2021; Year in review

Date 2022-01-01

This is the fifth year that I am writing one of these. The big conclusion, this year, is that my life is bloody amazing. I have so much to be thankful for.

Highlights

Work

My work has become much more varied this year.

The CS SYD homepage at the end of 2021

I started working as an independent consultant, taking care of anything that is necessary to produce software that works. This is everything from programming, to DevOps, to hardcore ops, all the up to technical leadership. (Mostly the technical leadership.)

The technical consulting landing page at the end of 2021

In the meantime I have also successfully coached multiple happy customers in self-management.

The self-management landing page at the end of 2021

My paid speaking engagements still happened regularly as well, but all of them online, sadly.

The speaking landing page at the end of 2021

Dance

Dance has become an even bigger part of my life. Recall that I've been dancing for longer than I've been programming. This year I co-started a dance school, where I am now a dance teacher.

The Rhythmia homepage at the end of 2021
Syd and Sandra on the Rythmia website at the end of 2021

I also started a website for people to find social dance parties to go to. This was the first product that I have ever made that naturally became popular. Every dancer that I've shown the idea to has immediately loved it.

The social dance today homepage at the end of 2021

The site already has information around a thousand parties around the world, in the upcoming month, at any time.

A party of the number of events in the next 30 days on the social dance website up to the end of 2021

Rings

Still rings training saved my mental health last year, and I've enjoyed continuing to practice with great success! I was even able to take on extra weight, in the form of a weight vest, to start training in weighted calisthenics and get off the plateau that I had found myself on.

Syd trying an iron cross on rings
Syd trying a pull-up on rings

Massage

On Doctor's orders, in an attempt to learn more about self-love, I went to massages for the first time. It has let me practice relaxing, as well as unblock and mobilise my joints for healthier training.

A traditional Thai massage position icon set

Chess

My brother and I played over a thousand games of chess this year. It turns out that the game can be surprisingly enjoyable, even if you don't try to write a bot to play instead of playing yourself. They key, for me, was to not make any moral judgements about oneself that relate to skill in the game.

Syd playing chess

Acrobatics

While dancing at the lake one day, during one of our lovely outdoor salsa parties in the summer, I noticed people jamming Acroyoga.

People dancing next to a lake
People practicing acroyoga in the grass

I asked them to help me try some things, and fell in love with the hobby immediately. The puzzle pieces naturally fell in place now that I had learned to spend more time learning to train sustainably.

Syd flying a bird position in acroyoga
Syd basing a high side-star position in acroyoga

Body metrics

My body fat and weight went more or less in the right direction, but I honestly did not bother to focus on them this year. I was feeling healthy and fit, and that was more important to me.

Weight graph
Bodyfat percentage graph

Miscellaneous Exercise

Getting rid of of rigid goals, and instead just trying things that seemed interesting at the time, had me try out some amazing new types of exercise. We even had two opportunities for a summer storm training this year.

A height parcours
A height parcours
Syd trying a pole-dancing move
Selfie after storm training

Skiing

I have struggled with joint injuries in my knees and ankles for years, but this year I have committed to finally addressing the underlying issues. I have spent many hours in mobility, stability and flexibility training. The end result was that I was able to ski again for the first time since 2013!

A beautiful view from skiing
A beautiful view from skiing
A beautiful view from skiing
A beautiful view from skiing

Writing

My writing on this blog has picked up again. I gave up on a rigorous schedule for writing, because I noticed that it was not making me happy. I did my best to remove all the friction about writing, most of which was related to marketing my blog posts, by automating what I could and cancelling the rest. It felt freeing, and has not stopped me from writing this year.

Screenshot of the blogposts I wrote in 2021

Equipment

In the trend of taking care of myself, I also finally took the step to fully equip my office the way I can be most productive.

I got a very fancy office chair: A Herman Miller Aeron.

Herman Miller Aeron Chair

I got a few big monitors, as well as a monitor arm each, a fancy Blue Yeti mic and various other peripherals.

My Office Setup

Using NixOS and Nix' remote builds, I was able to set up my old desktop as a CI machine in my office. This way, my machines try to work together when I am nix-build-ing something.

Focus for 2022

2021 was a big success for me. I attribute it to having fewer goals and more "things I like to try", being more kind to myself, and spending more time practicing sustainable training and healing. Next year I plan to continue the trend of exploring new things, as well as enjoy myself with all sorts of dance and training.

See what else I do:

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