It’s August in 2020 and I’d like to take a bit of time to post again on what has been happening in the last year. It’s been a bit of a weird year. To start, there has been a global pandemic (COVID-19) that spread throughout the whole world. This caused quite a bit of panic and sent most countries into complete lockdown. Close to 30 million people lost their jobs due to the lockdowns from restaurants and loads of other industries. People basically don’t really travel by airplane much anymore. Honestly, it sounds like this story is coming out of a sci-fi novel. Somehow this is all still happening. Personally, I thought of the ways where I could create some additional personal security and stability as a means of responding to the crisis.

Home Ownership

I’m happy to say that my wife and I are officially homeowners. This has allowed us to feel much more stable in our own home rather than an apartment living. We really quite enjoy the new space. Our daughter loves it and we all enjoy the backyard garden and frequent bbq dinners. My wife has her own office space and I have my own office space as well. The home is in good condition, no major issues, apart from the usual maintenance woes. We’re very happy here!

Work / Side-Projects

During the pandemic I worked on designing a customizable dashboard system that I called duckboard. It turned out really nicely, right up until pre-launch. I’m putting this one on the backburner for now to move on to other projects. One thing I wanted to get better at is to increase my expertise in network infrastructure as it particular relates to cloud infrastructure. Seeing as the company I work for at the moment is in network monitoring for on-premise infrastructure, perhaps the best option would be to expand my knowledge into cloud based network monitoring and devops. I hope by the end of this year to have built a simple system and played around enough in the three major cloud providers. This includes learning quite a bit more about VPC Flows, Logging, IAM, and a number of AWS/GCloud/Azure server types. I believe learning this will put me in a better position technically as well as from a business perspective offering. Guess we’ll see!

Previous Year Goals

Seeing as 2020 has all but been thrown out the window, it’s difficult to imagine any scenario where the rug can be completely pulled under you at any moment. A global pandemic strikes and an insane number of people and industries are basically out of a job; all the while you can’t rely on the govt to do its job or provide any kind of support system. Many other countries appear to have provided enough of a support system regarding healthcare, parental leave, and experiments in UBI. I, like many, feel bitter over the circumstances but that’s where we are at right now.

That being said, there are things within my grasp in the last year or so that have made things slightly better positioned to stave off from catastrophe. Some of these things include:

  • Running regularly (cardiovascular health here is critical)
  • Getting good regular sleep (no all-nighters anymore)
  • Avoiding too much burn out and overworking
  • Cooking for my family (BBQ nights!)
  • Watching movies, talking more with my wife :)
  • Showing up emotionally supportive and disciplined for my daughter and my wife, and myself
  • Having some compassion for yourself, enjoy the time you have
  • Delight in the pleasurable things of life, good food, wine, sweets, love, games
  • Take time to design your space around you, find out what you like
  • Understand what it means to create some real life balance (not overly strict schedules or total chaos)
  • Tend to a garden, and learn to take care of the soil, earth

I had some goals last year that involved getting better at:

  • Piano playing (I ended up stopped doing these lessons since they had to go virtual)
  • Financial goals (these fluctuate as things happen like my dog had a surgery, we bought a house..etc)
  • Health goals (workout routines, gyms are closed or inaccessible, strict diets felt too confined in todays world/circumstance)
  • Work/Skill goals (attending meetups is not a thing lol, distractions are welcomed in these times I have learned to embrace that)
  • Nature goals (spending time outside is nice, when the pandemic hit we were much more confined to home unfortunately)

Goals

I think there are some things I’ve been doing this year that have been really helpful. I’ve focused a lot more on being with my family and being a better husband, better father, and just in general trying to do more in the house. Now that we own a house, and I have my own grill, I’ve been able to incorporate regular BBQs. This has been an exciting learning experience that I will definitely continue. Among other goals, here’s where I’m at these days:

  • Continue to be emotionally present and supportive for the family
  • Continue to have more time sitting down cooking meals for my wife and my daughter, we have been cooking together and sitting down (without even a strict intention about it, it has just happened naturally)
  • Take an online BBQ course! Franklin’s BBQ has a class online that looks awesome! I smoked a brisket in the last week and it was incredible!
  • Tend to the garden and moar plants, do this with my family as an group
  • Get a plot at the community garden, try and grow flowers or something fun
  • Get a good run routine in, keep your cardiovascular health in shape
  • Give yourself a break from time to time, take it easy
  • Work goals: Learn about VPC Flow, Network Infrastructure in 3 Major Cloud Providers (GCloud, Azure, AWS)
  • Work goals: Build a few simple projects targeting these cloud systems to gain some expertise and experience