Since so much has been awful about this year, the least I can do when recapping it is not indulge in the “things sucked overall, but my life was great!” approach that I did for 2015 and 2014. So I’ll just say that for me, the following items were fulfilling and/or fun in personal and/or professional ways this year:

  1. Becoming a Senior Designer at Oniracom in my third year of employment there.
  2. Reviving my old “History Mix” band essays with three new ones, as part of starting a new book project [UPDATE 7/6/21: it became a podcast project].
  3. Refreshing the Oniracom identity design, my biggest project there this year.
  4. Taking two road trips to San Luis Obispo (plus one night in Cayucos) for AIGA Santa Barbara events there.
  5. Creating two posters that got noticed as part of AIGA’s national “Get Out the Vote” initiative showcase.
  6. Participating in the AIGA Los Angeles Design Debates event in March.
  7. Attending my first UCSB Daily Nexus Alumni reunion in April.
  8. Creating and posting my “50+2” weekly map/art project on social media.
  9. Seeing Elvis Costello for the third time and Neko Case for the third time—or fourth, if we’re counting Case/Lang/Veirs.
  10. Biking well over 1,000 miles a year for the first time since committing to it as serious exercise.
  11. Visiting North Carolina for the first time so I could attend my 4th AIGA Leadership Retreat, this year in Raleigh.
  12. Visiting Minnesota for the first time so Em and I could catch a Twins game at the 15th stadium on our DuBois Baseball Tour.
  13. Attending my first AIGA Design Conference, hosted this year in Las Vegas.
  14. Producing two back to back AIGA SB events in April—the highlight of thirteen events in my second year as president.
  15. Taking in a Dodgers/Padres game in LA with Em on our 10th wedding anniversary.

I have no idea what will happen next year, but given what we’re all up against I think I’ll have to make some hard choices and take real risks. Stay tuned.