Category: 3 Words

My Themes for 2022

3 Words 2022

Following my pattern of the past 13 years (see list), my first post of 2022 across all my sites is of three words that are my aspirations or “themes” for the year ahead. They are not “resolutions” so much as guiding thoughts or principles.

In so many ways 2021 was a good bit of a “dumpster fire” of a year. We started off with such great hope that the pandemic would be under control … and ended with even higher case counts and more deaths that we’d had the previous year. It often does truly feel like the 672nd day of March 2020. So many of us struggled in so many ways. Yet amidst all that chaos, there were positive signs - and I remain grateful that I reached the end of the year with all my family in decent health (at least physically).

Looking on toward 2022...

HOPE

Last year brought me great clarity around what I see as my own my personal mission to help people understand our choice of futures - for the Internet, but also for ourselves and for our society. 

But 2021 also brought clarity that it is so easy to fall into despair. It does seem like we’re stuck in a perpetual Groundhog Day. The state of the pandemic is so frustrating, particularly for those of us who have done everything we can to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. The breakdown in civility and discourse that we are seeing across the USA and across the world is extremely saddening. The polarization and politicization of even trivial issues is tragic. And our governments and leaders often seem incapable of doing anything helpful - and in fact sometimes seem to be doing the exact opposite of what makes sense - or are so mired in disagreement that nothing happens at all. And… weather events around the world seem to indicate that climate change is happening quicker than many forecast. There are so many tragic events happening to so many people, and even for those not directly affected, there is so much to fear that it can be paralyzing.

It often feels like we are on the edge of living in any of the zillion dystopian, post-apocalyptic movies or TV series that are out there.

It’s easy to despair. 

And yet… we can’t. For if we fall into the depths of despair, what is the point of being here? And who will pull us out?

We must hold on to the possibility of hope

We must.

And so what I want to do this year is to do whatever I can to help shine the light on and amplify the good work going on. (And there definitely IS - read "99 Good News Stories You Probably Didn’t Hear About in 2021”)

Not with “rose-colored glasses” or with naive, excessive optimism that just ignores everything else to hope things get better.. but rather with an action of seeking out the hopeful, positive, and optimistic in the midst of the chaos and despair. As I said in a tweet:

The challenge that lies before us is more than choosing hope over fear.
It is choosing hope *amidst* the overwhelming narratives of fear and doom.
It is choosing hope and optimism *despite* those fears.
It is choosing hope as a daily, gritty act of resistance and resilience.

To me, that is the work we all must do.

CONTENT

As I wrote at some length last year, I’ve been struggling through this whole pandemic, but even before that, to consistently create content, be it blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, newsletters or more. I optimistically wrote:

A goal in 2021 is to break through those blockages. I want to get writing again. I want to more consistently create podcast episodes. I’d like to send out more than one email newsletter in an entire year!

That didn’t happen. In fact, I sent out zero issues of that particular email newsletter, although I did send out two issues of a new newsletter

I produced a whopping 8 podcast episodes in 2021 (7 for my The Dan York Report podcast, and one for my “FIR On Technology” podcast), although I did submit all 12 monthly reports into the FIR podcast.

And… I only wrote * 11 * posts across all my different blog sites, including my employer’s site, and almost all of those were “administrative” notices such as about upcoming deadlines for various awards or elections. A far cry from the days when would write hundreds of posts each year. 🙁

A sad state of affairs for someone who loves to create content.

Now, I do give myself a bit of a break. I mean… pandemic!  It’s been hard on all of us and quite honestly simply surviving 2021 is a beautiful thing!

On the positive side, I was live-streaming on Twitch most of the year, and in doing so continued to learn an amazing amount more about Wikipedia. And, I set up a TikTok account to actually start playing with that platform.

But my aspiration in 2022 is to get back in the game… to be back telling the stories I want to tell… and to be helping promote the hopeful aspects of the futures we need to choose. And… to do so on my OWN sites! Lately I’ve started to write very long threads on Twitter that then get lost in the noise. I really need to be taking those threads and writing them as posts for their longevity - and to have them on sites I control, rather than being lost in some proprietary platform.

We’ll see!

