It’s hard to do a year in review when so much has felt like an extension of March 2020.

COVID-19 continues to influence every aspect of our lives, even for the foolish who pretend that it doesn’t.

At the hospital, things moved out of Incident response and into operational response, which meant me going back to my regular job instead of jumping into action doing whatever needed doing at any time.

Things were still very busy, everyone was overworked, and not many people were really worried about website content, so it ended up slowing right down for me. As the department started to splinter off, I started considering looking for other work. I was at the hospital for five and a half years, and it was a really great job, but it was time for a new challenge.

Turns out tech people are in demand! I had a few interviews and quite a bit of interest. I got a great opportunity when a friend shared a job ad on Facebook, and I responded. I ended up joining Tailscale at the end of November. It seems like a really good fit culturally and has a lot of potential for how I want to grow my skills.

A close family member had a very serious health scare toward the end of the summer. They are still recovering, and Shelley and I are doing what we can to help support them. It was a really scary time.

We got some camping in with friends and with just us. I even did a solo overnight at Neys when a side contract brought me to the neighborhood. I did some minor work on our trailer, and it is cozier than ever.

We lost a good friend. It was a blow to the whole city, because she was such a cornerstone, helping people all over. It’s still hard to fathom. She is missed by a lot of people for a lot of reasons, but for me I just miss the somewhat pointed observations on all aspects of life. Usually expletive laden, often frustrated, and always with a sense that we should all just be able to do better for the people who need us.

There was loss in the family, and some now gains as well. The distances seem greater with the pandemic. It insulated me from a lot of the joy and sadness of my people who are far away. I have become much more introverted during these times. I hope that I remember how to be with people.

I am very thankful for those couple of friends who we have had regular visits with. The dinners, and tea, and campfires have been so important.

Shelley had a tumultuous year, which is not my story to tell, but it ended up with her starting work at the hospital a couple days after I left there. We had ample opportunity this year to lean on each other, and I am very grateful to have her and her kids in my life. She is a remarkable person and a fierce advocate for what is right. I have so much love, awe, and respect for her.

We bought another house! The idea was that if I had a garage, there would be fewer tools in the house. Reality of course being that I got more tools. Also a couple of friends had workshop disruptions, so there are now three tool nerd collections in our huge, but very full workshop.

We kept hold of our house on Algoma, and have rented it out to some lovely people. I still have plans for how that place could be improved. We’ll see how that goes now.

Empty Bowls was another huge success. Family concerns kept me out of the planning a lot more than I would have liked, but Robin and the team did great, and I was there at the end to pitch in. Hopefully next year, we can all sit down and have a meal again.

Those kids keep growing up. There are two teenagers in the house now. I really need to build that second bathroom. They continue to be curious, clever, and inspiring.

I continue my culinary adventures. Learning more kitchen techniques. I have 3D printed a few misfit computer type things. I learned and performed a lot of vehicle maintenance on Dad’s old truck. Fixed rust holes, AC, paint, etc. These sorts of things are well documented on Instagram, along with steady coverage of the cats.

2021 was hard, but had some moments of great success, grand adventures, quiet comfort, and exciting opportunity. I have made the best of it, and I will continue to do so in ’22.

There is so much that could go so very well next year. I am excited to step into it, and happy for the company I will be keeping. My family, my friends, and all of you people on the internet who have been valuable connections during this disconnected time.

Happy New Year, and see you on the other side of the line.