2020 Year End Wrap Up

It’s been a rough year for everyone. As I reflect on myself and our culture, I feel that it has brought out some of the best and worst of us. In a single word…

polarizing.

People have been dealing with the stress in different ways. In some ways, I see people becoming more impatient than ever, politics, road rage, consumerism… feeding into anxiety and depression.

Oddly, this has been mostly a good year for me, enabling me to find my identiy outside of work again. As odd as that sounds, I’ve been able to develop a passion for gardening, home improvement, playing with our cats and spending time with Annie. Ironically, COVID-19 times have taught me balance and it has forced me to look at life from a different light. I have learned to slow down a little and sideline some of my addictions (to learn and grow).

As I reflect on this year, I feel that I’m in a better place, personally. While there is still always stress and pressure, I’m in a mentally healthier place. There were some hurdles, but I’m happy to say those things are behind me. I am more optimistic and peaceful than I was. I still have a ways to go, but perhaps this has been a taste of the better life—the simple life.

There’s an old saying, “some people are so poor, they only have money”. I’m happy that I have many close friends, comrades, and family that have supported me throughout my rollercoaster years. My fortune is comprised of the people around me, and that ultimately enriches my life.

2020 has been a rough year, I’ve embraced it… focusing on my home in Maryland with Annie and spending time with the cats. It’s been a year of home improvements, learning about how to run a company, and finding happiness and an identity outside of work. I don’t have a very organized way of running through it all, but I’ll list them out in some bullet points like last time.

  • I got my aunt’s chinese water color painting framed and mounted in our dining room. It looks pretty traditional, but I think there’s something nice about reconnecting to our roots.
  • Starting to teach Taro how to communicate with buttons. He seems to have his own way of communication—he wipes his paw on things when he wants something (like to play or opening a door). It’s probably one of the most adorable things he does.
  • Started getting some furniture for the house. I’ve lived out of a suitcase for the last 5 years, it’s finally nice to have some real furniture to sit on. Our main pieces of furniture have been from Restoration Hardware. We’ve added a bunch of curtains in the house, and it’s helped elevate space.
  • I’ve started setting up the media room in the basement. I’ve used my old speakers I bought nearly a decade ago and set up a proper 5.1 audio for movies. I’ve also bi-amped my left/right B&W bookshelf speakers so they sound better for music. It’s crazy to think that I’ve let them sit around—never again.
  • My health is still about the same—I still need to eat healthier, but I’ve managed to keep a pescatarian diet. There have been some exceptions though when family or friends prepare a special meal.
  • I’ll be heading back to the west coast for a couple weeks to collect all my remaining things. I’ll have to figure out a way to ship back my car, bike, computer, etc. Paying for a lease on a place that I couldn’t use for a year was a financial black hole. I’m really looking forward to not paying extra.
  • I’ve prepared the garden beds for next year’s crop. This past year was a success, lasting all the way through october. I’m looking forward to planting more things this year.
  • I removed all the Cleome flowers from the front garden bed. I’m never growing them again. I think I’m going to focus on something more simple. This will require some planning.
  • After becoming CEO of Input, I’ve had to make a lot of changes. There’s too much to cover, but the long and short of it is that we needed to downsize and focus on product market fit. The biggest lessons learned: a) avoid mercenaries, b) firing people is expensive, c) when in doubt, focus on any effort that is mission critical to product market fit. It’s been a really rocky ride so far, but I’m grateful for the chance. And no matter what, I will grow from this. While our time is limited, at least I don’t have to deal with tech bros, alpha male egos, mercenaries, etc for the time being.
  • I’m still playing games with friends. Mostly COD.
  • I bought a microphone and video light, but I haven’t really created content. I think I want to create a channel… it’s just hard to pick a topic.
  • Taro, Pepper and Noodle (our cats) have been doing great. They’ve made every day a joy and keep us company on cloudy days.
  • My parents are still healthy, and it’s good to video chat with them more often now. I’m more aware that our quality time is limited, so I’m trying to reconnect as much as possible.

More updates coming soon.