As the year comes to a close, there's a lot to look back at.
Professionally, this was my first year where I was primarily a manager rather than an engineer. I can't say I liked it (I didn't), but I did learn a lot. It also helped me understand that there are some ladders that are not mine to climb. No matter what rewards exist at the top.
It was also a year where I saw significant growth in parts of my team. People stepped up brilliantly, gaps filled themselves, and I've felt, more than once, that the team runs itself as a well-maintained machine does and my only job right now is occasionally greasing the wheels or unsticking a gear. As much as I feel pride and happiness looking at it, it makes me feel somewhat redundant.
Personally though, this year has been mixed.
Progress in some areas - we've settled nicely into our new house, the new car and routine works well for me, wifey is in a new role, my daughter has friends and company, and my mom has a social circle.
Regression in others - work felt all-encompassing and I neglected my health as a result. A long commute meant that I had to be a lot more rigid and specific in what I could do with my time at work. Travel was out for the year, but we have plans to start catching up next year.
All in all, the theme of the year was settling down.
Towards the end of the year, I've started being more thoughtful and deliberate around where I spend my time. All thanks to my wife, who's been on my case to get more balance in my life.
And that brings me to the next year.
I have some thoughts on what to do, change, build on and achieve. They're still nebulous at this time. I'll spend the next week or two working to outline them in detail and set habits and milestones for each goal.
To everyone reading this, I wish you and your family a happy and prosperous year to come!
Image courtesy DreamLens Production at Pexels