Inspired by several similar sorts of posts (and the realization that this will be only my second post this year), it feels like a good time to look at 2013, as well as to look forward a bit at some things I’d like to change next year.
Good Things in 2013
There were several things that went well this year.
Logan’s first calendar year
This year was the first year that I was a dad from start to finish. Logan aged from seven months to nineteen months, and getting to watch his growth and development during 2013 was nothing short of amazing. I wish I could find words for how it feels to watch him grow and learn. Each and every day still has new things, and watching my baby grow into a toddler has been the highlight of the year.
Back in July, I started a new job with Bazaarvoice, which has been a great experience so far. It’s a completely different stack of technology than anything I’ve worked with before, at an amazing scale (over half a billion people load BV content each month).
I do miss my training travel to various spots all over the US, but if I had to pick one city to be my primary travel target, Austin is a pretty great choice.
Additionally, I got to talk at a couple of national-level events, which was pretty awesome. I was one of the first speakers in the new Trainer Track at JSConf 2013, and I gave a talk on Debugging at jQuery Conference Austin. (I’ll be giving an updated version of the Debugging talk at jQuery Conference San Diego in February!)
It was another fun year for travel. In the first half of the year, I got to visit some places I hadn’t been before. I really enjoyed Atlanta, and visiting Amelia Island for JSConf was pretty amazing. Logan also had his first out-of-state trips, including road trips to Arizona and Colorado (both for weddings) and a flight to Austin for my orientation week.
Also travel-related, but not my travel, my good friend [Mark Z] came to visit in October for the [Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta], after several years of discussing it. It was a great visit, and definitely one of the highlights of the year.
Not-as-good Things in 2013
I’m not normally one to dwell on the negatives, but in assessing the year, I think it’s important to at least look a little bit at some of the things that weren’t as good.
Weight and Diet
Back in early 2010, I was able to find some willpower and made some changes that resulted in the best weight loss I’d had in my adult life. I made it down to 217 at my low point (which was the lowest I’d been since high school). Shortly after that, I started a work-from-home job and became quite sedentary. Over the course of the past few years, I’ve completely undone all of that loss, to the point that as of this year, I’m very near to my highest weight ever.
I feel like I’ve done a really poor job of keeping in touch with my friends and family. I know communication is a two-way street, and it’s not all on me, but I’ve been less available, both in-person and online, and it’s definitely something I could work on.
A few days ago, I read an article on developing systems instead of goals, and it really resonated with me. I feel that I can greatly attribute my career successes to date (which I’m fairly proud of) on the fact that I didn’t really set specific goals, so much as that I had systems to develop myself professionally. Keeping that in mind, there’s a few things I’d like to work on in the upcoming years (not just 2014).
Be More Active
During the last week of 2013, we were all pretty sick with some stomach bug. In an effort to feel better, we took a walk on a couple of days, and it really reminded me how much I used to enjoy trying to walk (and even run) a few years ago. I wound up pushing myself a bit even, and in this past week, I’ve walked over eight miles (most of those while pushing Logan in a stroller). I plan to simply take a bit of time each week to get out and move more.
Get Back to Writing
I have all these things I want to write about. I like the idea of small personal asides as well as larger technical writeups, and I plan to do more of both. In particular, I’ve developed a passion for knowing as much as I can about DevTools in Chrome and Firefox, and I’d like to share some of the more useful tidbits and ideas.
I haven’t really spent all that much time on personal hobbies in the past year or two. While I did acquire several new board games in 2013, I didn’t spend tons of time actually playing them. There’s a challenge on BoardGameGeek to play 10 games 10 times each that I’d like to complete. Too often, I’d purchase a game, find one chance to play it, and move on. I need to really take time to enjoy the things I have, rather than constantly looking for new things.
I’ve also not read many books for almost two years. I’m fairly sure March 2012 was the last time I read something other than a technical book.
While not perfect, 2013 was a pretty solid year. Here’s looking forward to 2014!