A collection of 5 posts

Year In Review: 2020

Year In Review: 2020


What Went Well


The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in everyone’s years. Thankfully, my job continued for most of the year, in-person, no less. Sadly, my role at NTL Pipelines ended in November but I am thankful for my time there.


Stepped up my personal accountability game by making habits to connect with my mates regularly throughout each week.

Restarted regular therapy in June and dug into a lot of hurts and wounds from my past. I have a lot of hope for a mentally healthy future.

What Didn't Go Well

Personal Health

As a result of my 72-hour-a-week role starting in July 2019, I fell completely off the exercise wagon and didn’t get back into it until well into June. Since then, I’ve run 2-3 times most weeks.

Eating healthy is another story. My sweet tooth became a monster in 2020 and I didn’t do much to curb it. I’ve felt most healthy when eliminating sugar from my diet and getting back to that spot would be wonderful.

I gained 10 lbs since last year due to the poor eating and little exercise. Would like to get back to my peak running weight of around 175 lbs.


I let people down this year. Especially my wife. I’ve always struggled to communicate clearly and at opportune times, often holding back what I’m truly feeling. My poor sense of security and personal value means I hold onto my feelings out of fear of a negative response. It’s a vicious cycle I want to get out of with the help of God and my therapist.


I had a good job, which paid the bills and more. My wife and I have struggled to talk the same language about finances over the years and haven’t been able to make a clear budget, not for lack of trying. We’re still living within our means and not buying excessive material possessions. However, if we are to be stewards of what we’ve been given, keeping ourselves accountable and saving to give away will be important.

New Emerging Opportunities

My role ending at NTL means I have the opportunity to start over in a role better suited to my strengths and to our lifestyle. NTL was great but the hours (50-72 each week) were excessive and led to burn out and contributed to my poor personal health.

I’m excited to explore opportunities in the web development space. I spent the month of December 2020 getting back into javascript (React, NextJS) and php (Laravel). I’m looking forward to finding a great home for my technical expertise.


Album of the Year

2020 and my AOTY is from in the past, haha. This is such a great album and gets me going every time I listen to it. Great for when I'm in the flow.

Track of the Year



Game of the Year

I played the snot out of Breath of the Wild, finally wrapping up a 300 hour play-through in December. Loved it so much I've started a Master Mode play-through, which is stinking hard! Died at the first bokoblin I met. 😱

Runner Up

I only just started playing STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order but man, is this game beautiful. I've only scratched the surface but this game feels so immersive. It's not open world, very linear, but it's a great change of pace from BotW's freedom. Sometimes, I just want a game to tell me what's next.

Film + Television

I like watching movies and television shows, especially in the era where one can watch an entire season/series in a few days. I read most of The Expanse book series this year and paired it with watching the excellent first 4 seasons of the television show. I'd have to say, the only Amazon backed season, season four, was one of the better produced shows I've seen in a long time, especially all the sequences on Ilus.


I read/listened to a lot of books this year. There's a distinct theme of science-fiction and fantasy.

  • Saturn Run by John Sandford
  • The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington
  • An Echo of Things To Come by James Islington
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
  • Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
  • The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  • The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
  • The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
  • The Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers
  • Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, 1) by James S.A. Corey
  • Caliban’s War (The Expanse, 2) by James S.A. Corey
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (re-read)
  • The Oracle Year by Charles Soule
  • Gods of Risk (The Expanse, 2.5) by James S.A. Corey
  • Abaddon’s Gate (The Expanse, 3) by James S.A. Corey
  • Cibola Burn (The Expanse, 4) by James S.A. Corey
  • Nemesis Games (The Expanse, 5) by James S.A. Corey
  • The Vital Abyss (The Expanse, 5.5) by James S.A. Corey
  • Babylon’s Ashes (The Expanse, 6) by James S.A. Corey
  • Strange Dogs (The Expanse, 6.5) by James S.A. Corey
  • Persepolis Rising (The Expanse 7) by James S.A. Corey
  • Tiamat’s Wrath (The Expanse 8) by James S.A. Corey
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder (re-read)
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (re-read)

I'd love to see what others are reading. Connect with me on Goodreads.

Rejection is Hard

For the first time ever, I did not get a job I interviewed for. This was my first technical interview and I knew there was a very good chance I wouldn’t get the job, yet it still doesn’t feel good.

It feels like what I bring to the table isn’t valued. Perhaps it isn’t. Perhaps I wasn’t ready for approval.

Regardless of the other party’s reasons, it’s up to me to decide how to respond to the rejection.

Will I wallow in the sting, feel hopeless, and give up?

Can I take the rejection as a motivator, learn from my mistakes, and move on to another opportunity?

The ball is in my court, so to speak.

Thirty Four

34 things I've learned in 34 years, in no particular order.

