2018: A Year in Review
It’s the end of the year, and I’ve been reflecting on what I accomplished this year and what I didn’t, as well as what I can do better next year. I’ve decided to write one of these because I really enjoy reading them from other people and it’s nice to catalogue things for posterity.
This is my first blog post in about 6 months, though I’ve had another one that is on a technical subject (part two of the “Behind the Syntax” series) in drafts maybe 75% done for a couple months – I’m pretty far off from my goal of one blog post a month! I knew I would get there eventually, so I’m not that bummed out of it. I wish I hadn’t fallen off quite so hard though.
As a side note, this is my first blog post written entirely using Gutenberg, which is a really nice experience! I’m a fan.
All of this work enabled me to make a change in my career that I’ve been wanting for a while – moving away from doing agency work to a more traditional software development environment. My entire career up until this point has been working at agencies – building websites and sometimes web apps for clients. I am now working at a place in a more senior role, with agile processes in place and helping maintain and build a very large codebase. It’s a lot more responsibility, it pays a lot better and it’s rounding out my career experience in a way that I feel was sorely needed for where I want to be in 5 years.
My health was a really prominent focus this year for me. Specifically eating and exercise. I’ve always been a bigger guy who likes to eat, so keeping my eating under control was a challenge. The results were a mixed bag – I was able to lose some weight and keep it off. As of this writing, I’m about 60 pounds down from my highest ever weight. But I still have about 80 pounds I need to lose. I really hope I am able to continue making progress on this next year. I was a lot more successful with exercise however – I signed up for a gym membership in January and I’m still going 2-3 times a week. It’s super cool to not need to make “getting back into the gym” a new year’s resolution!
Working with a trainer has really helped me be consistent and I really enjoy how it makes me feel. I also bought a bike and went on a lot of bike rides and hikes with people this year. It’s something I’m hoping to continue to do and maybe even expand on in the new year.
I didn’t do any traveling in 2017, and I found I really missed it. I made it a goal to travel more in 2018. My friend Greg was doing some graduate work down in Guatemala, so I was able to visit him for a week and he drove me all around the country. This was only my second time visiting another country (my first was Canada – and I’m not even sure if that really counts) and it was amazing. I’m super grateful that I got the chance to go do that. I really felt like I soaked the country in.
I also went to Maine and Austin this year. The header picture for this post is from a beautiful bridge I saw as I was driving through Maine during the fall foliage. I think traveling solo is really nice. I love meeting new people wherever I go and I’ve learned a lot about how to do solo travel successfully this year. Next year, I’m planning on visiting Japan and possibly Iceland.
I have really ambitious plans for next year, and I think I’m in a better place than ever to accomplish my goals. I’m not sure what my blog post schedule is going to look like next year – but I will probably be more active than I was this year. I’ve found that the kind of blog posts I enjoy writing are more editorial than technical. I have a lot of opinions on the industry that I work in that I think might be worth sharing.
I’m excited for what the next year is going to bring. See you in 2019!