Taking Inventory of 2020

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, which is traditionally when I start to work on my annual reflection and goal setting process. New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday, because it is on of the few that encourages introspection completely devoid of religion or other dogma. We make it meaningful in our own personal ways, and for me the punctuation gives a much needed sense of time passing to a life that rarely unfolds linearly.

Over the years, I’ve refined my annual process while also letting it take up more time of the year. This let’s me do my tasks at a more lazy and luxurious pace. I also take a lot of time off this time of year, which is fairly easy with Thanksgiving and Christmas going on. I think I have perhaps 9 or 10 more business days I need to attend to in 2020.

In line with the Thanksgiving holiday, my process begins by taking inventory of the year. Overall, my purpose is to become a more complex Human being through experiences, choices, and actions that I take in response to my environment and to my goals.

Thematically, 2020 definitely shifted my decisions about where to focus. I had expected it to be a year of deepening friendships and making new ones in Denver, joining a club or two to take up some sports I loved as a kid but rarely do anymore (Swimming, tennis, horseback riding), joining a local choir, trying more new restaurants in the burgeoning food scene. Sadly, many of those things became difficult to do in March with the pandemic, but instead I filled my life with other adventures like cooking, meditation, and of course epic road trips all over the United States.

As my friend Jonathan assessed when we were talking about my guilt around feeling like I’d had a pretty good 2020 all in all, despite the pandemic, “you’re good at making yourself happy” and I agree. Sometimes I think it took being very unhappy for awhile after I sold my company to really figure this out, but actually I think I knew how to make myself happy when I was a kid… I just needed to remember how.

To take inventory, I find it helpful to flip back through my calendar, journal, camera roll, GoodReads, and fitness tracking on my phone and build a chronological list of the year. I like to include anything I know I had strong feelings about, positive or negative.


  • Started my A Ticker A Day stocks newsletter
  • Lot’s of Seahawks football on TV
  • Taco was spayed, and had a rough recovery that kind of scared me
  • Photographed the orchids at Denver Botanic Gardens with Kevin
  • My friend Michelle came to visit from San Francisco, and we went to Steamboat Springs so I could learn to ski for the first time ever!
  • Got serious about prepping for a potential lockdown, thanks to my friends (and investment in)
  • Finished 7 books


  • 9 days in Hawaii with my parents
  • Helicopter tour of Oahu
  • Tour of Kahumana organic farm and dinner there
  • Deep sea fishing we caught a 60 pound ahi tuna (and I was sea sick — rare for me — because we were out in a storm most of the time)
  • Outdoor massage and stargazing session with an astronomer
  • More snow!
  • Hosted game night at home with friends
  • Las Vegas with friends for a birthday celebration
  • Experienced the amazing hammam spa at the Cosmopolitan!
  • Finally saw the Beatles Love show and it lived up to the hype
  • 1 year anniversary working at GitLab
  • Started transitioning leadership of Meltano (internal startup)
  • Finished 6 books


  • March 5th – first 2 Covid-19 cases are reported in Colorado
  • Last manicure/pedicure before lockdown
  • Last dinner out before lockdown, at Barolo Grill — we were sitting at the bar when everyone heard about Tom Hanks getting sick, and it all became truly real that this was happening
  • March 16th — Lockdown begins in Colorado
  • Started a 6 month tour of duty as interim Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at GitLab, while its leader was on parental leave
  • Started reporting to a CMO for the first time in my career
  • More snow!
  • First “Zoom Shabbat”
  • Kickoff for CovidLine Colorado volunteer engineering project to get free and anonymous telemedicine and Covid-19 testing to Coloradans during the initial surge (which was anticipated to peak April 14th)
  • More snow!
  • Finished 3 books


  • Frantically working to get CovidLine launched, but we do with radio interviews and locals news and a lot of government red tape
  • First “Zoom double date”
  • More snow!
  • My birthday, still in lockdown
  • F-16s fly over Denver and the Front Range in honor of first responders
  • First “Zoom happy hour”
  • Massive burrito prep cooking adventure (and blog post)
  • April 27th — Lockdown ends, “Safer at Home” order remains (Masks, distancing, reduced office space capacity, no indoor dining etc.)
  • Finished 4 books


  • Recurring extended family Sunday Zoom calls begin (20-30 people)
  • First “Birthday Party Zoom”
  • First “Zoom brunch”
  • Kevin’s birthday
  • Celebrated 1 full year of Taco in our lives!
  • Formation of my 2nd team at work, Growth Marketing (which would become my permanent team after the interim role ended) — I’m leading the largest indirect org size (~50) I’ve had since peak Mattermark (~70) and enjoying it
  • First “Zoom poker night”
  • Dyed my hair hot pink (again)
  • Built my raised beds and started planting the summer crop (tomatoes, peppers, herbs, lettuce, blueberries, strawberries, chard, squash)
  • Watched the SpaceX launch live
  • First time scheduling a Peloton ride at the same time as a friend
  • Finished 3 books
  • Hit a new high month for average daily steps: 11,609


