Driving home after Christmas, my wife and I had a quick year in review discussion and I thought it would be good for me to document a look back at the past year. Here is a quick rundown of what this year looked like for me and a short list of goals for 2022.
I started a new job in November working at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, working on tools used for genomics research. Going from options trading to medical research was a massive change, but I’m enjoying it so far. Having not thought about biology at all since high school, I’ve had plenty to do getting up to speed on the domain. I’m working mostly with Go, which I had used in an internship in college but didn’t remember much of. It’s been fun taking my little experience writing Go and starting to learn how to write Go well.
It’s been an interesting year in general. After spending most of the first half of the year at home, my wife and I celebrated our wedding reception in June, which had been postponed from last year. After, we took a trip to Burlington, Vermont, which was lovely. In the second half of the year, we resumed working on projects on our house. The major ones were turning the leftover sand pit from the previous owners' above-ground pool into a sitting area with a fire pit and fixing up our basement.
I probably have too many hobbies because I frequently find I’m not spending enough time on any of them, but that seems like a nice problem to have.
First, music. I unfortunately haven’t played as much this year as I wanted to. Toward the end of the year, I picked up trombone again after not playing it much since the start of the pandemic. On guitar, I stopped playing for some time because I was struggling with pain in my fretting wrist that was coming largely from poor technique and excessive tension in my grip. I’m trying to slow down and really focus on technique and removing tension. It’s difficult and will take a long time, but hopefully it will lead to me being a better guitar player than I was before.
One hobby I spent a lot of time on this year was simracing. At the end of 2020, I found a team to race with and we competed in the iRacing 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and 24 Hours of Spa Francorchamps. The 24 hour races are awesome, but having a turn driving the car (in VR) at 2am does interesting things to my sleep schedule for the weekend. 12 hours is more manageable since it’s all in one day, but it’s still exhausting. Great fun, but I’m happy to only run a few endurance events each year.
Like seemingly everyone else, I got into cycling during the pandemic. In March of this year I bought a new bike and rode as much as I could find time for all spring and summer. I participated in my first organized ride in August and had a blast, so I’m hoping to do more of those next year. We bought a spin bike for the basement this fall, and I’m enjoying that while it’s dark when I finish work for the day.
This year I gained more interest in the fediverse and the indie web. I finally got this site set up (I bought the domain name in 2018!) although I didn’t end up publishing much of anything. I’m on Mastodon and also post there infrequently, but that’s improving.
I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but I want to set a few minor goals for the next year. I’m in the process of trying to improve a bunch of things right now, so it would be good to write some of them down.
- Work: I’m still very early in the new job, so I think it’s worth including a goal for the year to finish getting up to speed and start making bigger contributions.
- Cleaning: I know I’m happier when my house is clean and organized, so I’m trying to establish better day to day habits to avoid needing bigger cleaning days.
- Reducing cell phone use: I spend a lot of time on my phone, mostly on Reddit. This year, I’m trying to reduce that (especially right before bed!) in favor of things like games and more structured reading.
- Online presence: I want to write more, even if it isn’t about big projects I’m working on, since I never finish those. I think it’ll be great for me to organize my thoughts and get them written down. I intend to post more online and get more involved in the indie web.
- Amateur radio: I didn’t include this one in the hobbies section because I just picked this up again in the last few weeks, but in 2022 I’m looking to upgrade to my General class license and start doing POTA activations. It’s a cool hobby and I’ve been licensed since 2012, so it seems like a good time to start doing something with it.
- Music: I should be starting with an orchestra soon, so I’ll need to get back a lot of the skill and endurance on trombone that I’ve lost from not playing for so long.
I’m writing this mostly for myself and I haven’t posted anything else that would bring anyone to my website, so I’m really not expecting anyone to read this, but if you are, thank you for that and happy new year.