Back from a couple weeks away, mostly spent at the cottage. It’s usually the time where I take to reflect on the prior year, and then start thinking about the next one. In between pints of course.
I started a new role this year, leading a group that was pulled together during the pandemic. A ragtag group of bright folks, doing their best given the circumstances. It’s best framed as ”success begets success” and they reached a point where the larger group needed to mature or just burn out. The transition from ad-hoc to systematic is not an easy one, where you will lose flexibility in exchange for sanity. The first few months were rocky, and not everyone was on-board with having an actual plan that we would commit. A year out, some folk have moved to greener pastures and those that remain know what’s coming in the next few months, can manage to work on more files, require less hours, and have developed a network of contacts that will serve them for their entire careers. It’s hard to see the while the chaos of change is underway, but I am extremely happy with the results.
The next year will be about shoring up some resource challenges, and taking on yet another project that is rather wild in scope. Oh, and the unknown territory of a return to office, where the only value add is the social element (which has value). I’ve spent the last 10 years of my career showing that people are more productive when they don’t spend 2 hours a day commuting, and the pandemic proved it at a very large scale. I am not interested in regression… and given the extremely low unemployment rates, it is not a hiring incentive to give someone a desk.
Kids are a year older and 2 years wiser. School has suffered a lot (only hospitals fared worse) in that teachers and students were not able to fully adapt to a remote workspace. Teachers due to tools, and students due to engagement & environment. My eldest coped well enough, but my youngest took a big hit. We’re in catchup mode now, and that’s going exceedingly well.
Wife and I had a really good year. The pandemic allowed us to spend more time together, which was a positive compared to some of our friends. She gained a tremendous amount of confidence at work too, which resulted in some great mood improvements.
I coached and played hockey, first time in 2 years. Tremendous benefit to the social anxiety of a pandemic. One team had a full run through of COVID during the holidays, which was a kind reminder of the severity of it all. My physical health was running great until about March, time to get back on that.
Not a terribly good year for gaming, which makes sense given the production timelines during a pandemic. FF14 launched an amazing expansion. I’ve come to terms with Blizzard simply being a skin worn by ActiVision. Lost Ark launched, and while it looks and plays like Diablo 4, the monetization and ilvl quit-wall had me move on. Elden Ring is a standout I suppose.
I actually ended up playing mostly older games throughout the year, or reminded why those were better. Metroid Dread is a great example. Both Blasphemous and Hollow Knight are simply better. I guess this makes sense, as it allowed me to clear out my Steam backlog and more or less zone-out.
I still don’t have a reason to get a PS5. Perhaps once God of War comes out I’d get it, and Horizon & Returnal. I’d honestly expect Sony to announce a way to get them on PC though.
Not a whole lot to look forward to coming down the pipe, which I guess means I’m not the target audience.
The next few weeks should be relatively quiet, allowing for some more mental respite in preparation for the typical September insanity. Let’s see how much R&R I can fit in during that time.