Looking Back at 2023

Posted by Brad on Sun 31 December 2023

I've never really been into new year resolutions. I prefer to make changes when I find them, not wait for some arbitrary date. That said maybe the end of the year does provide a good point for reviewing things and re-alignment.

Looking Back

Overall, it was a good year. I went to Alaska and saw a ton of cool glaciers and stuff, had a good solo camping trip, started rowing, and found a ton of great music this year, lots of progressive metal.

Alaska Glacier

To balance it out there was some bad. Summer was pretty miserable with ridiculous heat and very little rain. Work was a struggle for a while, and I'm still making adjustments to improve it. I only got to go camping the one time.

Looking Forward

I have a good job with a few intermittent pain points. I am hopeful I can alleviate most of them with a little bit of effort. One of the things that has taken some getting used to is realizing I have the technical knowledge I need. So I've dropped the homelab. I still like to keep up-to-date with things, but it's more about knowing what's available. Going forward, as much as I've fought against it, I think I'll need to focus more on the soft skills. I feel comfortable mentoring/coaching junior engineers that have their own motivation to grow. But I don't feel comfortable doing that with mid or senior level engineers that might be more set in their own ways. So ideally this year I'll split my time between technical projects and helping the team work through things themselves.

So now I have all this time outside of work I would have spent on work adjacent stuff that is now my own. I've realized how much I rely on external motivation for doing things. From the outside it probably just looks like laziness, but it's more about finding things that are worth my time.

I've always hated home chores. It was easy to use work as an excuse to not do them. I think I'll allocate set amounts of time to home chores. Hopefully, I can keep those times small but frequent. In the spring and fall doing anything outside is nice, and so a lot of times I end up doing yard work instead of biking. The problem with this though is that I'm not in good shape for biking when summer hits. I end up feeling like I wasted the good weather on chores. If I plan some time expectations for things hopefully I'll be able to make more of both work.

Mostly, I want to go on more adventures. More biking, hiking, camping. And when I'm not doing those I want to stay active with rowing and lifting.

Another problably short-lived goal thing is to cut back on drinking pop. I'll still get caffeine through tea, but hopefully this will help cut back on sugar.

So 2024 is going to be a good year. I'm going to Norway. I'm putting in a limit of 2 trips to North Dakota, so I should be able to do more camping/hiking adventures. Oats has hopefully grown out of her puppy phase and might be able to go camping too.

Oats Puppy