It’s interesting looking back on 2022 because so much of what I did lacked a unifying goal. The Original Goal was to grow my side-project portfolio and eventually return to self-employment, but that simply didn’t happen. Instead, I leaned into other things and found new interests to explore!
Here are the some of the major highlights:
- 🏃 Completed my first ultramarathon!
- 🪵 Finished 10+ woodworking projects
- 🕺 Taught swing dance classes with Jess
- ✈️ Flew to Dubai with the Railway team
- ⛰️ Visited many new local spots
- 🔌 Started getting into electronics
- 💼 Learned to stress less about work
- 🎹 Started learning the piano
- 🦣 Joined Mastodon
First Ultramarathon (50k)
I’ve been wanting to run an ultramarathon for nearly a decade and finally committed! My plan was simple — keep signing up to longer and longer races until eventually reaching 50k. Here’s the race schedule I ended up with:
If you don’t know, an ultramarathon is any running event longer than a marathon (42km). They also usually take place over mountainous terrain — something I completely underestimated. The Freeky Creeky 50k had over 2000m of climbing and took 9 grueling hours to complete!
I was so wrecked by the end that I came within spitting distance of a black bear and couldn’t do anything but hobble along exactly how I was. Walking was impossible the next day and my legs were sore for a week. 🤕
I actually enjoyed the suffering, though. 😈
The scenery of each event was breathtaking and it felt amazing to achieve something so difficult, but I don’t think i’ll do it again. The time commitment — maxing out at 5+ hours per week — is simply too high. I’ll likely still be zipping through the trails in 2023 but with the mechanical advantage of two wheels. 🚴♂️
Making Stuff, In Real Life
From running in the woods to the wood shop, I also completed over a dozen woodworking and 3D-printing projects. 🪵 Some highlights include:
A cutting board and whiteboard eraser for Christmas gifts:
And a triangulated plywood floor for Jess’ art studio:
My passion has always been building things, which is why I originally pursued mechanical engineering. But the space and financial requirements for physical creation were out out reach so, after being introduced to software in first-year, I latched on and didn’t look back. 🤓
Things are much different 15 years later. I’m fortunate to now have the space and financial budget to explore physical creation again, and am looking forward to making many more things in the future.
Creativity in 2023
If you’ve been following my story for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling to enjoy work. While that’s partly because I miss the freedom of self-employment, I’m starting to think that the root cause is technology itself.
It’s a strange dichotomy; I find I’m happier with less technology in my life, yet my career is focused on bringing more technology to people. I still feel joy building software products that positively impact people, but I foresee a career change in the next 1-2 years that is grounded in the physical world and demotes programming to a supporting role. So what does that mean for 2023?
My plan for 2023 is to continue down the path I started down in 2022 — being physically active and building physical things. I’m proud of everything I created in 2022 but want to be much more ambitious! I’d also like to document and share these projects, so keep an eye out for that as well. I’ll see you soon! 👋