HEALTH

Finally, I’ve really got to focus on my health. Like many people, I’ve been a bit too sedentary during the pandemic and eaten a bit too much comfort food. My weight is almost the heaviest I’ve ever been and I seriously need to start making some better food choices. And, being in my mid-50s there’s a number of medical checks I need to have. 

need to focus on this!

Looking forward...

Overall I’m quite looking forward to 2022. I’m hopeful that maybe we can finally get the pandemic to a more reasonable state. I look forward to hopefully getting together with friends in our local area, and making new friends, too. I look forward to seeing family more frequently. I look forward to getting back to attending user group meetings and other professional events, and going to concerts and church services and so much more. I miss singing!

Hopefully we can get there… although admittedly 2022 isn’t starting off so great with the rising numbers.

I am also very excited about a new project I’m leading at the Internet Society about understanding Internet access via low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. It’s a hot topic with a lot of marketing hype right now - and we’ll be working to bring some clarity to that whole area. It should be both educational and fun!  

Let us hope this all continues to go well!

What about you? What are your aspirations for 2022?

My Themes for 2021

2021 3 Words

As I have for the past 12 years (see list), my first post of 2021 across all my sites is of three(-ish) words that are my aspirations or “themes” for the year ahead. As my 18yo daughter has reminded me, the beginning of a new calendar year is a completely arbitrary marker 🙂, but it does provide a moment to pause and reflect. Particularly THIS year with the pandemic, we’ve had a great amount of reflection time!

Note: while last year’s post was super short, this one is much longer...

CLARITY (MISSION)

Some of my colleagues at the Internet Society are undoubtedly tired of hearing me say that we must “Do Fewer Things Better”. That’s been my mantra for the past several years, particularly after I took on our website redesign four years ago at the beginning of 2017. As I looked at all the many amazing things we were doing, it was clear to me that we were doing far more than we really could with our small staff. It was hard to capture in our website what we did as an organization, because we were doing so many things! As our new-ish (2018) CEO is fond of saying “We aren’t the Everything Society!” We’ve worked hard over these years to be more focused and have more clarity of purpose.

In 2020, some internal organization changes and internal opportunities caused me to think deeply about exactly what it is I want to be doing - not only within the Internet Society, but also in my larger life. In the immortal words of the poet Mary Oliver:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I spent a great amount of time just… thinking. Reflecting. Writing. Mind-mapping. I re-read a book I’ve enjoyed - “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”, which may actually be from where I started using “Do Fewer Things Better” (although he uses a slight variation “fewer, but better” following on from the German “weniger aber besser”).

Perhaps most importantly, I went back and read my blog post about WHY I joined the Internet Society back in September 2011. A critical section stood out:


We have before us a choice of futures.

One choice leads to a future where innovative companies can emerge, thrive, disrupt and succeed.

Another choice leads to a future where what little "innovation" there is exists only at the will of the gatekeepers to the network after appropriate requirements and/or payments are met. Other choices lead to outcomes somewhere in between those polarities.

How will we choose?


I realized that something in my work that I had been missing from 2017-2019, with so much of my work focused on the organization’s websites, was being a stronger voice about this choice of futures we have. In 2020, I got a chance to speak and write more on this topic as I lead our Open Standards Everywhere project… and it left me wanting to do more.

The pandemic showed us how critical the Internet is. It is the lifeline that is connecting us in all we do. It is how we communicate, collaborate, create, connect…. It is how we work, how we go to school, how we buy things.

And yet… this “lifeline” of ours is not well understood by everyone using it. And in particular by so many of the people creating policies or making decisions around the Internet.

The “Internet” needs more voices explaining HOW it works… and WHY it works the way does… and why it is worth defending. (We see it right now with the “Section 230” debates happening where it’s clear that some people don’t understand what the actual topic is!)

This happens to be something I can do particularly well. And so out of all that thought and reflection emerged the clarity of a personal “mission”, not just for my work, but also for my larger life in general:

To help people understand our choice of futures in our ever-more connected society, and to be a voice for the open Internet.

There’s an amazing clarity that happens when you have that clear of a direction. It provides a lens through which to evaluate choices and opportunities. It provided guidance in those work changes and opportunities I mentioned above.

