2023 in review

This will be my ninth year in a row doing these, so you can also read about the years since 2015 if so desired. They are inspired by Tilde, who has taught me that it can be a Good Thing to remember what the last year has been like. Many of the headers in this post are based on my goals for 2022.

The phrase for this year was consistency. I like my life, and I’d like to continue making small improvements but holding steady on the things I’ve figured out. I did an ok job at this – with some slip-ups, but also needing to appreciate where I did a good job.

This year had some extreme ups and some extreme downs. It also felt like it was a solid foray into what life looks like with a kid – traveling some (but not as much as I used to), reengaging with work after a rough restart, and really getting into spending time with the family.

Met stated goals

Be able to lift my body weight

My one rep max for a deadlift is now 205lbs! And I’m working on increasing that through regular sessions with Coach Brooks at Brightside Barbell. This is seriously so much fun, and I’m really enjoying being strong again. I’ve come on and off the wagon twice this year, but the important thing has always been to come back, and right now I’m back!

take a trip for myself, look at some art on that trip

I got involved with Priceless again this year as a setup/strike lead plus People Team. This meant that besides rare moments of “we’re really struggling in a human way with this problem or person, please help,” I had no responsibility before or after the event, but a whole lot at the beginning and end of the event – ideal for my current availability and capacity. It was so lovely to see everyone again, and to organize in a consensus based way, and to look at art in the woods. Already more involved in next year’s event, and excited to attend again.

I also went to England for more tattoo work and to see old friends. While I got Covid (my first time!), I first got to get tattoo’d and see some friends (no one got sick from me, thank goodness). However, being alone in a hotel room in Central London instead of in France visiting more people was both depressing and logistically challenging.

don’t gain more weight

I have succeeded in stopping the gain, but I’m still supremely uncomfortable in my body. I’m now seriously looking at gender affirmation surgeries to help me be more comfortable in my skin after the radical feminization of my body from pregnancy. We have switched insurance for the year to make this possible, and I had a call with the surgeon to logisticize. It’s also terrifying – is my dysphoria so bad it merits weeks of pain and recovery? WHO KNOWS.

practice my writing skills

Not as much as I might have liked, but I did get two blog entries in this year, and have been writing more in the way of status for work. I think this is mostly just a thing I don’t get to do in public much anymore, and I need to grieve that and move on.

organize at least 4 events for the neighborhood

I helped in small ways for our yearly BBQ and our twice yearly open meeting for the neighborhood board I’m on. I also hosted one coffee meetup for the neighborhood, plus two “baby fight clubs” where a bunch of parents bring their kids to our backyard for one big playdate. Next year I’m looking to do more meetups and fight clubs.

maintain my intoxicant intake levels, budgeting skillz, and reading habits

Intoxicants – I didn’t do as well this year as I did last year, but I also didn’t go off the rails like I have been back before 2021. Something to reflect on and adjust for. Already have some things in mind, like having fizzy delicious (nonalcoholic) drinks on hand for when I want a treat.

Budgeting – I kept fastidious books again this year. And while I went overboard in some places, I way underspent in others, so I’m still under my budget for the year! Wooo! I’m also starting to talk to a financial planner about trying to figure out when I can retire. I think I can do so a bit early, which I never thought I would want, but after taking a sabbatical this year, I can totally imagine less structure to my days.

Reading – I read 14 books last year, and managed another 16 this year, including the honking Children of Time trilogy (with each book ~600 pages). I am digging this trend in my life SO much, and I’m excited to offer some of my favorite books in the Little Free Library Reed got me for our anniversary!

see my whole family (parents, siblings) with my whole family (Reed, Locke)

I didn’t actually get to see my parents AND siblings with Reed and Locke, but I did see my parents with Reed and Locke twice, and Locke with my parents and siblings once. I’ll take what I can get. Wow is growing older alongside your parents a complex thing.

Unmet stated goals

ride my bike 200+ miles a month starting in April, plus at least one brevet and that Mount 
Ham ride

Missed 5 months of riding 200+ miles, but got started before April, so maybe a bit of a wash? I’m a bit nervous about this winter, as part of my 50 mile route to work turns to wet clay when it’s rained in the last week. But I got a trainer and I’m really enjoying that!

I did climb Mount Hamilton with a stack of friends! What a beautiful, difficult ride. And I still have the (now very faint) sunburn line from this, as it took me FOREVER to go the last 7ish miles. Really proud of myself on this, and grateful to Nate and Reed for sticking with me to climb that last bit.

For the brevet, I started the Freestone Bread Run 200k but bailed with 30ish miles left due to extremely high headwinds most of the way and all the climbing. Got a ride part way home in the back of a pickup truck full of hay after navigating not having a signal to call for help in Nicasio, and the rest of the way home from a friend. Truly a wonderful day of friends and the kindnesses of strangers.

Other things

Took a sabbatical

After continually failing to do well at work due to the difficulties we were experiencing as a family during Locke’s infancy, I finally talked to my manager about what was up, and she suggested I take a sabbatical to get things back on track. I did so, which had a few outcomes. First, we were able to get our shit together and things are so much better at home again, and so things are much better at work again as well. Secondly, I can finally imagine retirement and have begun planning for when I can make that happen for real.

It did interrupt my work on Passcode Grace Period. I’m proud for having handed off the work to another EPM in a way that made sense and that made shipping smooth, but wow did I want to participate in the full arc of this one.

Took Reed to house on the rock

Reed has been doing leaps and bounds better than he was doing for awhile there, and I wanted to celebrate the improvements and us being in a better spot. To do this, I surprised him with a trip to The House on the Rock and a stay at the Don Q hotel. We had such a fun! It was such a weird place.

Officially, actually, finished the porch redo

The front of our house had been under construction for like 9 months. It finally completed in late spring with a final inspection. Our nightmare is now over, and we have a reasonable front porch again. Not stoked about the final product, but it’s fine. ✨ Home ownership ✨

Locke started preschool

He’s learning! He’s making friends! He’s out of the house more! He’s constantly sick!

He loves houses, tunnels, motorcycles, bicycles, and trains. He’ll eat anything you put in front of him, including crying while eating spicy food and saying “it’s spicy” but still continuing to eat it. He loves taking things apart and trying to put them back together. He wants a goodnight kiss, for his wubie to have a goodnight kiss, and then for him to get one last one. And wow does he love getting a star magnet for brushing his teeth. He’s 2!

We love the preschool we’re at, and we love Yolanda. Yolanda was our “temporary” nanny for the window between when Nancy got a new gig and when preschool started, but we now rely on her heavily for date nights, bike rides, and other things. We feel like we have a the little village we always wanted.


My word for 2024 will be abundance, as I work to remind myself on a daily basis that there is more than enough for everyone to have enough.

  • Seek ways to be a good neighbor
  • Little Free Library
  • At least one century
  • Find ways to spend less time in cars
  • Continue iterating on coping mechanisms
  • Find new stability at work
  • Figure out my body at 40
  • Publish a resource for the formal response sector

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