2022: A Year In Review

Fun Things That Happened

Welcome Baby #2

Jack and Riley Loving Christmas

Riley Milton Richard Hiar was born on June 1st, 2022. The creature total is now four with two dogs and two boys, rarely a dull moment. Riley is currently at the stage where he’s more aware of everything around him. He can’t take his eyes off Jack. Watching them play together is the cutest.

Renovating Home Office

Jack and Riley Loving Christmas Jack and Riley Loving Christmas

During paternity leave, Kayla and I took on our first mini-renovation project, my office. There’s no other room I spend more time in, might as well make it dope. Finding great ideas is easy with Pinterest. Youtube provides all kinds of tutorials for painting and wallpapering. Home renovations seemed much more daunting at the onset but it was not as painful as I imagined. The result was well worth the effort.

Reflecting On 2021 Goals

Writing More

2021 Blog Posts: 5
2022 Blog Posts: 4
Posts at Work: 43 (26,885 words)

Automattic offers a writing coach program which I took at the beginning of the year. My final project was my How to Automate Your Writing Process post. It’s important to take the thinking out of the planning. Focusing your intent at each step generates a more cohesive result.

The result of having a better process was more written at work. We use internal wordpress sites known as P2s for much of our communication. My personal P2 contains weekly updates, longer technical discussions, and quarterly wrap ups. While at first it felt like talking into the void, it helped build a regular writing cadence.

Writing is thinking. It’s been invaluable to help me cement my ideas. No better way to test your understanding of an idea than blog about it. Doing so helps to surface gaps in understanding. This will also help articulate ideas better to others, which is key in the later of your career.

As I mentioned before, being able to track the bigger picture is a big win. This helps both inform the current trajectory and appreciate the progress made. Getting lost is easy if all the work being done is heads down.

Read More

Books Read

- Thanks, But This Isn't for Us
- Staff Engineer: Leadership beyond the management track
- Continuous Delivery
- A Philosophy of Software Design
- How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself
- Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
- No Rules Rules Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
- Redwall

Short of the twelve books in a year but better than 2021. The cause? Lack of planning. I thought I could buy a bunch of books that sound interesting and that would lead to more reading. Great in theory.

Many of the books I did/want to read need a certain level of cognitive effort to get through. They can be, well, dry. I love reading them but sometimes I’m not in the mood for a heavy slog. At the end of a long day, I want something easier to digest.

To offset this, I picked up reading the Redwall series in tandem. When I was younger I read as many as I could get my hands on. Almost the entire collection has been sitting on my bookshelf collecting dust. Now I have two books on the go and read twice as much.

Discovering Goodreads helped boost my reading habits near the end of the year. Tracking my process helped encourage regular reading. Goodread’s “want to read” bookshelf has solved a long standing itch of mine. I previously used an Amazon wishlist to track books for future reading. Not every book is on amazon and the reviews are pretty meh.

The goal is 12 books again. This time, I will be better equipped to climb this mountain.

High Level Direction For 2023

The theme of this year will be working on being more present. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management had some great points that resonated with me. While it may appear that many goals are the same, the intent is different. I have a good feeling about this one.