It also provided a lens through which to evaluate opportunities outside of work. As an example, over the past several months I’ve had people from two separate nonprofits that I greatly admire approach me about joining their Board of Directors. A few years ago I would have probably just said “yes” to both, because they are great organizations and I enjoy serving on boards and helping organizations move forward.

But this clarity of purpose, combined with “do fewer things better”, provided a lens through which I could evaluate the choices. With everything else going on right now, could I really give the time to help the organizations succeed?  And secondly, would joining that board help move this personal mission forward?

For one organization, the answer was a clear yes. For the other, it wasn’t.

In 2021, I want to continue to focus on being more clear on my priorities in life, more intentional, more focused. As part of that, too, I want to evaluate the things I am doing and decide whether I truly want to continue (and have the capacity to do so), or if it is time to end some of those activities.

CONTENT (WRITING)

As noted above, if I truly want to be “a voice for the open Internet” and “to help people understand our choice of futures”… well… I kind of have to DO THAT, eh?

When I looked back over these 12 years of writing these “3 words” posts, 10 of the posts have included a word about doing “more” with creating content!

3 words 2010 2021

And yet… here I am again.

I have stories I want to tell. I have things I want to say. I have information that I think would help other people.

And yet… I struggle to get those stories and words out.

The “tyranny of the blank page” wins. The articles aren’t written. The podcast episodes aren’t recorded. The videos aren’t made.

As part of that clarity of purposed mentioned above, I’ve been looking at what is it that stops me from getting those stories out. In some cases it has been the fear of getting started. In some cases it has just been… well… life in a pandemic. In other cases, it’s been… getting distracted by everything else on the Internet.

A goal in 2021 is to break through those blockages. I want to get writing again. I want to more consistently create podcast episodes. I’d like to send out more than one email newsletter in an entire year!

Or not! Another goal this year is also to re-evaluate… if I’m not realistically going to send out email newsletters, then just shut it down! If I’m not going to publish posts on one of my sites… archive it!  It’s time to do fewer content things better!

CONNECTIONS

Finally, the pandemic of 2020 has certainly shown the strength of - and need for - connections with other people. In some ways, the pandemic has been amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a stronger connection with my wife and daughters than I have this year! My wife and I have been able to carve out some “date time” on morning walks that has brought us even closer together. The sadness of our 18yo not being able to attend her first year of university on campus has provided an amazing opportunity to learn so much more about the incredible young adult she has become. (For her sake, we’re hoping she can move on campus in the fall of 2021!) It was strange for our 11yo to start a new school entirely online and from home, but we’ve also embraced our ability to see more of her than we would in a typical school day.

But for all the strengthening of my immediate connections, I dearly miss seeing my parents and extended family. Video calls are great, but not the same. I miss seeing old friends … and making new friends. The pandemic has definitely highlighted to me that I while I’ve made some connections here in Vermont since we moved here in 2018, I do need to strengthen the ones I have and also expand a bit more.

As a strong extrovert, I enjoy the interactions with many people… and that’s so hard to do in this pandemic world. I’m hoping the combination of vaccines and behavior will help us put this virus behind us.

Two Other Themes

 While those are my main themes, there are certainly two other themes that are constant in my life:

  • HEALTH - I’m still working on this. (I say as I eat another chocolate chip cookie!) My wife and I both share a goal of eating better, exercising more, and just generally trying to be more healthy.
  • SERVICE - I’ve always tried to have part of my life involving service in helping others. Whether it has been working as part of local organizations, helping with community breakfasts, or doing other active roles, it’s always been part of what I’ve done. But it’s crazy hard in the midst of this pandemic to figure out how to help others while still being safe yourself. Sure, we donate to local organizations as we can. We help our local food shelf with supplies. But I want to do more to help in this time when so many people need help!

So these are all thoughts as we leave the craziness of 2020 and enter into 2021… we’ll see how the year shapes up - and how well I do!

How about you? What are things you want to accomplish or do differently in 2021?

My 4 Words for 2020

2020-3-wordsAs I have for every year since 2010 (see list), I decided to start out 2020 with four words that are aspirations for the "themes" of my activities in this next year.

