2019: What I did this year

My annual review of the past year.

This year I tried to take a week off each quarter, rather than saving for a big trip like last year.

I kicked off the year with JSConf Hawai’i. It was a bit weird going there without the kids, but also freeing to get a break. I ran every day, twice a day, along Waikiki beach, which was hard work but glorious. The days were long and packed with talks. I was impressed with how much work must go into each one. Maybe one day I’ll be able to commit to that.

This year I decided to do resolutions per month. In January, I tried Keto. I liked it, I got thinner (particularly because I don’t really like eating fats) and I liked being thinner. I found myself oddly thirsty, all the time. And I craved weird carbs like cereal, and those egg/bacon wraps they have at Dunkin Donuts. The next month I tried wearing a watch every day. I haven’t done this for years, so wasn’t sure how it would go. I got myself a self-winding watch, and on days when I don’t move much, it stops. It’s the original Fitbit! On the third month I was feeling exhausted so I tried not shaving. I confirmed that I still look ridiculous when I don’t shave. By April I’d run out of ideas that I had the energy to commit to.

In May, my brother Howard came to visit for the week. I decided to take the week off too. So we took Jack rafting on American River, which was amazing! He got a bit cold and tired by the end of it, but did really well for a seven year old. At one point, the boat captain pulled us over to the side and said, “who wants to jump off that big rock?” Jack not only volunteered, first, he just went and jumped into the freezing cold water without a moment of hesitation. I was astonished and proud.

We also took Howard to see Hamilton. I had taken Agnieszka to see it a few months before, and actually even took Jack and Granny Viola to see it a few months later. It is so so good. I spent the rest of the year playing the soundtrack through, over and over, on Spotify.

In summer, I took Jack to England. We spent a couple of days in London to adjust to the time and meet with old friends. We also took the chance to see the London Eye and London Dungeons. Then we headed to Waldringfield and spent a glorious week living in a tent, eating outdoors, enduring thunderstorms, crab fishing off the beach, and sailing on the river. We had one more day in torrential rain in London before heading home. It was a really good trip, just me and Jack, so I think we’ll do it again next year.

Shortly after our return, Agnieszka and I got our American citizenship! For the first time, our little family all share a nationality! 🎉

On a whim, I took the family to Legoland for thanksgiving. Max in particular has been obsessed with Lego (wegos) recently, so I thought we’d enjoy it. It was indeed a good place, but we were unlucky with the weather. Torrential rain. And then, somehow, I hurt my shoulder really badly.

Last year I was pleased at doing my pushups and controlling my shoulder problems. This year I switched to using dumbbells instead of doing push-ups and it got worse again. I got xrays, which showed nothing, and started physio, which honestly didn’t make much difference. And then thanksgiving in Legoland. The pain was unbelievable, and it was almost impossible to lie down comfortably to sleep. I got an MRI soon after, which shows a little tear, maybe. We’re doing a cortisone shot and then surgery if the shot doesn’t help. Bleah. The pain faded after a few days but I couldn’t move my arm above shoulder height for six weeks.

For Christmas we went to Hawaii, to the Disney resort. For the first time, the kids really enjoyed meeting the characters and getting hugs and high-fives. Jack liked the river and the slides, and Max loved the beach. It was weird being away from home for Christmas.

At work, I celebrated my nine-year anniversary. I switched teams for no particular reason, mostly just to keep working on a project I liked. Next year I’d like to do less myself and help others more. I find that hard.