It is the end of the year, and I am once again writing my end of the year post, and what a year it has been. This time last year, the biggest of my worries was electricity prices (which are still bad, though nowhere near as bad as last year). Since then, my entire family has had Covid, Russia has invaded Ukraine (and, for the most part, been soundly beaten back), and I’ve successfully reorganized my union local.
Professionally, I’ve had some real wins this year. After working towards remediating a particular issue causing significant, and ever increasing, amounts of technical debt for one of my clients for around eight years, I have finally gotten the go-ahead to perform a limited pilot. Contingent on the results of that pilot, we will eventually redo the entire thing, and pay down all of the related technical debt.
My role as head of my union local has likewise been challenging but good. I’ve successfully renegotiated our local bargaining agreement, as well as changes in compensation – both fixed pay as well as on-call pay. I have also been involved with a few conferences in this capacity, giving talks on subjects close to my heart as a union rep.
As I did last year, I also took the summer off from blogging. It felt good, and I came back to it with new ideas. Taking a few weeks off helps recharge, and also means I don’t have to stress with getting my blog posts in the can before I take my vacation – or, more accurately, had to keep writing posts during the summer.
The result is that I had more of a vacation this year than I have had for a while. During the fall I’ve had as much as nine weeks’ worth of pre-written posts, just waiting to be published. I’m finding that writing the blog is less of a chore, and more of a creative outlet than it has been for a long time. I certainly hope that will continue to be true.
I took up running again this summer, and ran my first 10k in September. My finishing time of 1:16:18 was both frustratingly slow and gratifyingly fast. I had started training regularly in June, but had to stop as I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Once I was put on an antiarrhythmic, however, I could get back to it, and was very happy to finish it, as well as absolutely crushing my goal of 200 kilometers of running this year – I’m bumping that to 500 km next year.
As in previous years, I have written content varying within what should by now be my relatively well-known spectrum of tips and tricks, opinion pieces (including a number of reviews), and tech support/process oriented posts. It’s a content mix that works for me, and I don’t expect to change it anytime soon. Blog readership has fluctuated between 700 and 1600 monthly readers, a fact with which I’m very happy. Even though I write for a constituency of one (namely, myself), the fact that others are reading it is a welcome bonus.
With the year about to end in a few short days, I look forward to next year and what it will bring, and wish you and yours the very best.