In truth... this 2020 post is really just a re-do of the 2019 post - read that one first. Basically, it's the same with one addition.

HEALTH

Still working on this. Doing some more exercise and trying to reduce the amount of carbs and sugar. Let's see what happens.

VOICE

Still want to work on this. I had a period in November 2019 where I tried with NaPodPoMo to get more content out there, at least in audio form.

FRIENDSHIPS

Still struggling to figure out the best path to connecting with people locally... trying a few different paths... but it's proving to be a bit challenging in the midst of our modern lives.

FRENCH

One more concrete goal for 2020 is to build on that "P.S." I had in 2019 and actually learn a bit more Français! In 2020 I've signed up for some face-to-face French classes with a local (Vermont) organization, and I'm also planning to put some time into some software and apps. We'll see!

What about you? What are you thinking about for 2020?

 

An audio version is available:

My 3 Words for 2019

3words2019

As I have now done every year since 2010 (see past years), here are three words that I aspire to be the "themes" of my activity this year.

You'll note that these are really quite similar to my 3 words for 2018 - and in truth I think 2019 is really a continuation of everything in 2018 that was left undone with the severe disruption and chaos of both: 1) uprooting our family to move to Vermont; and 2) the unwelcome guest of colon cancer.  I am SO ready to put a period at the end of the sentence of 2018 … and move on to what will be hopefully better chapters within 2019!

HEALTH

Last year I said that my health needed to be a focus - and the colonoscopy was part of that… but with all that insanity, there is much still left to do. I’m sadly now almost back up to the unhealthy weight I was in 2010. The dental issues that were there a year ago continue to be with me. And now we need to find all new doctors, dentists, vision centers, etc. It’s got to be a priority - as we do only have one body. And I’d like to be around for a while!

VOICE

2018 was a year when I continued to struggle with writing consistently. It’s so easy to NOT write or produce other kinds of content because…. work responsibilities, family logistics, the time suck of social media… and… and… and… there’s a million reasons. Toward the end of the year I started to write more, but it was in part to get myself back in the regular practice of creating content.

In 2019 I’d like to not only write more, but also find a bit more of the stronger “voice” I used to have in my writing and speaking. I want to be a stronger and more vocal voice for an open Internet - and for an Internet that works for us rather than for mega-corporations, platforms and governments. My challenge is to carve out the time to do the writing and the research and to speak and more.

FRIENDSHIPS

As I wrote last year, I'm finding that I'm communicating with a large number of people, but not necessarily connecting with people on a deeper level. This has certainly been highlighted with our move to Vermont. Beyond just “connections”, I’m looking at 2019 as a time to truly spend more time with friends - and for investing the time to develop new friendships in this beautiful part of the world to which we have moved. Nurturing friendships, both new and old, does definitely take time and energy - and I intend for it to be a priority this year.

That's what I am thinking about for this year... what about you?

P.S. Another life goal for this year - I want to be able to go into a Tim Hortons in Quebec and order a meal entirely en Francais! I’ve been dabbling in learning more French over the past years, but this year I want to be able to at least go in and order a double chocolate donut, a sandwich and a tea! ;-) Particularly since we are winding up in Quebec a good bit for curling and other travel.

P.P.S. And yeah, if I’m serious about “health”, I shouldn’t be ordering double chocolate donuts, right? But hey, every once in a while is okay, right? 


An audio version of this post (with more commentary) is available on SoundCloud:

My 3 Words For 2018

3words2018

Continuing the tradition I started back in 2010 (see past years), here are three words that describe themes I intend to focus on this year. They aren't "resolutions" as much as areas of activity. "Themes" is a good way to think about them.

HEALTH

Carrying this one over from last year... because sadly not a great amount has changed over the past 12 months. I have let my weight creep up to where I am about 30 pounds over where I should be (and where I was back in 2011). I haven't been exercising. I have some dental issues to take care of. I want to be around with my wife and daughters for a long time... and we each only have one body. I need to focus on this in 2018.

WRITING

You'll notice that the last time I wrote on this DanYork.com blog was ... one year ago! I have not written on Disruptive Telephony since March 2017 - and that was the ONLY post in all of 2017 on what used to be my primary blog. Only 4 posts on Disruptive Conversations, 0 posts on Code.danyork.com, 1 on Monadnock Curling Club, and so on....   I posted 9 times on CircleID , but they were all short pieces about events, activities, deadlines, etc. And I only published 28 posts on the Internet Society's blog during the whole year.

