2022 in review
by Randy Gingeleski
10 minutes to read
Annual recap of what happened in my personal life (2022 edition).
For new readers, I’ve traditionally done year-end posts here on the blog that chronicle my own life.
- 2021 in review
- 2020 in review
- 2019 in review
- 2018 in review
- 2016 in review
- 2015 in review
- 2010 decade review
The last 3 years have either been very good or very bad and (mostly) up to you.
It is my belief that 2023 will be the most good or most bad depending on how you’ve set yourself up earlier on this journey.
One of my life philosophy tenets —
“Everything is my fault.”
Where “my” is YOU.
Some individuals can support their whole immediate family (plus in-laws) on their own shoulders, imposing their will on reality, moving Heaven and Earth.
Others can’t even support themselves, bouncing between paychecks ~alone and with a rented life, a negative net worth, while becoming increasingly “online” and dark in spirit, their all cause mortality risk much higher.
These points are in no particular order. Unlike my older posts of this type, I am being more explicit about what seemed “positive” or “negative.”
- Bought first house
- Got engaged
- We are now married as of this writing but that was technically 2023
- Income >2x YoY
- Increasingly difficult for me to write about work or project specifics however
- May maintain for 2023 though some business things threatening my “normal” work, TBD
- Record money and energy towards my own business and long-term investments
- Virtually none of this paid off within the calendar year so the last bullet was unrelated
- I’d argue that neither bullet caused the other, necessarily
- Travel >3x YoY
- Africa, Europe, much of the U.S.
- Maintained high family social time
- Strong spirituality/religion
- Record time and energy towards shooting sports hobby
- Recreational substance/drug usage ~non-existent
- “Transitions are painful”
- Apartment hopper → first-time homeowner
- Single and uncommitted → engaged and living together as immigration sponsor and support
- Stress spiked
- Much from the last bullet but also work/projects
- Non-work-related friend socialization time plummeted
- No cybersecurity brand building or conference speaking
- No time spent towards my pilot’s license
- Experienced a robbery attempt
- “Stay frosty”
- Physical/gym performance down bad too
- Minimal time spent blogging here or across any of my digital properties
In 2022, I traveled more than ever before, at least in terms of distance. Possibly in terms of nights resting my head somewhere other than my “normal” bed.
I went to Africa for a couple weeks, Europe for a couple weeks. I went to Las Vegas twice. Traveled back and forth to upstate New York more times than I care to go back and count. Several times driving Florida ⇔ New York.
Even New York City twice. Though I’ve dismissed it as a “nice” place now since 2021, that is juggled with (what I consider to be important) responsibilities like attending friends’ baby showers. 🙏
Work & business
When I started this blog in 2014, my only business to speak of was a likely-not-legal online Bitcoin casino, which never fully came to fruition but received a lot of talk here.
My net worth was like -$50,000 and would bottom about -$100,000 after graduating college with a bunch of student loan debt.
Now — things are very different.
I cannot talk about all my work and business, for legal reasons. 😇 Similar to my time outright working under DoD clearance.
2022 was my best earnings year ever. Revenue-wise, net-worth-wise. Interestingly, my “productive” or creative output at least felt lower. Probably just was lower.
So there’s an observation — of the non-linear relationship between gross income and creation-slash-production.
When did the latter peak? Like sometime 2019 through 2021.
Still — I had never felt so busy as in 2022.
2023 is fortunately unfolding different, and I’ll make some similar remarks down in the fitness slash physical slash gym section of this life update.
My guess is that 2023 gross income will be an overall slight decline, while actual productivity grows. Not everything pays immediately!
Vaguely, what do I work on these days?
- During the day, still in-house computer security.
- Call it “cyber” or “product” or “application,” everyone else does! 😇
- “Professional computer hacker”
- Nights and weekends, some entrepreneurial things that aren’t ready for full unveiling yet.
- “Field CTO”
- Including my from-2023-onward-wife’s online business, which as you might imagine, is quite different from mine but there is some content marketing overlap.
Someday the latter may enable me to scuttle the former. Will that day come in 2023 though? Only time can tell.
At the moment, for my own reasons, my LinkedIn is obscured. The about page of this very site is probably inaccurate.
My attention-to-“personal brand” is at an all-time low.
If there’s one thing to be learned from many tech people losing their “fancy” jobs in Q4 2022 Q1 2023 now, it’s to stop attaching your ego and/or identity to where you work, anyway.
Becoming what I call a “cyber(security) celebrity” is subjectively pointless. High-volume “views” or “likes” are scarce translations to income.
LinkedIn : So, WE DID A THING
Twitter : THREAD ON GETTING STARTED AS A BUG BOUNTY HUNTER
What strokes your ego doesn’t necessarily retire your mom.
I am happier building things that matter. Tickling my ego with this website
*hand-waves around* while separately moving the quiet, lonesome needle of wealth.
And otherwise being left the hell alone. 😇
Relatively early in 2022, I bought a house in South Florida, some months before mortgage rates hiked and real estate prices peaked.
Financing the house involved liquidating ~all my stocks and cryptocurrency, which turned out to be a shrewd maneuver.
