2023

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.

This year's theme was set as Wake Up, intending to take action, not sleep on things. It was a good guide to begin the year, and providentially took on new meanings as the Lord revealed new things for me to work on and submit myself to Him.

I'd say that this was a very hard year emotionally. Just a lot going on in the world1 and in my heart. At this moment I am grateful and easily resting in God's provision and faithfulness… but that has been harder at different times in the year.

Creating

I think this year I wrote 53 articles here, 13 more than last year. Some of my favorites:

I am still making a lot of unlisted videos just for friends, although now I'm using OBS and Youtube because I'm too poor to pay for Loom at the moment.

I touched 2303 notes in Obsidian this year. That's almost double the count from last year. There's a lot of thoughts brewing in there… some shallow research notes about camping and hobbies, but also an essay about burnout and What I Think About This AI Thing.

I'm going to start a new habit this year (Lord willing!) to write more. I've had some essays I really care about jammed in my gullet for months. I need to spend time on them. The two changes: a glance at my writing Kanban board as part of Weekly Review, and morning prompt to write for just five minutes.

I really need to get off Middleman. It's been really stymieing me to do some new things I want to do, and it's pinned on Ruby 2.7.6 which is EOL.

Reading

I started 20 books this year, finishing 19. 12 fiction, 8 non-fiction. Not bad, but my reading is still kind of "in between" things, not a set aside activity. I really would benefit from having a working hours reading habit. I may try to implement that in a later quarter. I wrote about some highlights here.

Work

Work has been blessedly flexible during some difficult personal seasons. On a day to day basis it's sometimes hard to see the progress we make, but I have been able to cross off some years-long product goals this year. Always keep a list of things you want changed, and revisit it every once in a while. If someone fixes that thing… show them and thank them for making your wishes come true!

I think that this next year will hold the opportunity to take user experience to the next level of maturity at the day job. I'm excited about what that means both for my personal growth as well as our organization's ability to serve and consider the needs of our users.

I do really love my team, wonderful folks with some new faces and an incredible mix of skills. I'm very honored to work with such fine folks and look forward to seeing what 2024 holds.

Spiritual Life

I find myself rushing to the Lord for help a lot these days. I need him to not be frustrated at my kids. I need his strength to help me work as unto the Lord.

Being a part of a dedicated and humble small group has really helped this year. Three of you have 1:1 coffee'd with me monthly, praying with me and for me as I walked through this year. (Thank you!!)

I've made three habit-based adjustments to my quiet time that has helped… I track prayer requests (more on that later), I've been sketchnoting sermons and sharing the notes with my kids and I've also had "Study" spread in my Bullet Journal that contains all the notes from Quiet Time, Sunday School, and Small Group. Having the thoughts from all those spiritual conversations open in front of me in the morning sparks some thoughts and connections and helps me detach from the moment and attach to the conversation that God is having with me through his word and his people.

I'd say that the Lord is teaching me to rely upon him more this year than any before, and while I'm white-knuckling that reliance more than I'd like to admit, it is sweet to trust in Jesus.

Health

This is an area that really needs attention, and my 12WY goal for Q1 is starting here:

I've had really bad sleep for months. Taking magnesium and trying to see the sun rise each morning has helped the past few weeks, and I'm going to continue this. It's also been sweet time of quiet prayer and reflection to start the day. Tomorrow morning I'll be wrapped in a blanket, sitting on a camping pad in my backyard, getting my morning photonic reset.

I am about 20lb heavier than I should be. I've had consistent workouts, but not determined. I also stress eat and "reward" myself with sugar. I've also had some lingering injuries to my right knee and left foot that I need to get addressed.

Relationships

I often say it to her, but it's worth saying to the world: I don't deserve my wife. She's so kind and strong. I have come to appreciate her more and more this year as the kids grow in their ability to delight and distract. She's an amazing woman. I am so grateful to God for her.

This year we've had a lot more little weekend adventures. Many of them originate with my thoughtful wife, but I'm trying to "join the party planning committee" and bring some creative energy to our afternoons and weekends.

I have to give special credit to my friend Julie for the inspiration to take a PTO day for every birthday in my home. Many of the sweetest memories and meals from our year occur on those three-day weekends.

I want to carry forward this pattern next year… more small restful adventures create pockets of rest and togetherness throughout the year… as well as spreading the odds that our big plans get canceled by toddler-borne illness.

This year I've continued to measure and celebrate in my weekly/monthly summaries activities that I want to promote:

  • meaningful and life-giving 1:1 conversations (44 of your this year, thank you!)
  • memorable meals (8 off the top of my head)
  • family outings (31 I could count)
  • serving others through hospitality (I counted 20+ families this year Sarah for whom Sarah created meals!)
  • prayer requests answered (I just started tracking this again, but I was able to find 20ish answers to prayer in my cursory reading of my journals.)

Also special shout-out to those of you who text, discord, or coffee regularly with me. Thank you for your encouragement. It means the world to me.

2024

The theme that seems to resonate at the moment was providentially provided by my new friend Greg: Own Up. 2023 allowed me to Wake Up to some of the problems and realities of my life… now it's time to arise tomorrow and own up to that reality, trusting in the Lord for the result and moving in his strength.


  1. I remain unsubscribed (and blocked!) from most news sources… but there's been lot of historic things happening this year.