Turns out they're right -- when you're not a kid anymore, time starts going by way too fast. And it's real hard to keep track. I'm frankly still having a really hard time with, well, my concept of time. Everything is blurring together quite a bit. On a scale from zero to ten (where ten is ✨ thriving ✨), I'd say the last year was a solid smack-down-the-middle five -- a whole lot of 🤷🏻♀️ with a side serving of some sad events.
It's not too far off my 2021 recap, honestly.
- I hit my two year anniversary at Netlify.
- In terms of software and web dev, I again did very little outside of my day job.
- I hung out with people I love, but again not as much as I used to.
- I continued to do a lot of walking and strength training (not making hUgE gAiNz, but keeping the habit, keeping my strength up).
- Some more tough family stuff, and a few personal health things happened.
Idk. Between my complete lack of a sense of time, and the fact that I didn't write a lot down this year, it's genuinely hard to remember, and write this post.
Same, 2021 me.
I need to find some way to reclaim my pre-2020 joy. This is definitely not the most fun update to write.
I hit my two-year anniversary at Netlify. What I said last year pretty much holds, "I have overall really enjoyed my time at Netlify. Like any startup, it has its challenges, but it's been the right place for me. I'm so grateful for the wonderful people I'm surrounded by in my day to day, and it's satisfying to help build a product that empowers so many developers and companies." About a month after I hit my two years, we were not spared in the wave of layoffs hitting tech. I'm grateful that my position and the positions of folks on my team were not eliminated, but I felt absolutely gutted for those who lost their jobs. In the last several years (starting before Netlify), I've become a lot better at being more appropriately emotionally distanced from my job. I'm obviously still invested, personally in the people around me, and professionally in the company, but I'm more realistic now. It's helped me navigate some of this year.
At the beginning of the year, I moved onto a newly-formed team, Frontend Platform. There have been many challenges, the foremost probably being prioritization. But, we've learned a lot as a team over the last year, and when you sit down and actually list out everything we've accomplished -- I feel really dang proud. I was promoted to Staff Engineer in June, which was a really validating acknowledgement of my contributions. It's an awesome milestone! Now my goal will be to move into engineering management. I've known for a while that I wanted to eventually make the transition from IC to EM (especially after having a front-row seat to watch Leslie Cohn-Wein masterfully do exactly that). So hopefully lots to update on that front in my 2023 post.
All in all, realistically I've spent probably most of my available bandwidth and energy in the realm of work. I don't want that to be the case long-term, but I also don't want to detract from my work self. My cup is only so full, and it's been running on low for the last couple years.
Those goals I set that were designed to be extremely achievable (lol), and to be checked in on monthly? I did 50% of them, and absolutely did not check in on them monthly.
✅ Complete "Dry January" and "No Dining Out January".
❌ "Journal" every day with the "Exist" app.
- Stop trying to make journaling happen, Amberley. It's not going to happen.
✅ Eat vegetarian except for holidays and special occasions.
✅ Read 12 books.
- Yes! Thanks to BookTok I got onto a fiction/fantasy kick. I've read lots of Colleen Hoover and Sarah J. Maas. It's been nice to do more screenless disconnecting.
✅ Go on one trip, for fun, to somewhere new.
- Yes! We went on that Hill Country trip to what I now know is "the instagram treehouse". I had seen this place (probably through IG advertising) that I had wanted to go to for a long time, and we finally did it. After sending photos to a friend, apparently it's all over Instagram 🤷🏻♀️ The book nook was as cozy as promised, and I soaked up every minute. I also went on a trip to LA to visit friends who had their first baby!
❌ Avoid ordering from Amazon, except for digital (i.e. Kindle) and Prime streaming.
- I'll be honest, this did not go to plan.
❌ Continue eating dinner at the table together at night.
- This also did not go to plan. It's just so easy to fall into a weeknight rut. But sometimes you just gotta get through the week.
✅ Create a minimalist wardrobe.
- This is probably one of my favorite things that happened in 2022. I've lived in 14 different places since I was 18, and every time I moved I felt so weighed down by all this stuff in my closet -- stuff in all different sizes where I didn't know what fit or not, stuff that I'd been given -- and hated, so never wore, and still had the tags -- but felt horribly guilty about getting rid of it, etc. My closet has just not worked for me. I found someone in Austin (Closet Curator, if you're local and need something similar), who helped me do a closet cleanout, and then helped me shop to add pieces for an intentional, functional wardrobe. It was genuinely such a weight off my shoulders for someone to give me permission to let go of some things, and to guide me in shopping (which I avoid like the plague). I feel good about being able to go in my closet and everything is wearable and intentionally chosen. That being said, I still mostly live in activewear and t-shirts. But when I'm doing something else, it's good to not feel stressed about clothes. If you similarly struggle and have the flexibility to prioritize it financially, I highly recommend.
✅ Continue strength training at least 2x/week, ideally 3.
- Yes indeed! This is the cornerstone of my week. I block out my calendar and these times are sacred. My gym added a barbell club, so I've been doing that for about a year now and I really love it!
❌ Sew four pieces of clothing.
- I hope I pick this back up eventually, but this was an undiagnosed ADHD micro-obsession, and I didn't pick it back up.
❌ Sew one baby quilt.
- See number 11 lol.
❌ Get new headshots.
- Go figure, the hardest one on the list and I didn't do it. I really do need these...
My primary focus this year is going to be reclaiming my joy (and, hopefully, a stronger sense of time as well).
- Do a monthly review at the end of every month. Kyle does this pretty religiously every month. My plan is basically to tack on to his habit like a barnacle. I don't want to end another year going "wtf just happened".
- Finish one project a month. It could be big or small. A knitting project, an organizing project in the house, a rewrite of my personal site, anything. Track it in the monthly review.
- Plan something to look forward to every month. This is honestly something a therapist of mine recommended once, and it's good advice, and I think it will help me rediscover some of my joy. Track it in the monthly review.
- Continue strength training at least 2x/week, cardio 2x/week. Strength training, as I said, is really a cornerstone of my life -- both for physical and mental health. Seeing folks at my small gym outside of my WFH weekday existence keeps me balanced. A slight change from last year -- my cardio has not been consistent! I'd like to round this out.