The reality is that 2017 was a challenging year for my writing in that I spent an insane amount of time focused on the launch of the Internet Society's redesigned website in September (which involved work through the end of the year, of course). Everything else got pushed aside - including all of my own writing.

In 2018 I hope to change that. There are a great number of stories inside me just trying to explode out. There are some reflective "thought pieces" about the current state of the Internet that I so dearly want to write. There's a book I'd like to update. I have several new book ideas I'd like to move forward on.

For me, I write because if I don't write... the stories build up inside of me until they want to explode like a pressure cooker without a relief valve. Writing is my relief valve. I need to do it.

My work responsibilities will still be significant around our web sites, but I'm hoping that somewhere in the midst of all the madness I can make the time to get my voice out there.

CONNECTIONS

Like perhaps many people, I'm finding that I'm communicating with a large number of people, but not necessarily connecting with people. I don't mean that in the LinkedIn "I have XXXX connections" form, but more in the deeper relationships and knowledge about other people.  I want to deepen some of the connections I have this year, both with people online and also people locally and "offline". Some of that is actually meeting with more people face-to-face. Some of that is just carving out the time to have deeper and more meaningful conversations. In the end, the connections we have between us - and the community we have around us - are what is so vitally important to us all. 

That's what I am thinking about for this year... what about you?

My 3 Words For 2017

2017 3words 776px

Continuing the tradition I started back in 2010 (see past years), here are three words that describe themes I intend to focus on this year. They aren't "resolutions" as much as areas of activity. "Themes" is a good way to think about them.

HEALTH

I have let my weight creep up to where I am about 30 pounds over where I should be (and where I was back in 2011). I haven't been exercising. I have some dental issues to take care of. My last physical exam was... (I'm not sure... but I don't think I've ever met the doctor who replaced my previous doctor who retired a number of years ago). In short, there's a lot here I need to be paying attention to, and so this needs to be a focus this year. I want to be around with my wife and daughters for a long time... and we each only have one body. Beyond the physical health, there is also mental and emotional health. I continue to find myself trying to do too many things... and need to focus on doing fewer things better.

GRATITUDE

Over the last six months or so I have been thinking more and more about all that I have to be grateful for. And I have also been thinking about how I need to show that gratitude a bit more. Combine that with some recent reading on studies about gratitude and how we frame our internal stories... as well as some reading on mindfulness... and, well, I would like to do more in this area!

CREATIVITY

A few weeks ago I made a Christmas gift out of wood down in my workshop area in our basement. When it was done, I found myself so energized by the activity... I had forgotten how much I enjoy working with wood. But as I think about all that I have been doing over the past year, there hasn't been a whole lot of creativity. Even my writing of blog posts has become more routine, more "reporting" on activities rather than writing something new and different. It's hard with everything else going on, but this year I hope to carve out some time to do some more creative activities. Maybe some woodworking... maybe some music... maybe just some creative writing. We'll see what is feasible.

That's what I am thinking about for this year... what about you?

My 3 Words For 2016

2016threewordsAs has been my tradition for a while now, I like to start off on January 1 writing about my "three words" that represent my aspirations for the year ahead. (See my 2015 three words and also earlier years.)

So here we go for 2016...

STRATEGY

I've found myself quite "busy" this past year, but the question is whether I've been "busy" with the right things. And more to the point - has there been a reason for some of the things I've been doing.

Not that you absolutely NEED a reason for everything... but we live in an age of distraction, and if we aren't careful it's easy to find that we've frittered away time that we could have spent otherwise.

In 2016 I want to think a bit more strategically about the various activities I'm involved in. To make conscious choices about what I'm doing - and for whom - and why.

And to have a bit more of a plan in some cases.

Some common phrases come to mind:

  • Connect the dots.
  • Think of the big picture.
  • Do fewer things better.
  • Less is more.

In some ways this is perhaps a continuation of, or a refinement of, the "Essentials" that I talked about in 2015.

