Looking back across world headlines, it’s hard to see much positivity in 2022. Narrowing my focus to national issues and things look even worse. There is no one event that stands out. It’s the trend that worries me.
I’m not usually one for looking back over previous years, but as I sat in one of the friendliest bakehouses in London this morning, catching up with an old friend, I realised that 2022 has been a good year.
This post is written more for me than anyone else. But if anything resonates, I’d love to hear from you.
My son started school in September. We found the whole process of finding a school to be immensely stressful. But so far, we couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. He is happy, wakes up excited to cycle to school and is really enjoying learning. It is an absolute delight to be part of.
2022 was the year it really hit me that passively following people on social media is not the way to maintain friendships. It felt like this was the year people gave up on social networks. I know this is far from the reality, but increasingly I was finding I had no alternative way to get in touch with people as they dropped off social networks. So I turned to email. Instead of the like or the retweet, I have started to put my thoughts in an email instead. I miss the days when the majority of email in my inbox was from friends and not notifications from institutions. If you’d like to email someone, try firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve also been been fortunate to round out 2022 by meeting friends old and new. I’ve started to enjoy hosting people at home. We’ve done pizzas, hotpot, dumplings, salads, and more. I know that I’m not going to be able to host all friends in 2023 so exploring new ways in which we relate online is something I’m determined to explore.
I only made incremental changes at work this year. I switched to being full remote. I’ve found I’m more productive and the flexibility has made a significant improvement to family life. I do miss the office occasionally, but have no plans to go back full time.
Good feedback is hard to come by, particularly in a professional setting. But this year I was offered three pieces that stuck with me. They stand out because they started to help me understand why people seem to enjoy working with me, something I’ve struggled with throughout my career.
“You push people forward as you learn. As you figure things out you bring the team along with you.”
“It’s not something you know, it’s the way you operate.”
“You are the most managerial, non-manager I know.”
If there is one thing I’ve started to miss from previous jobs, it’s the ability to act a mentor or career advisor to others. This is something I really enjoy doing, and something I’ve tried to pick up outside work.
Hobbies & Interests
Besides family and work, 2022 was a great year for hobbies and side projects.
I’ve been pair programming a lot more this year. It has been an absolute delight. I’d love to do more of this, but I need to have a think about how I do so sustainably. One idea I’m exploring is to try more one off sessions rather than long running projects. To do so, I need to think about how best to find projects to work on.
I’ve been trying my hand at analogue photography. I’ll post more about this in future, but it has been a delightful experience. Compared with the world of digital photography, the world of analogue is beautifully simple but no less creative.
On the downside, I’ve been treading water with learning Chinese. I’d love to give this more focus in 2023.