As I write this, the rain is falling heavily on top of a night full of snowfall. It is a slushy mess of a gray New England morning and I have no desire to go out and shovel the driveway as I know must be done.
Instead, I've poured another cup of coffee and noticing that we have less than five days left in the year I thought it would be fun to look back at what unfolded in 2012.
January started off with being selected to serve on a jury. It was my first time for this and it was a very interesting experience, even if the trial was longer than it needed to be. Kenmore invited me and other parenting bloggers to Chicago for an event and that same weekend we went to the AFC Championship game as a family. After months chatting online, I finally met Jason McCarthy and his sidekick Java in New York and we got to chat about GORUCK and interview him for Passion Hit TV.
February was fairly quiet. A bunch of friends went to see Rock of Ages on stage and sung our hearts out as this silly fun production. My relationship with Lynda.com also began this month as I traveled to their California studio to do a screen test for possible future work with them. Walking along the coast I observed day old seal pups which still to this day makes me smile thinking about them. I was also invited to speak at a private retreat for a global pharmaceuticals company about the future of the web and how they should be using it. This was one of those opportunities that you never plan for, but it was a great discussion at an inn on the ocean in Newport, RI.
March will always mean SXSW to me. Traveling to Austin to connect with old friends and meet new ones is always an important week for me. The weather was horrible this year with two days of cold rain that put a damper on things, but it picked up and got better as the days rolled on. While in town I jumped over to the first ever Dad 2.0 Summit to moderate the morning keynote. Laura and I snuck away for our first weekend in Las Vegas together. I had won the trip in a contest and we had a great. I'll always remember looking out at all the lights of the strip, while booking vaccine appointments for when I got back for a big trip that had just been confirmed. I also made a quick trip to Washington, DC and back to meet with the team at Amtrak. The month ended with spending the weekend in New Orleans thanks to LG. They flew me and a couple of others dads down to enjoy the NCAA Basketball Championship weekend and boy did we ever have a good time!
April was the month that changed my life forever. Spending a week in Ghana with the team from ONE came about from a single email and looking back now it feels almost like it was yesterday and years ago at the same time. The day after returning home the whole family climbed forty six stories of stairs as part of the first annual Wediko Stair Climb and I did it in under twenty minutes.
May tends to be a quiet month for me. The highlight this year was spending time idling well with my dad in Echo Valley, VT. Just me, him, Abe and the quiet of the woods. The family and I jumped on a train for our first adventure in New York City together for National Train Day. I'll always remember Emily's face as she stood on Broadway for the first time. Another milestone was reached during this month as Content Rules was released in paperback!
June was one of the busiest months of the year. I spoke at BlogWorld in New York and then proceeded across town to do interviews for Watch.tv during the Vimeo Film Awards. ONE had a large group of us down to discuss and plan the future of their ONE Moms program. Being the only guy in a room of such smart and inspiring women is not a bad way to spend a couple of days. *grin* TBEX had a last minute cancelation and I was brought in to give the opening keynote in Keystone, Colorado. It was the largest room I had ever been in front of and it was a rush of the best possible kind! Finally, me and some of my college roomies made a pilgrimage down to New Jersey to spend time with a fellow room mate. It was one of those trips that reminds you just how old we are getting.
July started off with a bang when I attended the World Domination Summit in Portland, OR. It was unlike any conference I had ever attended and I bought my ticket for 2013 on the spot. Emily and I took a road trip to Syracuse University so that I could speak to their communications team. It was quality father daughter bonding at its best. We had a mini Random Foo Pictures reunion at my house that I think I'm still smiling from.
August found me back in California to film my first class for Lynda.com. Insights From a Content Marketer (affiliate link) was fun to film and the crew there is top notch. Google invited me to their New York office to talk about Google+ and it was fun to get even a little peek behind the Big G curtain.
September started off with my first visit to Columbus, Ohio to speak at Content Marketing World. This event gets bigger and better every year. Then Laura and I traveled to Girona, Spain. I was speaking at TBEX again and the local tourism board wanted to make sure we got to enjoy their beautiful country. I'm still going through my photos from the trip and long to go back to the Nuria Valley sometime as it is easily one of the most peaceful locations I've ever found on Earth. The month ended with the first ever PodCamp East and it was great to reunite some of the Zen Acorns for a quality weekend together.
October began with a seven minute talk at MarketingProfs B2B Forum for me. I also traveled to Detroit for BrandConf University and event walked on the enemy territory of Jets Stadium to have breakfast with Doug Flutie thanks to Dove Men+Care and Dad 2.0 Summit.
November was extra special this year as my latest book, Amazing Things Will Happen, hit store shelves. The launch didn't go as planned, but after months of writing and editing it was great to have it out there for anyone to buy and read. After recovering from a great Thanksgiving meal with my family, I jumped on a plane headed to Nottingham, England to give my first ever TEDx Talk at TEDxLaceMarket. I'm still smiling from that and it checked another item off my life list of goals.
December is always about winding down and enjoying time with my family. I did sneak in a trip to Toronto to meet with the team at Kobo about my book and down to Washington, DC to speak at ONE. I also had the pleasure of an intimate conversation with a group of authors at Grubb Street and I look forward to doing more with them in the future.
2012 certainly was a year full of hard work and good times. I know that as soon as I hit publish on this, I'll remember other fun times I had yet forgot to mention.
To think that on top of all this I was writing a book, being a dad, writing and recording content AND working with clients.
While each of us plan what we'd like to accomplish in the months ahead, few can totally plan for what will unfold.
I know that there are many things that happened in 2012 which I had not planned for. What will happen in 2013 that I'll look back with amazement at twelve months from now?
My plan for the year ahead is to focus on building The Cleon Foundation into the company I want it to be, making sure as many people as possible know about and read Amazing Things Will Happen and continuing to create new episodes of Managing the Gray and Passion Hit TV. I'm looking forward to continue to take on new freelance writing assignments, speaking to crowds of all sizes and getting better with my photography. But, what else arises I can only imagine!
I hope that 2013 is a beautiful and rewarding year for each of you and thank you following along and being part of mine.
Happy New Year!