2020 – What was that?!

Unprecedented. Bonkers. Extreme. This year has been one for the history books for sure. Covid-19 has had such a sweeping impact globally, I don’t think we’ve quite figured out what things will look like if/when we finally have it under control. It’s been really interesting to see both the macro and micro of this event; often times, I think historic occasions are seen mostly from the micro end of things in the moment. In this hyper-connected era, you would have to put in a lot of effort to avoid seeing both the big and small pictures at the same time.

For myself, it’s been a big rollercoaster. Looking back on my 2019 post, I can’t help but chuckle. The old saying “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans” really was true this year. My intent was to start focusing my career more on cybersecurity, and that was shaping up well…until the opportunity of a lifetime came my way! Instead of pivoting my career path, I’ve doubled-down on the field of testing, helping Mysa Smart Thermostats build their software testing team and processes. I can honestly say, this is the best career move I’ve made in a long time. Mysa’s leadership culture is focused on transparency and empowerment, which is how I prefer to run my team, and that makes my job so enjoyable. Transitioning to a new role, at a new company can be a challenge at the best of times, and I started my new role about two weeks before Newfoundland and Labrador went into lockdown. To say this has been a learning opportunity would be a huge understatement!

Learning has turned out to be the unintended theme for 2020, and one of the unintended benefits of Covid-19 restrictions has been that I finally managed to take the Intro to Japanese class at Memorial University. It’s normally only offered on-campus, which made it unlikely that I’d be able to attend. However, since all classes went online, this was the perfect opportunity to tackle something I’ve wanted to do for several years. I’m glad the university has decided to continue this online delivery approach for next semester, so I can take the follow-on class!

Another learning opportunity presented itself thanks to my eldest child. When the lockdown started, my Aikido dojo started running classes via Zoom. She saw me practicing, and expressed some interest in trying it out. The instructor who leads the kids class was ok with her giving it a try, and she proved herself more than able to keep up; when the dojo re-opened for in-person (but solo) practice, he was happy to have her join the class. Since I’m the one that usually brings her, I’ve been helping out with the kids classes, which has been a great opportunity to practice both Aikido AND teaching skills.

2021 Objective: Deeper Learning

My underlying motivation for almost everything I do, is that I love to try and help people. I want to give people the opportunity not to just get to where I am, but to exceed that. My other major motivator is that I’m endlessly curious, so learning new things is ALWAYS on the agenda. However, for this year, I’m going to (mostly) focus on deepening my learning in things I know something about, so that I can better help others. So, these Key Results will be targeted in that direction:

  • Assist with at least 75% of the kids Aikido classes at my dojo
  • Finish the Leadership training classes started in Fall 2020
  • Complete Intro to Japanese II at MUN with at least a 75%

This might seem like a pretty lightweight set of Key Results. I’m doing that on purpose, because I know there are a lot of tasks I will need to do to support them, both directly and indirectly. Also, there are a few things I’m thinking about pursuing that aren’t directly related to this Objective, but are still important to me, but I think I’m going to leave things as-is for now.

I wish you all the best in 2021. Stay healthy, stay safe, and get your vaccine when you can!

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