The point is that I want to think and act a bit more strategically this year.

HEALTH

In the chaos of 2015, I let my health slip down in my list of priorities. I haven't been making the best choices in terms of eating or exercise. Sadly, I've gained back 25 of the pounds I lost over the past few years. I didn't run a single race in 2015 - and in fact ran a measly 213 miles over the entire year... not even running at all in the entire month of December, and only a pathetic 6 or 7 miles in both October and November. There are other examples.

I need to change this.

I need to put a priority back on taking care of my health. Because if I don't do it, who will? And I want to be around in the long term for my wife and kids.

REFLECTION

I want to make time this year for more reflection. Caught up in the maelstrom of being "busy", I haven't been taking the time to...

Pause.

Think.

Contemplate.

Reflect.

It's hard to carve out that time to just think about things... to think about how all the dots are connected.

But we need to do so... or at least *I* feel the need to do so.

This time of reflection feeds back into the "strategy" word above... and indeed into the "health" word as some of that reflection can happen while, say, running.

These are my aspirations for 2016... what are yours?

P.S. There is, of course, a fourth word that will consume a great part of 2016 for me... CURLING! Particularly given that my 13-year-old daughter will now be going to the 2016 USA Curling Junior Women's National Championships in two weeks in Minnesota...


An audio version of this post is available:

My Four Words For 2015

2015 four words 300pxAs I have done for the past several years now, I like to start off on January 1 with a post about a few "words" that represent aspirations I have for the year. As I did last year for 2014, I'm going to write about four words for 2015, as compared to the three words I wrote about in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010. And while I've been doing this for my own reasons, I should credit Chris Brogan for starting the idea of writing in this way publicly many years ago. So here is my current thinking for 2015...

ESSENTIALS

Over the past six months or so I've been giving a great amount of thought to what exactly I want to be doing - in many different aspects of my life. Part of that came about as part of looking at my role within the Internet Society and thinking about what makes the most sense for my particular skills and interests. But perhaps a larger part came about in some of the reading and discussions my wife and I have been having around what many call "minimalism" or variations on that theme. Basically... looking at how to do fewer things better. We only have so many hours in the day and we choose how we are going to spend those hours... and we choose what we give our attention to. My wife's ongoing experience with cancer treatments has certainly changed our overall perspective and made us think about what is most important to us.

This year I want to continue that effort into distilling things down to what are really the "essentials" in my life upon which I wish to focus. This may mean focusing more and putting aside some side projects... or admitting that some project ideas may just never happen - and that's okay.

To go back to that wonderful quote from the poet Mary Oliver:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

And even more so... what will I do - or not do - in pursuit of that?

BOOKS

Given that my last book was published four years ago back in 2011, I do feel a bit of a desire to have another book come out some time soon. An obvious candidate is to pitch O'Reilly on doing a Second Edition of Migrating Applications to IPv6 given that a lot has changed in four years and that there is much more that can be said about IPv6 based on the deployment experience to date. I also have several ideas for books in the telephony/telecom/VoIP space.

I also have several ideas for books outside the pure technology space... more in the public relations / marketing / social media space. And there are some other ideas I have floating around my head...

Ideas for books are easy... it's making the time to create the book that is the challenge! I'd like to see what I can do in 2015 to at least get some book project underway.

HEALTH

"Health" was actually one of my three words back in 2010 and as I noted in my 2011 post I went far in 2010 dropping 45 pounds and starting to get into running. Last year "running" was one of my words and I'm now pretty confident that running is part of my lifestyle and just part of what I do.

But... now this year I need to focus a bit broader than just running. It's been a while since I've had a physical and there are some other health issues I'd like to address. It's time to do a bit more to ensure I'm around for the long term.

CURLING

This is not so much an aspiration as an admission that this year may more heavily involve the sport of curling that I enjoy so much. There are two aspects here. First, my soon-to-be-13-year-old daughter enjoys curling and shows some interest in doing more competitively. IF she does that (and it's still an "if"), that will set us on a potential path of bonspiels (tournaments) and camps that may set the tone for much of our family activity for the year. We'll see. Second, I very much want to see this be the year when we start making some headway with starting up the Monadnock Curling Club and looking at bringing the sport of curling to our region of New Hampshire.


