This year, like many years before, has been a year of personal development. I’d think it quite improbable to have a year without personal development, but I do wonder how far you can really take annual personal development within learning and experiences.

Towards this end of this year, I’ve found I have a large capacity and appetite for reading and learning with an emphasis on volume and quality. Quantity on its own is a waste—we have YouTube and Podcasts for that. However, quality can come in large, glorious swaths.

Two years ago I started the year by reading the New Yorker after watching Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, although I stopped shortly after. Towards the end of this year I’ve continued reading the New Yorker with almost enough effort to finish the weekly issue before the next.

My year started with ordering a couch and a table. Two pieces of furniture that have really elevated the house and made it a nice place to be for Becky and I. From our dinners and discussions around the table, to our cuddles and chatter on the couch, our house is becoming a home.

I continued running throughout the summer and completed the City2Surf in 1 hour and 15 minutes. I then succumbed to my sore knee and had to learn how to stretch for most of the year. This took me through physio, elliptical, rowing, yoga, spin, Ceremony (HIIT), and finally physio again, which lead me back to running.

I finished my Level 1 Te Reo course, with graduation next year. It’s incredible that knowledge so rich, doesn’t cost me a dime. My class was wonderful to be around, and my kaiako and whaea are incredibly talented individuals. We were lucky to have them and their knowledge.

Church is full of learning, music, and people. I learnt Nashville numbers quite thoroughly, and read a few books with friends. Most notably, Garden City, by John Mark Comer.

My grandfather, Papa, passed away. He was well honoured. It’s important to be close to, and understand death.

Death is a hard time for both sides of a family. Unfortunately, in my experience the worst seems to come out regardless of last name.

My parents are still a complicated area of my life, but I am learning through experience. Nothing will prepare you for your parent’s separation at 25. I’ve found it best to accept the separation, then grieve and accept the fact that people change, then given enough time and changes and confusion, talk with your extended family to check you aren’t crazy.

My marriage to Becky is ever-changing and will forever be growing. This year I’ve seen most how we grow off each other. Whether it be discussions about goals, jobs, purchases, interior design, or finances, Becky and I collaborate with a strong vein of togetherness.

I finished my first full year at Spark, and moved roles half way through the year. I’m now a Business Analyst for our Enterprise business, the youngest in the role.

I went to Auckland for two days of work, and saw first hand what it means to travel for work in Auckland and not see family. This work trip inspired our Christmas trip of similar length.

Achievements at work:

  • Dashboards in ServiceNow (no one was making their own)
  • Stock forecasting tool that automated a manual role that took almost 8 hours daily to do
  • Applied for another role at Spark, but blew it with arrogance and not taking it seriously due to knowing the interviewers
  • Managed a large backlog of orders for a Spark customer and streamlined with a spreadsheet and Power Automate
  • Automated orders with Power Automate (very fun, ahead of my time)
  • Started to automate some external order solution processes which would link together Excel, Dynamics, suppliers, and internal processes
  • Drafted product requirements for volunteers on the Public Safety Network (PSN)
  • Presented at a Careers day (it’s the small things)
  • Launched an Artefact Library for all the product documents within Spark
  • Learning how to ask questions again and find what I need

Also did a shift at Te Pae, a convention centre in Christchurch. It’s fun to do sound and events, but the shift times just don’t work with a full time job.

In the area of productivity, I’ve gone from Reminders with To Do at work, then Things for both, through to a Hipster PDA with GTD.

I moved from reading websites, to Mastodon, and through to many different RSS readers. I hope to document these kinds of changes and reading processes more.

At this point, I’m still using an Reeder for RSS, however I’ve found files easier to deal with when consuming media. This has lead to PDF versions of articles, and downloading YouTube videos using Downie or yt-dlp in a-Shell on iPhone. I have lingering thoughts towards bookmarks and PDFs rather than RSS feeds with constant updates.

I also set up Infuse on all my devices and pointed it to an SMB server running from a USB stick on our router. It’s been great for watching media, and helpful for downloading movies instead of clawing through a Letterboxd watch list.

Only the day ticks over

Our orbit, forever in tow

Only I am never the same

Oh the places, I will go