2021 Recap

Intro

2021 was another tough year, and full of disappointments. Here's a brief recap of what this year looked like.

A forest green typewriter with a centered 2021 on the page

Burn out

This year, I felt constantly anxious and burnt out from so many unknowns.

The unknown has felt like a giant weight on my chest - in all parts of my life. I felt like I was constantly in "reaction mode" to news, and it would wear on me emotionally, and to an extent, physically. Everywhere around me was pain, suffering, and stress and it was getting to be too much. I always wanted to help people but it ended up snowballing to a point where I couldn't keep up.

In 2022, I hope to take a step back and prioritize my own well-being. While I will definitely still be there for my friends, family, and coworkers, I need to do a better job of protecting myself so that I can be the best version of me.

Weight gain

Ever since the quarantine, it's been challenging for me to find the motivation to exercise. Especially since I definitely prefer going to the gym to get my cardio fix. I've tried a few at-home solutions like doing the occasional dance video and your standard sit-up/crunch routines, but I'm definitely not where I need to be.

I'm grateful for a few friends on Twitter who have been vocal with their goal of weight loss for the next year. Knowing they're on the same journey makes it a little less lonely.

In 2022, I'm going to focus more on what I can control (my diet) and see what progress I can make there, while I figure out an exercise schedule that is both safe and practical.

Reading

Despite being shut in for almost two years, I haven't done as much reading as I should have. That being said, I did read a few good ones that I wanted to highlight:

"Dr. Sleep" by Stephen King

It's been a while since I had read a Stephen King novel, and this didn't disappoint. I told myself I would read this first before seeing the movie, and I have to say the book was way better -- but that's a given, right?

"The Book of Accidents" by Chuck Wendig

I LOVED this - as someone who's a fan of supernatural spookiness, this book definitely scratched that itch. This was my first Wendig novel, and I'm looking forward to reading more.

"Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek

I wasn't fully engaged with this one, but I did like the section about how the brain works and why you feel certain things based off of your dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin levels.

In 2022, I look forward to reading the books I got for Christmas:

  • "Ruined by Design" by Mike Monteiro
  • "Managing Humans" by Michael Lopp
  • "Billion Dollar Loser" by Reeves Wiedeman
  • "Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou

Writing

I really thought with the lockdown in place, that I could keep up a good rhythm of content for blog posts. I even drafted out several topics that I could write about, and set aside time at the end of the week to write them.

However, each week ended up either being dedicated to putting out fires, or just feeling completely exhausted and writing was the last thing I wanted to do. I was also writing a bunch of docs for work, and my energy was pretty much zapped by the time it came to writing content - especially if it was technical.

There were also issues with my site that I wanted to improve/fix but I just never got around to it. Or I would spend time tinkering with that, and not have the energy to write about it.

In 2022, I want to get better at sharing out what's in my ๐Ÿง  more frequently by protecting my time.

COVID

The heading pretty much says it all, with the rampant variants - despite all the vaccinations and mask protocols, folks are still getting sick and it's super upsetting to see loved ones having to isolate, especially at this time of the year. I am grateful to have a job that lets me work at home, but I desperately miss seeing my coworkers/friends. And let's face it - hopping on a Zoom call is NOT the same.

In 2022, I really want to make more virtual friends and hopefully see folks IRL.

Highlights

That being said, it wasn't ALL bad. I did have a few good things happen, including...

Professional stuff

  • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Formed a UX Engineering team for the Intuit Design System
  • โœ๏ธ Contributed to a few open source projects - my fave being doc-blocks
  • ๐Ÿ† Was nominated for a CEO Leadership Award!
  • ๐Ÿšข Shipped several cross-product updates, core components
  • ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ Continued onboarding teams to design tokens

Personal stuff

  • ๐Ÿš€ Launched this site!
  • ๐ŸŽ™ Went out of my comfort zone and did a ton of social stuff
  • ๐ŸŒด Visited Hawaii for the first time
  • ๐Ÿฅœ Discovered I'm not allergic to macademia nuts
  • ๐Ÿ’‰ Got vaxxed and boosted

2022 Resolutions

Next year, I want to be kinder to myself.

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