That's what I'm thinking about right now for this year... I have a sense that 2015 could be a big year on a number of different fronts... we'll have to see how it turns out.

Meanwhile... Happy New Year! May 2015 be a great year for you!


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Revisiting My Four Word for 2014 – How Did I Do?

2014fourwordsOn this final day of 2014, I thought I should reflect back on my "four words" for 2014. They were:

  • Running
  • Religion
  • Audio
  • Strategy

How did I do? Let's take them one by one...

RUNNING

The good news is that I did make running more a regular part of my life. By adding up the monthly totals in my iPhone app I see that I ran over 288 miles this year. It was spotty, though. I only ran 6.2 miles in September yet I ran over 56 miles in July! I finished the year doing 26 miles in December... which works out to be about 6 miles a week. Good... but not great. Next year I'll aim to do better.

It was also a strange year in that I ran only one race... and that was the short 1-mile "Pumpkin Mile" that was part of the Keene Pumpkin Festival and that I ran with my five-year-old daughter. For all the other races I wanted to do I either had a schedule conflict or in one case it rained harder than I really cared to race in.

My goal starting off 2014, though, was to get running more a part of my life... and I think I can safely say that I did that.

RELIGION

Back at the beginning of the year I wrote:

But you wouldn't know any of this from what I write and post online. There are thousands of blog posts online from me since 2000 and many thousand tweets/updates/posts on social media...

... but pretty much NONE of them say ANYTHING about religion.

There are a lot of reasons for WHY I have been silent about the religious side of my life in my online activity... and I'll write a post about that at some point (probably soon).

But I've realized that in being silent and hiding this aspect of myself I'm not really letting myself be truly whole.

So I'm going to start... I've been letting pieces of that side of me leak out into Facebook lately. THIS blog post is a huge step for me.

I'm not going to be "in your face" about religion or anything (that's not the UU way! ;-) ). But I'm going to stop hiding that side of me. I will treat it instead just as yet another facet of the complicated person that I am (and that we all are).

We'll see... this will, in all honesty, be a bit challenging for me... but is an area I'd like to grow personally.

This has been hard for me, but I have started to be more open about this side of myself. For instance, I participated in a panel that was recorded on video distributed on YouTube where I talked about our church and my involvement in the "community breakfasts" that we do for the homeless each morning during the winter months. I also shared on Facebook and social networks when I was giving a sermon at our church in late October on the subject of "Facebook and Fox News: Escaping the Echo Chambers of Affirmation". I actually recorded that sermon but have yet to put it online... perhaps in 2015.

I also shared out more links from our church's web site and social media feeds into my own feeds... which was a big step for me.

Baby steps... but at least I'm no longer hiding my this part of me. We'll see where this goes from here.

AUDIO

Unfortunately this area remained a bit of an "aspiration" this year. I had hoped to do more with audio this year. Now I did do more with my "The Dan York Report (TDYR)" podcast... producing over 155 of the short episodes. I also didn't miss a single week of For Immediate Release (FIR) reports, producing 52 of those reports. I also started using several new applications on my iPhone to more rapidly produce podcasts

BUT...

... I'd had aspirations to do more. Here's how I wound up with what I had hoped to do:

We'll see if this gets better in 2015. I thoroughly enjoy audio and would like to get back to doing more!

STRATEGY

I wrote in January:

Finally, there is an exquisite irony to me that while my job title at the Internet Society is "Senior Content Strategist", my own personal content online is severely lacking a strategy. I am inconsistently writing across 8 or 9 different places online - and I'm adding more sites like the Monadnock Curling Club... and there are a few other projects in the works.

Yes, this is a bit of a case of the proverbial "cobbler's shoes", but in 2014 I'd like to pull some of this together a bit more and have a bit more discipline about what I'm doing with all my online content. I'm at least aggregating my online content at my danyork.me site, but this year I want to do more with getting more consistent with the creation of content.

Alas... still a work in progress...


So there I was for 2014... good progress with two of my words... less so with the other two. How did your year work out?


