Saturday, January 02, 2016

New Month in a New Year

Today’s the second day of the first month of this new year. I decided to go ahead and do a sort of Fresh Start writing on this new year, even though it isn’t strictly the first. It wasn’t by design, but I like the laid back attitude of that because its part of my focus. I want to look forward to the year and I want to set some goals, but I don’t want to set myself up for letting myself down. That’s new years resolutions can so often do and I’m not going to do any of them. I’m happy to see my wife taking a similar approach because we’re so often on the same page.
I’m going to lay out my thoughts about both this month and this year. Maybe the month thing will become a Thing I do more regularly, sort of checking in on the directions I’m taking.

My January Expectations

I’ve taken two weeks off for the holiday, so my energy for work is at an all time high after such a great break. This is leaning my attention right now towards things work related, both officially and unofficially as I look at what I need to do when i return to work this week, but also the wider focus on my web development skills and the areas where I’m most interested in practicing and exploring.
ReactJS has a lot of my attention today and probably will for the foreseeable future through January. I intend to do a lot more self education on React, Redux, and the best practices that have been growing in that ecosystem. I want to use this at work, but I’m already sold on it personally so this will be something I explore either way. The more I educate myself the better positioned I’ll be about introducing it at work. I feel myself becoming a vocal advocate about React and I’m totally okay with that.
As two posts in today can attest to I’m feeling a rise of writing energy and directing it. Maybe getting this blog in order is also helping that, despite still having over three-hundred posts to migrate from the old blog. I don’t know how long the migration will take but I won’t waste that time not writing. I don’t know how often I’ll post but I’m very determined to write every day. I’ve been doing Morning Pages, which I recommend to everyone, and hope to do at least one good writing session in addition to those every day. My plan is to sit down with a blank screen, fill it with words, and repeat that until good things come out I can turn into posts. That’s largely where this came from.
Professionally, I have less specificity and more of a general sense of “get better” mostly in organizing. I’ve always contradicted myself in my love for organizing that is so starkly contrasted by how ill organized I actually am. I’m trying to get better at that and expect to make a really solid effort by starting my first day back after the break an hour early just to sit down, look over all my active projects, and really lay out what my plans are for the week. I’ve been trying to build habits about how I organize through the day and week, and how I make sure nothing slips through the crack. I keep ongoing notes, but don’t follow through often enough with moving those into action lists and notes on the projects I have on my plate. I think this is a good month to push these efforts up notch.

My 2016 Expectations

On a broader scale, I’m not looking at the year of 2016 with a definite set of resolutions I’m going to accomplish, but I’m taking stock of the things that I feel are important to me right now. I think these will change and that’s a good thing. I’ll let my focus grow and adapt along with my life.
I’m going to play more video games, both with my son and on my own. We got more games for the Wii-U and we’re having blast. Plus he got me a new USB gamepad for my desktop machine and I can’t wait to get more into that. I need to rekindle my love of gaming. But I want to balance that, because while I feel a need to play more games I know my son could probably cut back. I have plenty of other interests we share, between reading and creating, but he’s become so focused on his video games he needs some help learning to follow other passions. I’ve let his focus on creativity wane and I don’t want him to struggle with those lacking habits in the future, so its a good time to take my own need to create more and channel it into family activities that get him sitting away from the screen more often.
I’m going to read more. I’ve been loving the first Nightvale novel and I’ve got plenty of books lined up ready to read after it. I’m doing better at finding that time and I’m going to keep increasing that momentum. The more I read the more I enjoy it, the faster I get through books, and the better I get at absorbing each next book. I am starting to feel like obtaining my high school levels of reading is actually possible.
I’m going to be more out. This is a hard one to explain to some people, but here it is: I’m a queer person that doesn’t fit any typical queer person persona. Its hard to feel like a member of any queer community as a person who doesn’t outwardly look like a queer person. I’m not with any men and I’m happily married to my wife of twelve years, together raising our brilliant son we don’t look any different than most heterosexual families, when in fact neither of us are straight. And while we’re very open about that, the fact is that being open about it just doesn’t come up much or impact our lives a lot. That inherent lack of impact can make it feel like a huge part of who you are as a person just isn’t there, or doesn’t count for as much. This is genuinely painful, and whether its through activism or otherwise, I hope to find more ways to embrace this part of myself.

No comments:

I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

Blog Archive