  1. Looking at my cell phone first thing after waking up nukes my productivity for the day.
  2. Successful planning, for me, is about defining small, medium, and long-term goals, and less about filling my calendar.
  3. I can set an achievable goal for the year and knock it out. I ran 800+ km last year.
  4. Running a half-marathon over a mountain is hard and rewarding.
  5. I like travel. I like being with my family more. I guess I'm a homebody.
  6. I let life slip by because I'm afraid to disturb my comfortable status quo. I fear derailing my own perceived harmony of life.
  7. Change is good. Status quo is bad.
  8. Having difficult conversations is...difficult, but the short term pain usually leads to long-term gain, as they say.
  9. I hold onto anxiety like a soft pillow with a mine inside. It strangely comforts me until it explodes.
  10. I don't really care as much as I thought for material things.
  11. Restrictions are freeing, if I choose to thrive within them.
  12. Having less of anything is freeing.
  13. Emotions lie. Rational thought rules.
  14. Kids are hilarious and creative. Watching them grow up is amazing.
  15. Learning to live in the shadow of chronic illness is challenging, but can bind families together.
  16. My brain is a misfiring superhighway of spasticity.
  17. Omega 3 is good for the brain. I take it everyday now.
  18. Sometimes the easiest solution is the answer to the problem. See Occam's razor.
  19. Life could be worse.
  20. Thinking the best of something or someone doesn't come naturally to me.
  21. Coffee (caffeine) is addicting. I have a chemical dependency.
  22. Working for people who share a similar worldview is pretty amazing.
  23. Working for people who trust me to do what's best and right is comforting.
  24. I have a great job and work with amazing people.
  25. Deciding to replace the fence is not the same as doing it.
  26. I've stopped caring about customizing every setting on my phone and computer. I must be getting old because I just want them to work.
  27. Not having a TV in our home was a great decision.
  28. I can pay down my debts far quicker than I thought.
  29. Bookkeepers are angels sent from heaven.
  30. Staying actively and deliberately connected with others takes effort. It doesn't happen passively.
  31. The best working music has no lyrics.
  32. Trying to get as much work done as possible, in a finite amount of time, is a recipe for mediocrity.
  33. Start with the smallest, tiniest sliver of an idea, research it, test it, share it, iterate on it. Let an idea bloom into its full glory one small step at a time.
  34. Starting the day early (4:30 to 5am-ish), with tea, reading the Bible, journaling, and a run, is a great foundation for me to start my day with.

Thirty Three

Commemorating my 33rd birthday with thirty three things I’ve learned in the past year.

  1. My wife and kids deserve all of my attention at home.
  2. Work-Life balance is hard when all you think about is work.
  3. Attachment to other people is more important than fun.
  4. It’s a red flag if my kids are begging for contact, physical, emotional, or otherwise. My goal should be to make them feel secure in their parental attachment.
  5. Every decision I make is a choice. “I couldn’t help myself” is an excuse.
  6. My family needs to matter most of all. How much time and attention I give my family is the metric I need to measure.
  7. My wants and desires need to take a backseat to my family. Sacrifice will bring about amazing results.
  8. Even when I’m physically away from my family, I can still be with my family.
  9. Surrounding myself with great friends who hold me accountable for my idiotic nature is priceless.
  10. It’s not hard to meet new people and for them to know you’re interested in their life.
  11. Great leaders are at the front of the battle line.
  12. I have very little clue how to motivate others.
  13. Discipline is a misnomer. Just do it.
  14. Take responsibility for failure. Never blame someone else.
  15. Every trial is an opportunity to be better. Refining fire purifies.
  16. I put off tough tasks with the best of them. Gold-star member of Procrastinators Anonymous.
  17. Debt is easier to accumulate than destroy.
  18. What food I eat plays a big part in how I feel and in turn, how productive I am.
  19. A simple permanent diet change can lead to drastic weight-loss.
  20. I miss the midnight cereal club.
  21. I eat when I’m feeling down, which doesn’t help the waistline.
  22. Working with good people is better than being paid bucket-loads of money.
  23. An employer who trusts you completely is liberating.
  24. Remote work is incredible.
  25. Forty-hour work weeks are lame. Results are a better measure of progress.
  26. I have a lot to learn. About everything.
  27. Rdio will forever be missed.
  28. There’s no such thing as work-free revenue streams.
  29. Taking care of my own health should be a top priority.
  30. Some people on the internet are mean.
  31. Mobile phones shouldn’t be in the bathroom.
  32. I am an epic sinner. Epic.
  33. I believe God has big plans for me. I need to get out of His way.

On Paralysis

I've come to realize that I'm scared. I'm scared what others will think of me. I'm scared that I won't be liked or what I say or think won't be of value to others. In truth, I'm paralyzed by the thought that what I want to contribute won't be appreciated by others, or at the very least, they'll disagree.

Who cares what others think? I've been letting the fact that other people have their own opinions persuade me from letting mine be heard. For what? The fear of them disagreeing with me? That's just silly.

It's time to stop to letting the fear of anonymity, of being ignored, of being disagreed with, prevent me from just documenting my own thoughts. I'll be honest with myself: there's the likelihood that no one is going to read this, and that's ok. I'm going to write for myself. I'm going to document my own processes for my own good, not for anyone else.

Paralysis begone.