Happy December! Happy Winter Holidays! We’re almost done with 2022!

I just had my birthday yesterday, on December 20. I am now 34 years old, which is more than a third of a century! I generally take the opportunity on my birthday to do some reflection on the previous year, and to set a theme for the next year. I wanted to share both with you, my audience.

The past year has been intense for me personally. It’s just been a laundry list of life changes and achievements:

  • I moved from New York City to a small town.
  • I bought a house and got a mortgage.
  • I started medication (Atomoxetine) for my ADHD, an experience I want to blog about, and will as soon as I figure out what exactly I actually have to say about it.
  • I’ve made new friends and deepened other friendships.
  • I got an (antique family) upright piano installed in my house.
  • I got a home gym installation.
  • I’ve greatly refined and improved my organizational system.
  • I’ve started a weekly rock-climbing habit.

And, most relevantly for this audience, this blog has accelerated:

  • I have posted far more than any previous year, averaging 3 times per month (not including this post):
$ ls | grep ^2 | cut -f1 -d- | uniq -c # Count posts per year
      3 2017
      1 2018
     17 2019
      5 2020
      3 2021
     36 2022
  • I have migrated to Hugo, making posting super easy and the design mobile-friendly without me having to do my own front-end/CSS work.
  • I added comments.
  • I added a newsletter, and just today, added a subscription form to every page (thanks, subscribers!)
  • I’ve written or at least started several series:

My theme for this past year – or perhaps for 2021, I’m not sure, but I think it was in practice a 2-year theme – was rebuilding, and I’ve certainly done that. I’ve built a new life, in a new place, with so many different habits. And I’m really happy with the results.

Now, what I really want to do is let these new habits mature, to build on top of what I built. And so, a dear friend of mine suggested growth as the theme for this coming year. Rather than focusing on planting new seeds in the garden of my life, as I’ve been doing, I should let the existing seeds that are already planted grow and mature.

Here is part of what I hope that will mean in practice:

  • Exercise
    • Continue rock climbing
    • Use the home gym more regularly
  • Music
    • Solidify the habit of practicing the piano
    • Try to learn new skills on it (perhaps getting lessons)
  • Friendships
    • Deepen my relationships with the people I’ve gotten closer to (literally and figuratively) and met over the past year
  • Organization
    • Use my system more consistently
    • Continue to reap the benefits of having it at all

And of course, last but not least, this blog. I would like this blog to grow. Getting a newsletter is the first and obvious step, but I have some other ideas as well.

For one thing, I hope to take some of my blog posts and series and turn them into “gardens” rather than “streams”. Rather than a series of posts that boom in readership and then get forgotten about, organized by time-line, I think a well-organized complete documentation on, say, my opinions about Rust vs C++, or perhaps just a list of Rust opinions, might be more useful as a reference, and allow me to refine my positions over time, and address objections (even if some on Reddit think addressing objections is somehow a sign that I’m being disingenuous or not open-minded).

For another thing – speaking of Reddit – I’d like to move away from polemic towards education and insight. Many of my posts now are about why Rust is better than C++ – which I still think is an important topic – but some of them are about how to do things in Rust, or how Rust works. My OOP series, while starting out with a fair amount of polemics, will hopefully show a lot of examples and provide a lot of insights into how to use Rust’s features to structure code for people who are used to OOP-style programming languages, and will help people do their job more directly. I don’t think I’m going to be able to fully give up polemics – I am, after all, a self-described “temperamental opinionator” – but I’d like to spend more of my time explaining how to use Rust and why it is the way it is, and less time arguing with angry people on Reddit who take criticism of their preferred tools as a personal attack.

I’d also like to increase the amount of non-technical blogging I do. I used to post fiction on my blog, and some of it I’m even proud of. I’d like to return to doing that. I’d like to share more of my insights about ADHD in specific and neurodiversity in general, specifically about medication and the philosophical question about what a diagnosis like ADHD even means. I’d like to write more about religion, a complicated issue that I have some insights on.

And finally, I’d like to blog some about Reflex, my favorite GUI programming framework, and one that is in Haskell and completely independent of the object-oriented tradition. It’s an excellent hidden gem of a library, and I think it deserves some good resources for it.

If any of you have any particular requests, please let me know! Many of you have already given me ideas for new posts – I have dozens of outlines and hundreds of ideas – but specific requests are (sometimes) very motivating.

I’d like to thank you all so very much for reading! I hope you all have had a good 2022, and I wish all of you the best possible 2023. If you do set a new theme for the new year, may it help you live your best life.