2021 in review
Time is strange "the days are long, but the years are short." Sometimes it is hard to orient yourself. Reflecting on time helps me find footing in what has been and what is coming.
To say 2020 was a challenging year is an understatement. We were all so happy to wave 2020 goodbye. But we didn't anticipate the trauma of the previous year catching up to the world collectively in 2021. It did. I can't sugarcoat it 2021 was a challenging year for many of us, including myself, but it was an excellent year too. Holding the tension of grief and joy is a mark of maturity. A helpful skill I am honing in my mid-thirties.
So time to reflect:
- We got pregnant! We are having a baby! Announcing this to our friends and family was so fun. When you have been married 13 years without kids, people are shocked. Especially the grandparents.
- We finished most of the renovations of our house. A bathroom, a basement, and finally central air!
- Celebrated 13 years of marriage! We are a teenager.
- We started the year off snowshoeing Mt. Hood on a bright and sunny day.
- My wife and I snuck away to Maui in March.
- We took our first hike in the Columbia River Gorge since the eagle creek fires ravaged the Oregon side in 2017.
- Rented a cabin in Black Butte Ranch with our best friends.
- Snuck away to Hood River with our friends for hikes, fruit, and beer.
- Camped in Mt. Hood with our friends and hiked Ramona falls for my birthday.
- Went camping on the Oregon coast.
- We spent a week on Lake Wawasee with my wife's family.
- We camped and hiked around Mt. Rainier with friends.
- I traveled to the most northeast corner of New York to visit my family, who I hadn't seen in almost 3 years (shakes fists at Covid).
- And so many more...
- I got vaccinated in May. This brought back some semblance of normalcy to our life. And what a gift it was.
- Timbers games! Including the MLS cup (though that could go under the bad category, we lost).
- In-person game nights. During Covid, I was invited to a weekly virtual game night by one of my friends. This was the best thing to come out of Covid. The game night crew has become a real community for me, and I love those humans.
- 'Dadchelor' party. My game night crew threw me a party for becoming a dad. It included a dive bar, 'My Fathers Place,' a beer-drinking contest (who can drink 4oz of beer out of a baby bottle the fastest), a rule where I have to carry anything my friends asked (napkins, toys, receipts, leaves, markers, half an easter egg...), a put-put bar, and a blind baby food test.
- Community dinners. Every Tuesday I have dinner with a group of friends.
- Wednesday coffees with my buds. I have gone out for coffee with two friends every Wednesday morning for almost five years. We got to meet back up in person.
- Great friends surround me. At many times I have felt incredibly lonely. I am finally in a season and a city where I feel surrounded and loved. It is beautiful.
- We celebrated three weddings! Two of which were postponed because of the pandemic.
- Our annual Christmas card did not disappoint.
- I started learning guitar. I bought an electric and an acoustic and went through Paul Davids Learn Practice Play course.
- I read 21 books. I will include the details in another post.
- Bought a new couch.
- Saw Dune.
- Our friends threw us a baby shower!
- I started a web comic.
- Webflow raised another round valuing the company at 2.1 billion dollars.
- I met some wonderful new teammates. Made new friends and enemies. I'm looking at your Gregg Bernstein.
- Launched polite handover in Webflow.
- Workspaces, a project I have been working on all year, was announced at this year's NoCode Conf.
- I ran many Figma Jams and Creative breaks (Mustard cat was my favorite)
- Created Cage Crits. A Nic Cage markup kit for Figma.
The hard stuff
Covid is still a thing. You know.
We are having a baby! I am so excited to be a dad, but little did I know that fatherhood and parental anxiety would start before the birth of our son. We found out that our son has a health issue. We had to go through many extra doctor appointments and consulted several specialists. The outlook is good, but as an expecting parent, this shook me. At this point, we are waiting to see what comes next.
Home renovations take a lot out of you. I am excited to enjoy our space and relieved to wave managing contractors goodbye. If you have ever done major home renovations, you know how exhausting they can be.
Professionally 2021 was one of the most exhausting years of my professional life. As an extremely relational designer, this year was tough. The great resignation was felt across our industry, and I felt it intensely across my teams. I am always excited for teammates to get new roles and opportunities, but this year felt like a gauntlet of resignation announcements. Just as I got my footing, another one would come it. It was hard.
2021 you were so good and so hard. Excited to see what 2022 brings!