I feel like if at any point before 2020 you’d asked me what 2020 was going to be like, I’d have assumed we’d have made some significant progress toward some sci-fi ideal of equality and technological utopia.
Ten years ago, I’d have assumed the internet and smartphones were accelerating our pace towards this positive progress. But instead, we live in a bizarre technological dystopia where all of these tools that supposedly are bringing us closer together are driving us farther apart.
That’s not a new observation, obviously. But it’s the distance between what I’d hoped 2020 would be and what it was that’s the disturbing bit.
It was a year of finding out 70 million Americans vote for a racist, fascist authoritarian moron. It was seeing people unable to take even the most basic precautions against a global pandemic, or bear even the slightest inconvenience to save their neighbors. It was the year that the dream of some American ideal was irreversibly shattered for me, even as the election showed that the democratic process at least somewhat works, and we voted to get the worst leader I hope to ever see in my lifetime removed from office. Fingers crossed he gets dragged out of the White House and straight to jail.
On the personal front, it was a year of big changes. I quit my job. Technically. I mean, there wasn’t any way to stay after I was lied to about my own performance feedback, and treated with not even the slightest courtesy or consideration. But if hard times test your values, I feel like I can hold my head high. I treated my team well, I made the call, early, to transition to WFH in the early days of the pandemic, and did my best to do right by everyone. I built a team and product I was proud of given the circumstances, and if that’s the end of my career, I ended it well.
I got to spend a lot of times with the kids, helping them with the transition to remote school, through a fun summer (even if it was mostly spent at or around the house), and back to school. I’ve gotten in noticeably better shape, been doing some interesting outdoor adventures, and we’ve even made significant progress on improving the house.
It’s been a strange year, and a lot of the positive that’s come out of it has obviously been a product of being very, very lucky – both with Ei-Nyung’s job, and our past success. I get that that’s a position not a lot of people are in, and I’m grateful for it. For me, I wanted to be there for the kids, and to make sure that we, as a family, were able to get through this the best we can.
So far, so good.
For 2021, I’ve got a few hopes:
- Return to a sane government, ideally with the GOP removed from power in the House and Senate.
- Trump facing some sort of actual accountability or justice.
- I actually finish the project I’m working on, where “finish” means getting it into the hands of someone who can benefit from it.
- When possible, as much travel as possible.
- Get up on foil on the wingfoil board.
- Get down to <210lbs.
Mostly, though, I hope the kids stay curious and creative and healthy, that my parents and in-laws remain healthy, and that I use this time well.