2015 was another year of ups and downs a moving forward, especially in the final half of the year.
Moving back to the UK
In September Emma and I moved out of Switzerland. It was of course sad to leave, and a time of peak stress and overload. I felt like we had a nice send off there and I'll remember floating down the Limmat forever.
Being back in Brighton has been good, as I grew up nearby it has always felt like a home town and a little too comfortable. After being somewhere completely different for a while it's more clear to me that Brighton has a bit of everything I enjoy. Water, hills, burgers, good beer, and a friendly, open local culture.
Sorting out the flat has been painful, this is the first time we've intentionally furnished a place from the ground up with little/no existing furniture (we sold most of it before moving to Zürich). It's been a tough and expensive slog these past few months but the place is starting to come together and I can see it starting to pay off.
In my 2014 retrospective I set a goal 2015 to travel less and did a pretty bad job of a achieving that goal!
I also set myself a goal of spending more time in the places I do go, focusing on deeper exploration instead of a quantity of trips. That went ok. The highlights this year were Colombia, the LA->AUS roadtrip, and Barcelona. These were all around Drupalcons, where we choose to take one-or-two weeks around the conference to do and see as much as we could, with a little bit of relaxation here and there.
I'm hoping to continue this in 2015, starting with Drupalcon Asia in Mumbai.
- FOSDEM in Brussels — January
- Drupalcon in Bogota, including a trip to the Amazon Rainforest and a quick stop in New York. — February
- Drupal Dev Days in Montpellier — April
- Drupalcon in Los Angeles, including a roadtrip to Austin! — May
- Twin Cities Drupalcamp in Minnesota — June
- HybridConf in Dublin — August
- WunderDesign Camp in Helsinki — September
- Drupalcon in Barcelona — October
- WunderUK Camp 3 in Brussels – November
This year was an interesting year. JARS was released after a long amount of work by the team. I can't help but look at it with regret but I keep reminding myself of the limitations of a version 1.
I worked on the Esure project as a designer, and although it wasn't the perfect project (how many are) at least I got a chance to revive skills I haven't used in a while. I can't be totally satisfied but I'm happy that we're making progress in this area and we have a game plan for winning design projects in 2016.
In 2016 I definitely was to focus more on the work I was to do, rather than the work that lands in my lap. I'm want to split myself less between frontend development and design and really throw myself back into design. For years I've thought there's a perfect balance between the two but I've yet to find it. Find a balance feel like the swing of a pendulum, moving one, way and then the other, and then back again, before finally resting in the middle.
I wrote a lot in 2015! Good work me! Inspired by the 30 days of something-or-other people were doing, I tried to write one blog post every day.
I have to say I did really enjoy forcing myself to write something every day. I tend to have blips when my routine gets interrupted by travel and find it hard to get routines back. I wrote more in 2015 on this blog than I have in the four years previous. That's progress.
I'll have to figure out a challenge for myself that's more sustainable. Maybe a blog post once a week in 2016?
For the first time in a long time I set myself a reading challenge in 2015. In the past few years I've found myself suffering from the instant gratification and short attention that the internet trains you to desire. I'd found it very hard to read any books at all.
I challenge myself to read 20 books in 2015 and did not hit that target at all. This year I'm setting the barrier a little lower, progress is better than no progress!
- Simple CSS regression testing at Drupalcamp Brighton
- Designing Drupal 8 at Drupalcon in Colombia
- Drupal 8's usability at Drupalcamp Twin Cities, Drupalcamp North, and Drupalcon in Barcelona.
I didn't speak very much in 2015. I wrote two presentations this year and one of them was co-written. I don't mind this, but when I presented recently, it felt very uncomfortable. I could feel my heart racing and I couldn't slow it down like I usually can when presenting. I think I would like to present a little more regularly, so I might try and find little 10 minutes slots to speak more often.
2015 was a weird year and I ended it feeling exhausted. I want 2016 to be the year of focus on what's important to me and progress.