I started writing this post on December 31st, 2022, as I re-read last year’s post to see where my head was at then. I re-read every “new year” post I’ve written here, all the way back to Jan 1, 2011. It’s fascinating to see the change(s) in mindset and priorities over the years. Ten years ago I was going through a divorce, and I didn’t know what the year would bring, other than I was desperate to sell our house and move. Little did I know it would be another 8 months before that happened, but here I am, in the same house I moved to that summer of 2013, in a completely different place mentally and emotionally.
Trends over the years
The most consistent topic in my annual posts was about professional development and learning new things. My resolutions for the first several years were “blog more, read more, learn X,Y & Z” and it seems that most years I had more misses than successes (in terms of achieving the resolutions I had made). Starting in my Jan 1, 2019 post, my mindset shifted to focus more on personal care and mental health. What really strikes me is the desire to learn ceased to be a focus but it is something I want to get back to.
Decrease in blogging volume
As I look back on 2022, I had one of the lowest blogging volumes I have ever had, with 2013 & 2014 being my two worst years (primarily due to the upheaval in my personal life at the time), and 2022 being a very close 3rd. I’m ignoring 2010 in this comparison. I only started my blog in October 2010, so the fact that I had the same number of posts in 2010 (in 3 months) as I did last year (in 12 months) is not really comparable.
2022 in review
Re-reading my 2019 resolution post made me realize there were a number of things in 2018 that ultimately were the cause of my change in mindset. 2019 itself was a good year, and then we dove right into the pandemic. (It’s March 1037, 2020 today, or feels like it… courtesy of What day in March is it?).
I struggled with focus early in the pandemic and by mid-2020 did well to get out of that funk and do something about it. I was doing well with lots of walking virtually every day until a foot injury derailed me in mid-2021 that continued through much of 2022, restricting my ability to walk much. That is behind me now, thank goodness, but I have been unable to regain that momentum I had two years ago where I was walking every day and getting back to a decent level of fitness. I’m not the same person I was in 2019, and it is frustrating, not knowing how to get some of my old self back.
In 2022, I further cocooned into my own little world, and my social circle is virtually non-existent. I closed my Facebook account, which was my last tie to many friends who I otherwise do a lousy job of keeping in touch with. I have more or less abandoned Twitter (and deleted most of my activity and history as it’s derailed into a farce since EM purchased it a few months ago). One of my sole social activities these days is meeting with a group of Power BI enthusiasts on Saturday mornings dubbed #SML (Saturday morning learning), and it’s something I look forward to every week. I started using Mastodon, which reminds me a lot of what Twitter used to be (pre-2016), where people seem to be more engaged once they get used to not being attacked by idiots and bots with every passing thought they share. I tried Counter.social for a while and it too was refreshing, but in the end more of the folks I enjoy following on Twitter migrated to Mastodon, so that is where I have now moved my “social” media presence.
The best parts of 2022 were a surprise MVP Award renewal, and a fantastic two-week vacation in British Columbia, Canada, our first vacation since COVID began. I also went to my first conference since 2019, PASS Data Community Summit in Seattle, and met several people “in real life” that I had previously only known online. I had some interesting projects with a few different clients this year, more variety than I have had in the recent past, and that gave me some new life. My most interesting and successful projects are the ones where the client is heavily invested in the outcome, and takes ownership of it when I’m done.
What does 2023 have in store?
The short version is I’m not sure but I hope I start to “find myself” again this year. This year for me needs to be trying to get back to some semblance of normal, although I really don’t know what that looks like anymore. “Normal” in 2023 is not going to be the same as “normal” would have been in 2019 or prior.
At some point in the year there will be a big trip, once I’m through a big project I’m working on at the moment. I would like to get back to regular blogging but I’m not in the mindset to get back to that yet. I hope that changes. I want to get back to focusing on my physical and mental health, including getting back to learning new things whether that be professionally or personally. I’d like to finish building the woodworker’s workbench I started building in 2020, that would be a big task but rewarding if I can achieve that.
I ended last year’s post saying “I suspect at the end of 2022 it won’t look too much different from what it does today” (COVID-wise), and I was right. I’d like to think in 2023 we collectively get our shit together but based on 2022, I think that’s very wishful thinking. I hope I can stay healthy and continue to avoid COVID in 2023, as well as having my family stay healthy throughout the year.