to come. I find the exercise invaluable as a mechanism to be inspired to do more cool stuff. The categories Life, Fitness, Business & Travel work best for me, but if you’d like to do your own I recommend checking out my buddy Chris’ Template to get started.

NeilCallanan Truths , ,

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