2021 – The more things change, the more they stay the same

Here we are, about to finish up another year with Covid-19 as the central consideration for nearly everything we do. It’s been a wild ride, to be sure – we got vaccines, things seemed to be turning a corner…and then the Omicron variant decided to make a mockery of all our plans to return to relative normality.

Looking at last year’s Objective (Deeper Learning), I think I achieved it even though I only hit one of the three Key Results (finishing the Leadership training at work).

I dropped Intro to Japanese II early on, because I realized I was stretching myself too thin – work and having kids in lockdown doesn’t make for a lot of mental bandwidth (or time!) for anything else. Likewise with the kids classes in Aikido, I found that making time for it just wasn’t feasible.

On the other hand, I dove deep into several books that I’ve been meaning to read – Introduction to General Systems Thinking, and Discussion of the Method. These both gave me a lot to consider on how I approach my work. Also, I re-started reading my copy of Threat Modelling, and picked up the Practical Ethical Hacking course from The Cyber Mentor (so far, REALLY enjoying it). As for my annual Goodreads reading challenge, I managed to get the closest yet to 50 books – 38! I’m going to keep setting it for 50, because I find it a fun aspiration.

On a non-professional note, I signed up for The Weekend Woodworker, and while I haven’t managed to make time for the course projects, it did give me the necessary skills (and confidence) to make a medal rack for Virginia.Wooden medal rack

For 2022, I’m dropping OKRs, goals, resolutions, all that. I’m going to set a theme, in recognition of the fact that there’s still a lot of uncertainty about what we’ll be able to do. This year’s theme is going to be Broaden Your Horizons. For me, this means a few different things: Better understanding of myself, getting back to my preference for picking up a wide variety of skills and knowledge, and being open to unexpected opportunities.

To all of you, I hope this new year brings you health and happiness. I leave you with what has become my favourite quote from Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek.

“Star Trek was an attempt to say humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in lifeforms”

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