Chris Lema published a blog post at the beginning of this month entitled Stop Making Premature Announcements that really resonated with me. I can’t count the number of times in my life I’ve said to someone else, “I’m going to,” “I plan to,” “I want to,” and so on only to realize weeks or months later that I lost interest or focus or drive on the thing I planned, wanted, or was going to do that I simply never saw through to the finish.
It’s far better to be able to proclaim “I did it,” “I built it,” “I created it,” or “I finished it, here it is!”
That post was written in October, and I published my last post at the beginning of August. In that post, I declared that I’m open for business. On September 1st, I began a new Senior Software Engineer role where most of my energy during the day has kept me focus on meeting new people, learning how to work together, figuring out what we’re working on (and how to work on it), and simply getting up to speed like everyone must when they start with a new company.
Two things are certain: I’m loving the challenges, and between everything I’m juggling during the day and the still ever-present state of the world, I’ve just been far too mentally exhausted by the end of the day to accomplish much else.
At the start of the year, I set extremely modest goals for myself. I wanted to keep things light. As light as possible. With everything that’s been going on in the world, from the pandemic to the climate (regular and political) to the struggles everyone has been facing, some far more disproportionately than others, maintaining an upbeat attitude while surviving alone feel like enough of an accomplishment alone. Admittedly, I haven’t been eager to add a set of goals to that load.
With that laid out, this is going to feel so small. I recognize how small it is, how insignificant. But, in this year, in these times, with everything else going on, and how difficult it has been for me to maintain extra motivation and allocate time for creativity, learning, and exploration, I accomplished something I set out to do this year, and I want to tell you about it.
I accomplished my goal of completing 15 books this year.
See? It’s nothing. The effort was full of stops and starts all year long, and the majority of the books I finished I started reading sometime after June. Some of them were technical books, including one that I read as part of the Dev Book Club during the spring, and some were fast, easy reads. But, the important thing is that I set out to do something, I did it, and now I’m telling you about it. And the great thing is, it’s still October, I can still read the rest of the year, and still feel proud that I accomplished something so small.
Here are the books I’ve finished in 2021:
- Building GitHub Actions by Michael Heap
- The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Refactoring by Martin Fowler
- The First Bad Man: A Novel by Miranda July
- She Memes Well by Quinta Brunson
- Breath by James Nestor
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Node.js Web Development by David Herron
- You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
- Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
- St. Paul by William Lindeke
- Exploded View by Sam McPheeters
- Based on a True Story by Norm Macdonald
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
- Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty by Harris Wittels
I’m currently reading The Gunslinger, the first book in The Dark Tower series by Steven King. 11/22/63 and Under the Dome are two of my favorite novels I’ve read to date, and I’m looking forward into digging into this expansive series. Maybe I’ll even finish it! You won’t hear about it again until I do.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile, but I haven’t known how to put things into words. I’m glad I finally did. I hope to do so again soon, but I promise it won’t happen until I’ve accomplished something.
Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve been well.