It’s New Years again and that means it’s time for my annual recap of what’s been going on the past twelve months. This was the first year of my son’s life, so as I mentioned in last year’s post, I spent much of the beginning of the year in a dazed state. I couldn’t even tell you how many weeks I spent getting sleep in two hour increments and staying awake from midnight until 4AM. It was a very full year. Good, but hard. I know I have grown as a result, but that growth is still in progress. I can barely believe the year is already over, there’s so much that feels unfinished about 2018, even after taking this look back. Maybe I’ll blame that on the lack of sleep too, it’s hard to say. At least I can say it has been a memorable year. Something happened every single month. Here is an (admittedly lengthy) account of this past year.
As Thanksgiving approaches we are reminded to stop and take stock of the things in our lives to be thankful for. The first American Thanksgiving, as tradition has it, was a harvest festival. Our modern celebration is full of excess and abundance as well. We work hard for hours, even days, preparing more food than we can possibly eat. Harvest is a time of plenty, so it is easy to find things to be thankful for.
The past few Thanksgivings for me have been a mixed bag of whether I have been in the mood for celebration or not. Three short years ago e made the trip home to say a final good-bye to my grandmother, who had hosted Thanksgiving for many of my childhood years. While we were visiting my mom got her initial cancer diagnosis, kicking off one of the roughest times for my family that I’ve ever experienced and sending me into a nervous, distanced state that lasted for almost an entire year. Even last year, while I was excited at the anticipation of my baby’s arrival, I was reticent to celebrate as usual because it might be the last chance to do so, and I didn’t want that pressure. This year though, I’m trying to take a better approach that I hope will improve this holiday for me in the future. I’m going to take the abundance of this year and carry it with me through the rest of the year and beyond.
As fall kicks into high gear a lot of my attention is focused on the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving is good, Halloween is always fun, and of course, there is Talk Like A Pirate Day.
As part of the summer activities in this household we participated in swimming lessons. Not your average YMCA class, we put our child in an Infant Swimming Resource Self-Rescue course. These lessons are different than the “Mommy & Me” style relaxed waterplay that happens in a group class. They are individual sessions, one-on-one with the instructor where the infant is taught how to relax into a back float in order to self-rescue instead of drowning.
While it’s a pretty scary thing to put your baby into the water with (what amounts to) a stranger while they struggle to learn the techniques, I felt like for our family, having a pool in the backyard, I would feel less panicky about unlikely scenarios if we prepare for handling them. I forced the dog into the pool last summer so that I knew he’d be able to find his way out if he fell in, why do things differently with my child?
Continue reading “Staying Afloat In A Sink Or Swim World”
I was recently reminded how far I have come. Last year in September I was juggling the on-boarding of a fourth addition to our team in as many months, reviewing code written by team mates on the other side of the globe, and still getting to work on any tasks myself. Two years ago I was struggling with my involvement the decision to terminate a new hire I had been training who was not a good fit for the role. Three years ago I was working on some of the first projects I took a lead in designing and implementing, which turned out to be some of the most frustrating projects at the company for the year.
It has been too long since I last thought about real goals. Things beyond the mundane of finishing a task at work or remembering to make the phone call(s) I’ve been procrastinating about. I’m talking some big hairy audacious goals. Things like “what do I want to do with my life?”
The following is the script I wrote myself for a speech given to a group of 5th-8th grade girls at the culmination of their time at Camp Infinity coding camp, put on my the Michigan Council for Women in Technology. I can say the actual talk was only about 70% on script, but these are the points I raised. After the presentation I led an activity databending and creating art through hexcode manipulation, using trial and error.
Two short years ago we bought the house we live in now. We went from just the two of us, living in a two bedroom apartment, to owning our own home, in a much quicker span of time than I ever expected.
I have a confession to make. I still haven’t seen The Avengers: Infinity Wars. I’ve been going to Marvel movies since the first Avengers movie came out (at which point I went back and re-watched all the movies that had already been released) and we typically plan outings with our friends to each new showing.
Now that the weather is turning warmer, life is returning to some sense of normalcy. The major holidays of the year are over, the school bus has returned to the neighborhood to pick up the children huddled on the corner in the blowing wind.