When last year was ending, I remember the distinct feeling of now wanting to move as I had before with my end of year reflections. Instead of looking back on yet another year, I wanted to look forward. So instead of writing a summarizing blog post, I thought about what I might want to find my balance on, and came up with this.
I identified five areas of focus to seek balance: paid for hours, paid for value, networking, up skill and self-care. I did many of the things, but some of the things I had plans for turned out less successful.
Let's summarize the numbers:
- 47 external talks, with 30 different topics/titles
- 58 blog posts, 3 #TalksTurnedArticles and 1 full course turned text on dev.to
- 16 rackets recorded with Ru
- a regular 7,5 hrs a day job doing details I can take inspiration from but not detail
- someone created a wikipedia page of me
- 4 times Tester of the Day
- I committed to contributing to "cloud center of excellence" and "company-wide process improvement", only to learn that I hated it. The ideas of finding common denominators for essentially different teams and needs felt like I was not doing anyone a favor, and I walked out of the effort. Being true to how I felt was more important that struggling with work I was not cut out for.
- I struggled with exerting energy with people I felt disconnected with regularly. If I did not have my home group of many awesome people around the organization, I would have found myself completely depleted. Tried to fix that by introducing a change and trying a different group, different approach, different challenges.
- I failed to notice someone was not speaking to me or listening to me until it blew up 3 months later when I said something they needed to listen to.
- I decided to do measuring, and did some, gave up on most of it as there's enough trouble to measure the physical world, I can rethink measuring the invisible in software later.
- I avoided writing my books by writing tons of talks and articles. Productive procrastination, but procrastination all the same.
- I did not learn to draw, but I learned to test better (again, and still more to do), and I did learn much on python.
- I did not learn to communicate without insulting the other party in search of change, and probably never will. The "extending use of pytest to system testing" feel much more dishonest than "removing Robot Framework" even though they essentially mean the same thing and the latter causes multiple people to actively attack me even though I am still only seeking improving efficiency and effectiveness of our testing.
- I replaced all other ideas of "self-care" with lots of hugs, deep conversations with my teens and digging a hole for myself on not doing bookkeeping in time but finding family come to rescue when I need them.