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Year in Review: Resolutions

The Year In Review:

The days are long, but the years are short! Unlike last year, I think this year kind of flew by. I definitely forgot about my New Year's Resolutions again, and I think I'll just keep forgetting them and it'll just have to be okay.

What did I promise the world I was gonna do for myself again?

So looking at what I promised,

  • Do things that make me happy (MEETS / EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS)

    I think this year overall has been a very happy year for me. Work has turned out to be terrific overall, and I'm much more optimistic about my future now that this year's underneath my belt. I think that plays a huge role in my overall happiness because I spend at least 8 hours a day at work, usually those hours are the best hours I have while awake, and I view work as a path towards fulfillment and freedom. While my old manager left, I got a new manager, and made sure to hold out for eight months in order to find him, because he's the coolest person I've worked with so far and him being nice and flexible and smart means I can stay here and grow if I choose to.

    I've also encountered a good number of positive life events. This year, I bought my first property, a primary residence in the condo neighborhood I've lived in for a while. Given the COVID situation, and the growth of tech and the hiring of tech people everywhere, I think my long-term bet to live somewhere I'm happy is paying off, because the jobs are coming to me anyways. I've also purchased a brand new car, and that means I get much more comfort in going places (I've never been so happy when I have the car's heater on in the snow and I can just look at the snow outside and smile while also being warm, it's the most amazing thing ever). In all of these things, the titles listing me as a resident and owner and even paying taxes part, I feel like I belong somewhere. I think that's pretty big.

    I'm also starting to work out on a regular cadence from personal training, and being fit or fitter means not only do I feel better about myself, I also feel more confident when walking around in the street. I do notice my shirt being tighter in my chest and shoulder area, and women looking at me while I'm on the street

    I think overall, how I'd describe my year of happiness is “solidification”. There's a lot of reasons to be happy for years to come because of the foundations I've laid down this year, and it's on me to practice gratitude and have those reminders.


    With my car, I was able to make a 1500 mile round trip journey, from D.C. to Princeton N.J, then through New York City and up to Boston, then over to Vermont, then to Ithaca, NY for a friend's wedding, then back home. It was a crazy journey; I drove through a hurricane or tropical storm near New Jersey (when NJ drivers go 30 mph on the Interstate, you know it's serious weather), drove through Manhattan by accident (Holland Tunnel does not take you from NJ to NJ, it takes you from NJ to NY), found out Conneticut drivers are crazy (the roads are really great so everybody's a BMW driver going 20-40 over, not using turn signals, crossing multiple lanes at the same time, and ambushing you from the right because there are no merge lanes), drove through the dagged streets of New England, took a lake ferry across Lake Champlain, and had a random box from the wedding engage my emergency trunk release mechanism on the highway. I also met up with a friend in NJ, walked around Liberty Park in Jersey City and saw the helicopters and planes over Manhattan, ate a lobster in Rockport MA (couldn't get the idea of revenge against cockroaches in my apartment out of my mind), went to Ausable Chasm in the Adirondacks in upstate NY, bought some fancy chocolates and hot cocoa and maple syrup for friend's wedding, and spent a good number of days and nights dancing, hiking, and telling stories around the fire with people I knew and people I've never met.

    That was just one trip!! All possible thanks to my car. Can't take a Lyft trip like this without spending thousands of dollars.

    I also did stuff like jump out of an airplane for the second time, go paddleboarding with friends near the Wharf and wave to a bunch of people, checked out some new Korean restaurants and Michelin Star restaurants with some friends, and went hiking to Old Rag and Harper's Ferry.

    I think I forgot a whole bunch of stuff this year until I actually racked my brain and a bunch of memories kind of fell out.

  • Find another welcoming community with a productive interest (PARTIALLY MEETS EXPECTATIONS)

    I think for this one, I would say I've strengthed my friendships with the friends from college who live in this area by routinely attending meetups, I've kind of let my writer's group friends lag or hang by not attending all that regularly, and I picked up some acquaintances (if that?) by going to the gym on my own regularly apart from personal training. I don't think I've worked towards finding a new welcoming community with a productive interest. I was thinking more about sports leagues or ukulele groups or rejoining that board games meetup I used to go to for this bullet point, but I haven't done any of that. At this point, I'm pretty convinced that if I'm happy without having done this, then this point probably didn't matter as much as I thought it did.

Overall, I'd say it's a pretty successful year of personal growth, on the broader front.

I wonder how I did on the other bullet points…the ones where I'm like I should work on personal software and stuff…

  • Replace more software I use for life management with software I write myself (PARTIALLY MEETS EXPECTATIONS)

    I'm starting to package stuff with docker-compose, and host it locally and deploy it into GitHub, but I'm not at the point of using Kubernetes, and deploying it onto websites. It's partly cost (I think a k8s control plane costs $100 per month in order to host), and it's also complexity and the capacity in order to learn. I think I need to learn Kubernetes for work at some point, so this might be an area I can crack. It's also partly the labor burden of having to keep systems up-to-date. I think there's automated ways in order to pull from upstream package archives, so ways in order to reduce that load too.

    I'm also not using my own software on a day-to-day basis, besides my hourly journal. I think being able to close the loop on that will be really helpful in making sure I continue personal development.

  • Ship personal software to production, with payments (DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS)

    Yeah nope. I need to work on this next year, but probably phrase it slightly differently.