Normally I don’t write end of year reviews, but I decided for this year, why not. This year has been a rollercoaster one. Most people are not aware that I’m chronically ill. I’ll keep the details personal but suffice to say, it means I work part-time, and am under the care of several specialists.
For a decade I have managed work, inclusive design projects, other projects and personal life with military precision. Sometimes going over my limits but I always make it work.
This year I travelled to Aruba and Curaçao, visiting family. It was great. I don’t always get a chance to go to Curaçao so it’s always a special treat when I do go. I managed to take great photos too. The best parts of going back to the islands are seeing family and that one good day sleeping on the beach under a palapa, reading, swimming and just forgetting the world exists. Not to forget the great food if you know where to go.
I attended CSS Day conference once back. It was no the smartest to plan my travelling back to back with a two-day conference but it was the first IRL conference I would attend again and I really wanted to go. Even tho my energy ran out I don’t regret going. Saw a lot of people again I hadn’t seen since the pandemic. I have attended CSS Day since they started with it and it’s the best place to catch up on all the shiny new CSS and what you can do with it.
Taking photography serious
I was always into photography, even as a kid. But I never took it seriously, just a light hobby. But last year I decided that I want to be better at it and take it more seriously while still keeping it minimalistic. I bought a good compact camera and signed up for a one-on-one coaching with a professional photographer. Since then I have been learning and trying new things. Slowly getting better.
I set up a portfolio website with two series I took recently: Impressions of island nostalgia and From outside in. Being the front-end developer that I am. I spend hours nitpicking and deciding how I would do it. Ended up using WordPress with the Twenty Twenty-Three theme on a local install and exporting a flat-file website to GitHub/Netlify.
I have also taken to take photos for my day job. I work with journalists and now also take photo’s when not busy doing frontend developer work.
“Things that go bump in the night”
During summer my vacation time I had serious plans to go out and take photos. But fate decided differently. Instead, I had to deal with health issues that took me two and a half months to recover from. Two and a half months of not being able to do much or anything.
Inclusive Design talks
I almost closed the year without giving talks. I’m normally always approached to do these. But this year I didn’t get any offers. I did get one for an interview for a yet to be released website providing data and information about accessibility. To still book at least one talk I got proactive and asked to give one. And thus this month I gave an Inclusive Design at the Dutch postal office. One attendee was nice enough to write a short resume about it on LinkedIn (Dutch).
I also wrote a blog post about how the Apple Watch is an accessibility assistive tool for me as a late deaf person. I still am very happy with getting an Apple Watch. It makes daily life being deaf a bit easier.
Finally, I managed to keep reading books in between everything. You can find my top 5 favourite reads of the year on my book page.
Adding to my skills toolbox
Turns out I’m pretty adaptable at working with Excel and Numbers. By no means on an accountant level but I’m glad I haven’t lost the ability to learn using software on the go as I have become more older. One always feels that getting older means you get less good at learning, but so far that has not been my experience. It’s more a thing now of not having any interest in learning everything opposite to not being able to. I’m more selective in what I invest time and energy in.
I’d say I am curious and excited about what 2023 brings but I am not that kind of person. I’ll probably be in bed by 10 reading a book. Tomorrow I’ll continue rewatching Elementary and setting up my reading goals in Goodreads and The StoryGraph which I will be starting with a clean slate.