It’s December 31st again! Every year, it seems like things move faster and faster. I could have sworn that it was just summer, but Christmas has already come and gone, and we’re almost to a new year! And that means, following a tradition I started in 2017, it’s time for my yearly review!

A brief note before I begin: instead of walking through the highlights of my year in sequence (as if on a timeline), I’ve decided this year to talk about some major changes I’ve made/implemented over the past year.

And, for those keeping track: yes, I did (intentionally) skip my 2021 year in review post, for a handful of reasons. Primarily, I took a year off because I was slightly burnt out, and didn’t really feel like writing a post. Additionally, I was in the middle of some research on online privacy, and so posting anything personal online was not high on my priority list. On top of all of that, I was doing a lot of self-evaluation on a number of topics, and was not prepared yet to mention any of them outside of my immediate family.

Now that 2021 is out of the way, what did 2022 look like for me?

Probably the largest change in my personal life in 2022 is that I left the church I had been attending for the past 6+ years of my life, and returned to the Lutheran church (Missouri synod). I had begun questioning certain teachings and hermeneutical approaches that were present in my (now) former church home, and my study of the Bible and theology (which eagle-eyed observers may have gotten wind of due to the books I was adding to my reading list) led me to realize that I did not agree with that church. By mid-March of this year I had decided that the disagreements were too great for me to continue attending, serving, and leading in that church, and so (with some sadness on my part) I left. Thankfully, I was able to find a church in the area that aligns theologically with my understanding of scripture, and that’s how I ended up in a Lutheran church by Easter.

The second largest change in my life has probably been an almost-complete return to in-office work. This shift was not forced on me by my employer, but rather occurred as a side-effect of some changes in my workload: I found it easier to coordinate with other engineers by being present in the office four days a week, and reserving Friday’s for working remotely.

A third, and fairly recent, change in my life is a return to both Evernote and the Getting Things Done methodology. I’ve known about GTD for years, and have previously implemented some of its techniques in both my personal and professional life. However, some of the changes in my professional workload made me realize that my pieced-together system was falling apart, and so I took the time a month ago to fully implement GTD, using Todoist for my list manager, and Evernote as my project support/reference tool. The thing that finally made GTD click for me was forcing myself to do a weekly review, which I’d always avoided before. That one to two hour block on Friday afternoons does wonders in keeping everything up to date!

In less life-changing news, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing a number of people whose work I follow, mostly in the tech and journalism sectors, migrate from Twitter to Mastodon. While I’m not cheering for Twitter to fail, I greatly appreciate the influx of new users with a variety of interests and unique thoughts and opinions on topics I care about.

This year has also seen me read or listen to more books, by a sizable number, than in years past. Early in the year I began experimenting with different audiobook apps (due to my annoyance with some first-party apps and stores), and I finally settled on Prologue, a very impressive iOS app for Plex audiobook libraries. It worked well enough in testing that I migrated my 150+-book audiobook collection to my Plex server, and have been happily using it ever since. The new app also got me back into listening to audiobooks more often, which helped with the higher book-completion count this year.

And that wraps up my year in review! I’m thankful for the year past, and look forward to seeing what is in store for me in 2023!

Happy New Year!