2015 in review (bullets)

I’m later to the punch this year for my “bullets” post (previous years). But here we are, broken down by some sort of logical sections. I love reading people’s year in reviews, so here’s a reminder that it’s not too late – and remember that these reflections are often more for the writer than for the reader 🙂

Firing winter

2015 was my first anti-winter trip (#belize2015) and it went so well. I am not a winter person, and this year (2016) I’m spending a month in the Southern hemisphere working remotely, chasing summer. Pretty sure this is going to be a thing for me.

Sabbatical

In February 2015 I literally moved onto a fold-out couch in Brooklyn (and paid rent for it, we’re talking about NYC after all) in order to go to Hacker School, which became Recurse Center during my batch. I did scads of interesting things but more importantly made some truly fantastic friends I plan on having for a long time. There are lots of posts on this blog about it.

Work

After sabbatical, I went back to work and finished a blitz of a project before changing groups/teams where I’m embarrassed to tell other people how cool I think it is that we get to make “Behold, the words of the holy RFC” jokes on a frequent basis, because darn it, we’re doing cool internet stuff. I’d say that’s going really well.

Writing

In writing, I wrote my second book (still in semi-perpetual alpha … to be finished vaguely soon!). I also wrote for InfoWorld last month, which was their highest-hit article for December for that column. This year though, people also wrote about me, which was an interesting turn of events: I was Geek of the Week in the spring, and got mentioned in a fancy list (or two). It’s nice to be recognized.

Speaking

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I spoke a lot. In fact, in 2015 I overdid it a bit. I spoke in New York (multiple), Philly (multiple), Norfolk, Florida, Nebraska, St. Louis, Raleigh, and San Francisco, rarely with a month off in-between. Add into that multiple appearances on podcasts (Giant Robots, Developer on Fire), and my regular line-up (Turing-Incomplete, and newly minted JavaScript Air), and there was a lot going on.

Reflections

In 2016, I plan to be more pro-active about being protective of my time by saying “No” more often than I might like. Because of my sabbatical earlier in the year, I didn’t take what I’d consider to be a “real” vacation, just a few weekend trips or adventures scattered in the mix to keep me happy. That’s changing this year.

With that goal in mind, I decided last year that I won’t be on the organizing team for LibertyJS for 2016 and am currently transitioning my portion of the leadership of the JavaScript meetup to very capable hands – if you want to help, please reach out.

Other than not doing lots of things, my plan is to be more open to curiosity, which I would differentiate from how I’ve embraced opportunity in the past. Especially after embracing curiosity and discovery during my time at RC, I find that I’ve taken on too many interviews, gigs, volunteerings, or responsibilities because of “shoulds” rather than “wants.”

shoulds-diagram

“Shoulds” have helped me a lot. Personal discipline is probably one of my super powers. But I feel that I’ve reached a level of comfort in my skills and goal progression that lately my “shoulds” cost me more than they return (emptying my giving tank, as my friend Jearvon would say).

By creating more space in my time by saying No, I hope to find more of those “wants” emerging out of the shadows of the “shoulds”.

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2 Responses to “2015 in review (bullets)”

  1. Rubén January 11, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    Hi!

    Your reflections about “shoulds”, “wants”, saying No,… reminds me to Tim Ferriss’ podcast with Derek Sivers (http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/12/14/derek-sivers-on-developing-confidence-finding-happiness-and-saying-no-to-millions/) and Derek’s concept of “HELL YEAH! Or no.” (https://sivers.org/hellyeah).

    If you haven’t listened to the podcast, it’s totally recommended.

    • Pam Selle January 11, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks, I haven’t heard the episode, I’ll check it out!

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