Every year, I like to write some kind of year in review blog post. I started writing these in 2007 as a way for people that I don’t talk to very often to keep up with what I’ve been doing, but I’ve found that it helps me see what I’ve accomplished (or not accomplished) that I can use to reflect on what I want to do in the next year. You can find the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 editions if you want to see how this year compares with previous years.
2012 in Review
This year, I spent more time doing things that I enjoyed: reading, running, working in a job that makes me happier and much more!
- The single biggest change I made in 2012 was leaving Intel and taking some time off before joining Puppet Labs. I had been at Intel for 2.5 years (along with an earlier stint from 2000 – 2006). While I loved the people I worked with (and miss them), the job left me drained of energy, and I just wasn’t passionate about it anymore. I left without a real plan other than to take a month (or a few) off before starting anything new. I used this little sabbatical (aka funemployment) to read, run and hang out with friends. I started at Puppet Labs 7 weeks later feeling relaxed and recharged. I’m loving the work and enjoying being back in a startup!
- I read over 70 books last year! Most of them were science fiction / fantasy, and I keep a list of everything that I read here on my blog.
- I also ran … a lot. In 2012, I ran over 470 miles, and just over 100 of those miles were in August during my funemployment. My longest run of the year, also the longest run of my entire life, was 11.3 miles (just 1.7 miles short of a half-marathon distance). I also did some weight lifting and other workouts. Aside from falling off the wagon over the past month due to a couple of back-to-back colds, I’m feeling pretty good on the fitness side.
- Like last year, I did a fair bit of travel. For work, I went to Brussels, Belgium; Seoul, South Korea; Berlin and Nuremberg, Germany; and Barcelona, Spain. For fun, I took trips to Hawaii, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Ohio to visit family. I even have pictures from many of the trips posted on Flickr.
- As part of this travel, I presented at a few conferences. I did a few Tizen presentations earlier in the year, but recently, I’ve been speaking about open source metrics at LinuxCon in Barcelona and the LibreOffice Conference in Berlin.
- I’ve also been dabbling with programming again, mostly in Ruby, since that’s what everyone at Puppet Labs uses. I’m pretty terrible at it, since I haven’t done any real programming since the mid-90’s, but it’s enough to accomplish a few simple things and be more self-sufficient. And, I enjoy doing it 🙂
- I am still selling my vegan cookbook: What Dawn Eats: Vegan Food That Isn’t Weird. It was published last year and is available in paperback, Kindle edition and PDF format.
If I look back to what I wanted to accomplish in 2012 from last year’s year in review, I did pretty well!
- I continued to travel and visit new places (South Korea, Spain and maybe Belgium were new last year).
- I wanted to do runs in the 8-13 mile range and more regularly hit the gym to lift weights. I made it just over 11 miles, which is pretty good, and I did quite a bit of weightlifting, so I feel good about this one, too.
- For several years, I’ve been wanting to do some light programming, and this is the year that I finally started real work on that one!
- I also said that I wanted to get to a point where I can actually carry on a conversation in French that goes beyond basic greetings and travel phrases in 2012. With one lesson a week, it’s taking a while, but I’m finally getting to the point where I can carry on very simple conversations … as long as you speak very slowly, repeat yourself a few times and use mostly words that I already know 🙂
- I failed miserably at my goal to keep my blog updated.
What I Want to Accomplish in 2013
- Yet again, I’m going to make an effort to blog here more often.
- I want to travel to even more new places. I’m off to a good start on this one, since I’ve already scheduled a work trip for February in Belgium, Norway and Sweden along with a fun trip with mom to Aruba in May!
- I plan to continue meeting my fitness goals from last year with regular running, weight lifting and other activities. This will be a little more challenging because I expect to be doing quite a bit of travel this year, and working out is a lot harder when you are jet-lagged and busy working in another time zone. While I was happy with my general fitness in 2012, I still tend to eat too much, so I’ll work on that a bit.
- I also want to continue to work on my French. I’d love to be more conversational next year and ideally, be able to read simple books and watch movies in French without relying entirely on the subtitles.
- I hope to spend more time writing code. In addition to being more self-sufficient, I would also like to learn how to not suck at it by spending the time to learn how to do things properly rather than just doing whatever gets the job done the fastest.
- While I want to continue to read, I actually need to pull back on that a bit. I love reading, but it’s taking too much time away from other activities, so I’m going to try to read a bit less to free up more time to actually do the things mentioned above!