2020

Every December I write a little bit about my year. It’s not the whole review… but here’s what I can talk about for my internet friends.

Hindsight is 2020… but I’m glad to see 2020 in hindsight. 🥁 Truthfully, my family has been very blessed and protected in so many ways through this wild year.

We welcomed another little one safely, God continues to provide for us through my job (which I enjoy!), and our little family has had lots of time together… sometimes socially distanced but otherwise wonderful.

This has also been a challenging year… mostly the external factors of The Unknown1 preying on my mind and creating the usual symptoms of stress on my body and mind. Running to the Lord first, and wisely limiting some of the sources of stress has really helped.

Creating

This year I wrote 60 blog posts including this one.

While writing has been creatively satisfying in and of itself (and useful!2) even more wonderful has been likes, comments, reblogs and the occasional email from a new internet friend. I got to help a blogging hero of mine set up webmentions, got a lot of folks talking about zettelkasten, and a few crazy souls actually tried my hammerspoon setup. This year I’ve received about 12 emails from y'all… and each made my day and inspired me to keep going. I have removed analytics from the site… getting emails from y'all is much nicer than tracking top keywords.

It’s really hard to tell how much I added to my zettelkasten… the modified time has been clobbered by running the transition script too many times. Looking forward to investing in that more this year.

While I don’t presently code for a living, GitHub counts 872 contributions… probably mostly me dinking around on my blog, hammerspoon, or QMK. :-P

Reading

I only read 13 books this year. :( I’ll blame a variety of factors, including discovering long-form podcasts and getting overly absorbed that I can borrow graphic novels on Hoopla that I can borrow comic books from the library (which don’t count for me… although I definitely maxed out my 10 per month every single month this year. I suppose if I did count comic books, it’d be closer to 120?)

I’ve responded by deleting Hoopla off my phone, which seems to be helping. 😜

While I don’t know how many articles I read this year, I apparently saved 1,360 articles and videos in my instapaper… so something less than that. I saved 67 annotated links into my zettelkasten… although many more went into blog posts and newsletters.

Health

According to strava I worked out 214 days in 2020. I doubled up on running, and set another sub-25m 5k just last week.

While (God be praised!) we’ve been well and haven’t really gained any weight, I’m still wrestling with my diet, although a combination of macro tracking and looking at the graph every morning seems to be helping me in the last two months. Turns out sugar is the single most correlated stat for me and weight. I’ll write more about that automation later I’m sure.

In all, I think this year I finally started to add sleep, water intake, and diet moderation to the mix. Now to make it an easy part of my life.

Work

In February, my wife and I got away to talk about the next four years and what we wanted to accomplish personally and in our family life. One of those things was that we wanted me to work from home by the end of those four years… and we got our wish the next week. 🤷

COVID remote has been a challenge, but a welcome one. I work well from home, and I’ve been glad that I could be home for the first six months of our newest. While I certainly pray for the pandemic to end, I kinda want to stay home.

Our team has grown both in size and capability. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to get back into work for the next year, I know great things are ahead.

I’ve been tracking my time this year, although it really didn’t become a habit till June (Headspace was born in May.)

These are mostly since June:
Dark Blue is High Value. (298h, some of it hidden in the gray.)
Light Blue is shallow work (238h) and meetings (266h).
Green (47h) is “play” which includes blogging and working on dotfiles.

Looking at my stats… I’m kind of appalled of where the time was invested. I’m happy with the results, and so I guess this is an encouragement that I can do even better.

Spiritual Life

I’m still not where I want to be here. Half way through the year I realized my commitment to working out was choking my quiet times, so I’ve started turning that around: trading my workout time for prayer and the word. I still haven’t gotten back to my study habit I had five years ago, I may need to find another time in the day because mornings are difficult with two little ones.

I think the next step is to reconnect with my wife and really prioritize shared time in the word and prayer. With the two smidgens it’s easy to have a split schedule.

Relationships

Mid-COVID, I started realizing that while my introverted self was happy, there would be others that would be struggling, so I started reaching out to my friends for virtual lunches. I wound up doing quite a few… too many actually, I think that kind of undercut my family time. Going to find a sustainable pattern going forward, but definitely going to continue something intentional and personal over likes and comments on social media.

Unsurprisingly, I cut off personal social media. I’m still pretty active on twitter and linkedin for semi-professional reasons, but instagram… well I only posted twice this year. I think I’ll probably close it down eventually. I’m already collecting an email list for those who want more personal family updates, but don’t feel like feeding FB’s giant algorithm monster.

While the wife and I got a lot of time together, it wasn’t very restful for her… when I work from home I can leave my office, but if you work on the home it is hard to find that life-giving distance in COVID-land, especially with a newborn. We went on our first date in six months this past month, and we are prioritizing more dating time in 2021.

2021

In 2020 chose the theme of “Clarity.” I often asked myself when stressed if I had clarity on what was most important, and that really helped. If I knew what was most important (often my family) then I prioritized that. If I didn’t know what was most important, then discovering my priorities was the next thing.

I look forward to revealing my 2021 theme… at another time. 😉

I still haven’t finished my full yearly personal review and planning… that usually comes in the days before New Years, but I am excited to see what the Lord will do in my heart in 2021. He has been faithful through a very strange and stressful year, and I fully expect to see His hand clearly in 2021.

He is good. I trust him. Let’s do this!


  1. Politics. Pandemics. Other P words. 

  2. I have been secretly pleased every time I send someone a previously written link to answer a question! 


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Changelog
  • 2020-12-24 15:32:52 +0000

    Add some community accomplishments

  • 2020-12-24 14:55:10 +0000

    Fix typos, add notes about clarity and dating

  • 2020-12-24 14:37:33 +0000

    Rewrites, add toggl chart

  • 2020-12-24 03:11:17 +0000

    Review: 2020