  • More planting!
  • Kicked off our internal Minorities in Tech mentorship at work
  • First “Zoom wine tasting”
  • Led my first virtual offsite with my Corporate Marketing team
  • First outdoor restaurant meal in the time of Covid, at The Wolf’s Tailor
  • First BYO outdoor socially distanced dinner at someone else’s house
  • Received a sourdough starter!
  • Kicked off planning for our Enterprise site
  • Finished 10 books


  • Our friend Max came to visit from San Francisco
  • New water heater installed!
  • Celebrate our 1st full year in our house
  • Trip to Grand Lake, CO to stay at Anya and Andy’s cabin in RMNP (which very sadly burned down in the East Troublesome Fire)
  • First time seeing a moose in the wild
  • Kevin did his first astrophotography with the lens I got him for Xmas
  • First haircut all year!
  • Led my first virtual team building day for my Growth Marketing team
  • Finished 3 books


  • 2 week road trip to Jackson Hole, WY and Ennis, MO to spend time with my parents (who met us in the middle from the Seattle, WA area)
  • First time fly fishing — and I caught some fish!
  • First time in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park
  • Wildfires start getting really bad in Colorado
  • Started transitioning out of my interim leadership role
  • First virtual YC Alumni Demo Day
  • Celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary with a long weekend in Vail and an awesome hike in White River National with our new boots
  • Harvesting the garden begins
  • Finished 4 books


  • Camped with our friends John and Carlotta near Nederland, CO
  • Slept in a camper van for the first time!
  • Sept 6th — Harvest goes intense, as it is expected to freeze, and we have to hit the road to California in a few days
  • Sept 9th — First snow of the season! (It’s still technically Summer)
  • Taught the Mattermark case study at Harvard Business School (via Zoom) for the last time
  • Packed up the dogs and started driving West
  • Saw our friends Sarah and Patrick for dinner in Salt Lake City, UT
  • Stayed the night in Truckee, and sang a socially distanced rendition of ”Sweet Caroline” with a bunch of strangers at the Ritz Carlton
  • Arrived in California amidst the wildfire smoke, and stayed in Sonoma for 2 weeks in the most amazing quarantine pod house with many dear friends. It was great to see Samiur, Tess, Andy, Kate, Carrie, Fawaz, Joseph, Brett, Lindsey, Jes, Max,. We cooked, swam, and there was even a piñata.
  • Got to meet our dear friends newest baby, and see their new home
  • Went to The French Laundry for the first time!
  • Massive pastry hauls from Bouchon and Model Bakery
  • Wine tastings at Quintessa and VJB
  • Got a rooftop cargo box for the car
  • Decided to combine this road trip with another we had planned to Arizona, instead of going home, and headed South to Pasadena
  • Arrived at our beautiful Joshua Tree, CA Airbnb for 10 days
  • Met up with Colorado friends Tyler and Kat for a hike to an oasis at 29 Palms, and got to reconnect after many months apart
  • Finished 3 books
  • Hit a new high for average monthly active calories per day: 939 cal


  • The most gorgeous super moon I’ve ever seen
  • Friends Jonathan and Regan drove from Scottsdale to stay with us in Joshua Tree. Much cooking, cigars, and relaxing ensued
  • Hot tubbing in the middle of the desert at sunset
  • Drove to Scottsdale with Jonathan and Regan, and checked into an Airbnb for an entire month with a fenced yard and a pool
  • Led my first virtual offsite for my Growth Marketing team
  • Oona pizza oven delivered! SO MANY PIZZAS
  • Seahawks are back on TV
  • Saw D’Laina and her niece for dinner at Fellow Osteria
  • The Local Donut, Cafe Monarch, and FnB
  • Andy and Kate arrived in Scottsdale from San Francisco to complete our quarantine pod, and there were many puppy butt wiggles of joy
  • We took a couple days away from the house (a staycation from our vacation LOL) to stay at the Four Seasons at Troon with the dogs, and we got in an awesome hike to the top of Pinnacle Peak.
  • Finished 4 books


  • 5 days in a beautiful New Mexico Airbnb with Andy and Kate (in self-imposed lockdown) playing board games and trying to ignore the election news coverage
  • Biden wins the election!
  • Drove home to Colorado with Andy and Kate to settle into our quarantine pod household as the Covid-19 numbers aren’t looking good and we are only awaiting federal aid to do another lockdown
  • Happy to be back after 10 weeks on the road!
  • Finished 1 books (so far)…
  • On pace for a new high month for average daily steps: 13,003

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