An audio version of this post is available on in my "The Dan York Report" podcast:


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My Four Words For 2014

2014fourwordsAs has been my custom now for the past few years, I like to start my writing off in a new year with a post about a few "words" that I intend to use as guides for the year. They aren't "resolutions" as much as they are areas of my personal life in which I aspire to be active this year. In previous years (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010) I've chosen three words, following a meme started by Chris Brogan many years ago.

This year, I found myself struggling to reduce four words down to three... and finally said "Hey, wait a minute, it's MY blog... if I want to have four words this year, I can! ;-)" And so... here is my list for 2014...

RUNNING

Those following my writing here have known that running became an important part of my life over the last 3.5 years. I even recorded an audio commentary last year (while running) about how important it is to me.

But I suffered a real crisis in confidence - and enjoyment - when I ran an extremely frustrating half-marathon in September. I never wrote a response to my post about preparing to run the half-marathon... rather than "third time is a charm", it was more "three strikes and you're out!"

I'll write some other time about that particular race and the resulting mental fallout, but suffice it to say that I've had a hard time getting back out there. I know intellectually that I just need to get back out there and do it... and in 2014 I intend to once again make running a core part of a healthy lifestyle!

And maybe I'll get to where I do try another half-marathon.... (but probably at a cooler time of year).

UPDATE: - I started off the year on a good note here by running a 5K on New Year's Day on our treadmill that we'd relocated to our basement. It was fine as long as I kept my head straight up so that it stays between the rafters!

RELIGION

You wouldn't know it from any of my online writing or any of my activities on social networks, but religion and spirituality are topics I'm incredibly passionate about and care deeply about. My father is a (now retired) Methodist minister, as was his father before him, and so I grew up deeply steeped in a progressive Christian church.

Yes, I am a "preacher's kid." :-)

When I was in my late teens and into college I had a severe falling out with the Methodist faith of my fathers and spent a significant amount of time searching for a religious community where I could belong. Like anything I do, I plunged in and dived deeply into reading, visiting churches, etc.... but never found anything until a random invitation from a friend some 20+ years ago introduced me to the world of Unitarian Universalism. Many years (and many UU churches) later, I'm president of the board of trustees of our local Keene UU Church and in fact led the worship service there last Sunday giving a sermon/message about the challenges of being open about religion in the age of Facebook.

But you wouldn't know any of this from what I write and post online. There are thousands of blog posts online from me since 2000 and many thousand tweets/updates/posts on social media...

... but pretty much NONE of them say ANYTHING about religion.

There are a lot of reasons for WHY I have been silent about the religious side of my life in my online activity... and I'll write a post about that at some point (probably soon).

But I've realized that in being silent and hiding this aspect of myself I'm not really letting myself be truly whole.

So I'm going to start... I've been letting pieces of that side of me leak out into Facebook lately. THIS blog post is a huge step for me.

I'm not going to be "in your face" about religion or anything (that's not the UU way! ;-) ). But I'm going to stop hiding that side of me. I will treat it instead just as yet another facet of the complicated person that I am (and that we all are).

We'll see... this will, in all honesty, be a bit challenging for me... but is an area I'd like to grow personally.

AUDIO

In a change from past years, I'm carrying a word over from the previous year. I did a great amount with audio in 2013, but in 2014 I intend to do more. I want to move forward with "FIR On Technology" and have a number of interviews in mind. I want to bring back Blue Box: The VoIP Security Podcast for some interviews... and I'm hoping to do more audio components in my daily work with the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme.

I'm excited... and "stay tuned" has never been more appropriate!

STRATEGY

Finally, there is an exquisite irony to me that while my job title at the Internet Society is "Senior Content Strategist", my own personal content online is severely lacking a strategy. I am inconsistently writing across 8 or 9 different places online - and I'm adding more sites like the Monadnock Curling Club... and there are a few other projects in the works.

Yes, this is a bit of a case of the proverbial "cobbler's shoes", but in 2014 I'd like to pull some of this together a bit more and have a bit more discipline about what I'm doing with all my online content. I'm at least aggregating my online content at my danyork.me site, but this year I want to do more with getting more consistent with the creation of content.


That's my list for 2014. What about you?

What are you going to do this year with your one wild and precious life?


An audio version of this post is available on in my "The Dan York Report" podcast: