Back in May, I wrote a bit about my ideal week. I laid out this:
I thought the beginning of the year would be a good week to track my time to see how it’s going. I wasn’t actively thinking about this ideal week. Laura Vanderkam talked about a time tracking challenge to start the year, so I went for it.
I work from home full time, so my work and life can sometimes bleed together, which makes things like sitting down and evaluating how/where my time is going super important. I highlighted my “work” in orange and my work-adjacent things in Green, the latter being important (coaching, talking to a peer at another company, mentor coffee chat, travel for work) but not my job. I worked 41.5 hours (not including meals), spent 3 hours in work adjacent things, and spent 12 hours traveling for work.
The week after this, I spoke at a conference for work. The Walking Dead makes a number of prominent appearances. I was trying to finish/catch up on the current season.
I mostly feel good about where my time went: I read, went to the gym, worked a reasonable amount, hacked on my side project, had 3 social outings (Friday night + 2 on Saturday). I’d like to carve out more time for writing, but I’m a serious procrastinator when it comes to writing and I always find it painful, so it’s not a priority.
I think I’d like to get into the flow of writing my goal posts again. They’re not for anyone but me really.
I didn’t do that this month because I was focused on my EOY process, but I did do a monthly goal setting process. Clearly we’re a bit into the month now, but here’s a picture from the other day.
I’ve been really inspired by Amy’s initiative to spend time 20 minutes outside. So that’s what I’m aiming for. In my mind, it has to be an intentional 20 minutes. In our last house, I did this a lot, but since moving we don’t really have a space that makes sense. I set up a camper chair in front of the house and that’s been okay.
The other night, I decided I’d have dinner outside. The lighting was so good. I just had to snap this. You’d think I kinda knew what I was doing.
Working through the CrossFit L1 book and I loved this snippet.
Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
Practice and train major lifts… Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics…
Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
Regularly learn and play new sports.
I bought a new desk for work. I settled for the Autonomous standing desk. My plan is to stand until lunch and then sit afterwards. When I lived in Baltimore, I only worked at the standing desk, so this is a great step in the right direction!
Last Saturday morning’s view. This pup of mine is something special.
Just a bit of a hodgepodge of life lately today.
Growing up, I remember being SO excited for my first day of school. Now, as an adult, I feel that way every time take an couple of days of work. And I always feel that anticipation in a great way thing at the top of the New Year. There’s something about this whole reflection and goal-setting thing that just feels good.
Word of the Year: WIP
Okay, okay, technically it’s an acronym, but my work of the year is WIP, which stands for Work in Progress. This year I’d really like to lean into accepting that it’s okay that I’m a work in progress. I don’t know what I don’t know.
I’m really focused right now on checking my ego, on making sure that I don’t make decisions or take actions rooted-in my ego.
I explained it this way via email:
Everything is a work in progress. This is possible because we work with a low level of shame. I’ve often highlighted that a low level of shame requires both confidence in ability but also the ability to not let fear or ego keep you from doing something. So my word of the year will be WIP because this year I want to really lean into the idea that everything, especially me, is a work in progress.
Read 34 Books
Last year I read 36 books after setting a goal of 32. It was doable, but that reading wasn’t eventy distributed through the year.
I had a burst of reading at the end of the year, but I struggled to keep pace most of the year. I felt like I read a lot, and I read a good mix of books. If I read more fiction, or even only fiction, I could probably move through a lot more books. The thing is I enjoy reading nonfiction. the data shows that it takes me longer to read nonfiction than it does fiction, and I’m not willing to commit to reading less nonfiction than I did this year.
Process steps: Read 2.8 books per month ~ 27 pages per day. Have this nifty reading pace chart live for 2020.
Push the limits of what my body can do
This is purposefully ambiguous because this could be measured in a lot of different ways and I don’t want to commit to any. I want to: PR a half marathon, deadlift 300 lbs, and get my CrossFit Level 1.
Process Steps: I tracked 170 workouts last year, which averages to more than 3 workouts per week. My months were all over the place- as low as 5 in June when I did a ton of traveling and as high as 26 in July when I didn’t travel at all. Given that, the process goal here is to go to the gym 5 days per week or 19/month. Life is going to get in the way and I’m not going to average anywhere close to that, but I’m going to get workouts in pretty regularly.
Build a career plan
This feels like something I should do. I had a role change this fall into a different kind of job. I should spend some time this year intentionally reflecting on this role, on where I want it to go, what I want to do next, what I need to do after that, and what I need to do to get to either of those places. This isn’t something that I need to set in stone, but I think it’s an important exercise.
Process Steps: Start journaling as part of my weekly review process. This will be a good reflection point.
Be more proactive in cultivating my friendships
I’m not great at this. I’m a homebody by nature and I work from home. This year I gave up social media, and I feel so much better for it, but I’m now totally out of touch with folks and the details of their lives.
Process Steps: Have two purely social events (not tacked on to an obligation!) with friends a month
Say no to more things
Still trying to learn to say no. Still not good at it.
Process Steps: Say no to one thing every month and note what I say no to.
Previous Yearly Goals:
Oh that time of year where we sit down and think about how grateful we are for all the things that have happened. This year was an amazing one. Despite a deployment, it was great for our marriage. Because of the deployment (at least in some ways), it was great for my career. I had so many travel experiences, including visiting The Great Wall of China which was on my bucket list.
- January: Brought in the New Year with Kelly and Chad in NC, Went to Rob and Talia’s wedding (solo), Spoke about DataOps at at TechSAV meet up.
- February: Attended PyTN, Took a pasta-making class with C for Valentine’s Day.
- March: Had my sister visit for St. Patrick’s Day, Made homemade everything bagels, Watched sunrise over Tybee Island for the first time.
- April: Went to SF for Women in Analytics and DataCouncil, Delivered “Understanding Data in Your Life” at Geekend.
- May: Went to New Orleans for GitLab Contribute, Watched C and his soldiers drop out of a helicopter into the ocean at Tybee Island
- June: Went to BORA BORA on our honeymoon, visited NYC where we had dinner at Raclette and watched The Book of Mormon, Enjoyed Philippe and Bella’s wedding in Massachusetts, Visited Ohio to visit the in-laws, C deployed, we both turned 26, I went to Shanghai and Beijing (crossing The Great Wall off my bucket list!!!!) and speaking at KubeCon Shanghai.
- July: Visited Ohio again, Cheered on the Savannah Bananas, Grew my own Sprouts, Did my first Escape Room in Sav, Visited Blair in D.C.
- August: Made my own cutting board at The Makers Space downtown, Watched The CrossFit Games, Spent 2 weeks in SF for work (with trips to Vancouver and Vail while there)
- September: Spoke at GitLab Commit on DataOps, Went to Brazil for my Vo’s 80th Birthday.
- October: Handled a cross-town move solo, C came home, Celebrated Halloween as an Insurance Duo (Flo from Progressive and Jake from State Farm).
- November: Visited SF for our e-group offsite, Watched Army Football play at Michie Stadium over Veteran’s Day weekend (and we got to see JCB play!), Established the first annual Cousin’s Weekend in Massachusetts, Attended Meltano Assemble in Denver, Played Settlers of Catan over Friendsgiving.
- December: Claire visited, Visited Hilton Head Island for the first time, PR’d all my lifts.
In a lot of ways, this year feels like a wash when it comes to my physical fitness. I started the new year weighing 2 lbs less than I weighed when 2019 started. Despite little-to-no change in my weight, I made strides in two things related to my physical well being.
First, I rebuilt my fitness habit. Because I strongly disliked the gym I had a contract with for the first half of 2019, I was slowly going to the gym less and less often. In April, one contract terminated and I took the opportunity to shop around for my membership.
Second, I PR’d every single one of the major lifts- the squat, deadlift, press, bench, squat clean, squat snatch. I am the same weight and much stronger than ever before. For example, my bench PR went from 90 lbs to 141 and my squat PR went from 170 to 205.
Money-wise we did okay this year. Because I did well at work, I netted an almost 35% pay raise from the beginning to the end of the year (these were smallish jumps along the way). We both maxed out our Roth IRAs and contributed a lot to our work-related retirement accounts (401K for me TSP for him) and got our full matches. We handled an unexpected 15K expense and rebuilt our emergency fund. We went on an incredible honeymoon to Bora Bora.
All-in, we did really well this year. The problem, though, was that we really let go of budgeting. We made a lot of money which is why all of this was okay, but a little more intentionality could have done a lot more.
I was promoted twice this year. I’m still at a company where I feel incredibly fulfilled. I’m challenged professionally- I’m uncomfortable, but also learning a lot and being stretched.
I didn’t make as many contributions to Open Source as I wish I would have, but I made some- at least 2 contributions to dbt, one to dbt-utils, and 4 to Meltano. Through work, we released the Snowflake Spend package, and I wrote a blog post outlining a framework for Assessing Data Team Maturity that was really well received.
It was a great year for my career.
Fave 5 Blog Posts
- The Magic of Boredom
- Some thoughts on the whole no television thing
- Embracing this Season*
- Sunrise over the Beach
- Planning When to Workout
Honorable Mention: Consolidating Responsibilities
I think these six posts lean into to what I wanted to capture this year- being more present, saying no to things, actively choosing what I say yes to, savoring sunrises, accepting the things I cannot change, and controlling the things I can.
Top 5 Books
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- Normal People by Sally Rooney
Just going to dive right in…
Read 32 books
Yep! I read 36 books this year! The notably new thing that happened was that I leaned into fiction, reading 14 fiction books. Prior to 2019, I read one fiction book since graduating college.
Stitch Savannah Ornament
I didn’t get it done in July- the deadline for having it in time for Christmas, but I just sent this out to the finished this week! It’s still our ornament for the year!
Hit 100K Combined Net Worth
I shared a bit about our financial progress above, but I think this is mostly true. In a rough outline:
- Cash (savings + bank account) ~ 35K
- Equity in the house ~ 15K
- Cars ~ 10K
- My retirement accounts ~ 25K
- C’s retirement accounts ~ 25K
Well done to us. Last year, my goal was to end the year with a positive net worth. Now we’ve gone from that to 100K. Wow.
Finish Content Audit
As I wrote about in Making this space mine again, I trashed this goal.
Hit a 300 lbs Deadlift
I ended the year with a 250 lbs deadlift. I’m very far from 300 lbs, but 250 is a lifetime PR and even though I had to fight for it, it wasn’t the worst.
2019 in Review
All in all, it was a great 2019. And set a high standard for 2020.