My would-be holdings ended up tanking in price as the year carried on, allowing reacquisition much more cheaply. Outside of that I’ve just been investing in myself and/or my wife — aforementioned online endeavors — at less perceived risk. 🙂
At the same time, the house caused a lot of stress and much additional expense through the remainder of 2022. But has been worth it and come along really well.
Through COVID-ian times and then 2021-2022, I’ve watched several a housing “community” devolve. First my old one in the New York City area and then my former one here in South Florida. The general population is becoming less polite and more unhinged. I don’t want to share a pool, gym, parking lot, etcetera with them as the slide continues. Fin.
Love & family
Between the end of 2022 and this blog post’s writing, I got married to the love of my life — who, in just last year’s blog post — was referred to as simply “my cruise ship girlfriend.” 😛
She arrived here to the U.S. from her native South Africa in August 2022. We were able to spend the latter part of the year together, “home-making” as one might say.
We’ve been expending much energy on the immigration process — a time and expense abyss in its own way.
I am now more dubious of remarks about (legal) immigration to the U.S. being “easy,” though everything is relative.
Otherwise in 2022, I was able to spend a great deal of time with family from near and far, including with my new wife and in-laws. For all of this I am grateful.
It’s lucky that my line of work allows me to be remote, because without that I’d do much more “staying put.”
Non-family social time was one area that declined in 2022.
I spent fewer minutes with my friends and, while I might argue that time we did spend together was high-value, that was the tune of 2021 as well.
Have had many a Bluetooth headset conversation from my garage while working on some home-y project. But it’s “just not the same” as in-person time.
Fitness & physical
August 2021 was probably my physical peak.
2022 was a relatively bad year in this domain, being honest. My WHOOP provides data to substantiate the claim.
Moving the bar in every domain is doable every year. That’s something I still believe in. But there’s a limitation — balance.
Do you want to move everything a little or some things a lot?
i.e. doubling net income year-over-year comes at a price somewhere
In 2022, so much was achieved in the non-fitness, non-gym, non-physical domains that this suffered. This could’ve been better if other areas had been worse.
For 2023 this is something I’m being more mindful of. Now that I am married, and my house and home life are more situated, it seems like less energy will be required than initially.
Will travel be less? Maybe. I’ll be back to Europe for sure, Africa likely.
Others might argue with me, but fitness is much more difficult “on the road.” That’s the truth.
My physical peak came about from lots of consistency, living in Syracuse and going to Edge Strength & Conditioning four times a week. For most of that year.
Nonetheless, aided by that consistent WHOOP tracking, I’m at least putting more emphasis on some less-sexy less-glamorous health indicators —
- Resting Heart Rate (RHR) <= 60 beats/minute (BPM)
- Daily step count >=10,000
- Beach walks, neighborhood walks after dinner if eaten at home
- Sitting hours lower vs. standing or moving hours
- More disciplined use of standing desk
- VO2 Max >= ~50 mL/kg/minute
- Systolic blood pressure < 90mmHg
- “Normal blood glucose”
- “Normal Total Cholesterol”
Some credit to Dr. Barrett’s Substack, a different article of which has a quote I particularly liked —
“True health is the sense that your life is fully aligned with who you wish to become, and you are doing so in the company of those you love. Living longer with better abilities of movement and cognition are important, but for me, they are only in service of spending time on what is most meaningful in your life. The biggest question of health is not what your fitness level is or what your blood pressure is. It is ‘Are you living a life that is most aligned with who you know you should be’?”
Whenever I’m stopped in my car, my eyes flick around the mirrors. Traffic light. Car wash. Entering or exiting my garage.
Towards the end of 2022, I was finishing up in the automatic car wash on the edge of a seedier part of town. Suddenly someone came riding in on a bicycle, heading along my driver’s side with a paper bag over their hand.
I’m not naive, so took the car right out of park and roared off. Every fiber of my being told me that was danger, narrowly dodged.
Especially as this was a rare occasion of my being unarmed. Not that it would’ve done much good there —
(1) it only takes one such occasion to cost you everything and (2) sitting in your car, stationary, is a poor tactical position to defend oneself from plus (3) goodbye to your hearing if you loose a bullet from your car interior.
Especially if you car-carry something meaty like a Glock 29SF.
Earlier in my summary points, “stay frosty” meant for you to stay cool, calm, and collected, ready for “SHTF” any moment.
Think what you will about firearms, knives, mace.
Take what you will from my cautionary tale.
You have the most control over your own total life, as always, more than any other human.
Not a politician, not your “boss” and/or whoever decides who to cull from your place of work, and not your Homeowner’s Association president.
and not the U.S. Federal Reserve…? 😛
We’re at the end of calendar Q1 2023 at publication time here. It has already been tougher than 2022. But it will ultimately be good.
If you put in the work.
If you don’t panic.
If you “lean into” your gut feelings and what you think you might enjoy, where it counts.
Mankind has been bouncing from calamity to calamity for basically forever. In each of which, YOU’RE the variable you MOST control.
Good luck. 🙏