2020 A retrospective

Inspired by a couple of posts I thought I’d resume my blogging effort. This is predominantly for me than the void I’m sending this into. Last year, was trying on lots of fronts, as for all us in our own ways i am sure. I like to think as a result of it that I’ve grown in a few ways, unfortunately, one of those ways was indeed around my waist since the motivation to keep active lost its shine somewhere around June and I’ve been a potato ever since.

Highlights reel

  • COVID and working from home sucked — Working from home was not a natural fit for myself, or at least, I should provide a context for that statement I think.

Working from home was not a natural fit for myself with a 2 year old toddler also at home and a wife who needed to also get her work done

  • … I found it challenging to say the least, on a lot of fronts but the key one’s personally were predictable time management took a while to work out, and being available when i was needed to my team became a very delicate plate-spinning exercise. Try explaining to your toddler who desires nothing more than for you to ‘play with him’ that someone needs you to hop on and put out a fire. If nothing else it was a great teacher of the bottlenecks we had hiding in some of our team processes.
  • Loss — We lost of a friend, Jenny, early on in Covid (but not to Covid itself), a close friend of my wife truth be told. The complexity around this where you were unable to show support while she was in the hospital and later after her passing visit her spouse or attend any funeral proceedings was a great strain (to put it mildly). Far from the same as the first-hand pain of it all, I’m entirely sure, but none the less, grieving and closure was very confusing for everyone and it wasn’t until much later in the year that we were unable to all meat and talk about it. RIP Jenny, my personal moments were brief but you left a big gap in our lives, we’ll do our best by your husband and daughter.
  • He can hear us, oh god he won’t shut up — A positive bit of news for my wife and I was the ‘passed’ status of our sons hearing. Since his birth, he’d had fluid on his ears which had dulled all the hearing. The consequences of this included delayed speech and now some speech issues re-enunciation of certain letters and sounds. That said, this was far far better than the alternative which was to install grommets (surgery required) or a hearing aid. Neither of these two options was at all what we’d prefer, so in one very small way, a silver lining of COVID was that my son spent far more time out of the nursery and as a result suffered far fewer colds than he normally would giving his system a chance to clear up. The change in him was very noticeable, as since then his speech has come on miles, and while he’s still not forming ‘f’, ‘s’ and ‘le / la’ sounds properly he is making perfect sense speaking to us endlessly. You just kind of start to understand him, like someone with a strange accent i suppose. Turns out he’s also turning into a master manipulator… is it bad to say I miss the quiet him sometimes.
  • Time for a change — The year was trying but even before our trials and tribulations during 2020 I had given thought to the idea of moving on from Push Doctor. I’ve enjoyed my time here but I was starting to get the itch that I wanted a fresh challenge, so sometime around my birthday my gift to myself was to find a new challenge which i have done and will be starting work as a Tech Lead over at Cinch at the end of this month. This should be an interesting set of challenges I look forward to overcoming including remotely taking over a team and picking up / polishing a few skills I’ve not done in a while. Every day is a school day and I’ve heard amazing things about the team over there, some of which have worked with colleagues I’ve had before who had nothing but good things to say. It’s a bit of an industry shift too for me, I’ve been in Pharma and Medical now for just over 10 years, so I think a little car selling and commerce will suit me just fine.
  • Moved house, during Christmas, in a lockdown — So back in February we’d started looking at houses and had even secured a full ask on our property too. However, COVID ‘naffed’ that plan right up. So after the full lockdown was lifted some point near July/August, we resumed our house hunt. A long story short, we bid, we lost, we bid we won, then got gazumped and then we bid won and completed on a great big old Victorian house in the area we wanted. Paid a little more than i would like but to be honest, still feel like we’ve got a great investment on our hands. The only trauma of the entire thing for me, comparatively speaking, was the moving day itself. I’ve still got a sore back weeks later, and I mean it when i say it (for now)… never again. My life ahead looks like I’ll be getting handier. Yet for some reason, this house, i don’t seem to mind the idea of pulling up floorboards or getting the roof done — maybe that’s a sign of when you know you’re in it for the long haul.

Reflection

Looking ahead

  • Treasure the health I have more, walk some more, eat a little better
  • Smell the roses more, appreciate the moments as they happen
  • Do more personal projects, instead of giving the 18 hours of a day to my work…
  • Get better at my DIY (i will need to)

To 2020 — lacked variety and got stale quickly. Wouldn’t visit again 1/5.

Fullish-stack engineer (codebykev.dev) and Lead front-end engineer @Pushdoctor with 15+ years developing web apps, installations, AR toys and other fun stuff.