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The adventures of 2018

On the face of it, 2018 was a great year for “big ticket” milestones and life changes.

We moved to our new home in Castro Valley!

We learned we were expecting our first child!

I gave three keynotes! Along with speaking at or participating in over a dozen conferences, four of which I was on the selection committee for.

We’ve had several visits with both sides of family!

I had wonderful travel adventures with friends!

…including my first ride in a helicopter AND my first ride in a sea plane!

More quietly, I struggled quite a bit. Complications arising during the pregnancy have been difficult to cope with, I saw two long-term friendships falter, leaving the city has been a hard adjustment, and in October I was caught up in a layoff. The stress of all of this and the upcoming changes in our life caused me to see out a therapist in October to help work through some of it.

Still, even with each of these struggles, there is much to be grateful for. In spite of complications, the pregnancy has progressed, and with an early induction to avoid some of the risk we are expecting a healthy birth. I have gotten out of my comfort zone relationship-wise to start strengthening some friendships with people I’ve known for years. The proximity to a walkable downtown even here in the suburbs and a quick, easy ride on BART into San Francisco has eased some of my homesickness for my beloved city by the bay. My job search is going well, with plenty of exciting opportunities available to me when I’m ready to return to work in the spring. We have built a wonderful life for ourselves here and we continue to live comfortably.

With MJ starting a new job and the pregnancy, there were no grand getaways together overseas this year, but MJ and I spent a long weekend in NYC over the spring to finally see the famous, now unused, City Hall Station. We also spent a long weekend in Las Vegas for my 37th birthday. Our house is slowly coming together, including the guest and baby rooms both here and in Philadelphia.

Travel-wise, I did less international travel than I have in the past. Part of this was due to the team I was on having coverage in Europe, which meant I could focus more on North America, and then with the pregnancy I also decided to stop travel outside of the US and Canada a few months in. That means for the first time in several years, I didn’t break 100k miles, coming in this year with 88,716 miles, and only two overseas trips (Australia and Denmark).

Even without lots of long flights I did make reading more of a priority this year. In 2017 I admitted to watching a lot of TV, and in 2018 I was eager to change that, and did. I read 32 books in 2018 and continued my commitment to reading paper magazines to keep my long-format article brain working properly and tear myself away from my phone more. Health-wise I didn’t lose weight like I wanted to, but the difficult pregnancy made that a more challenging endeavor and I’m happy in the fact that I’ve at least been able to keep the pregnancy-related weight gain within a range that my doctor is happy with.

Now, onto the more list-y part of this post. The places I’ve been!

And the talks I’ve given!

As I look on to 2019, we have quite the adventure ahead of us. The arrival of our first child will change our lives significantly for the foreseeable future. Whatever I end up with job-wise I’m committed to doing something that challenges me to both dig deeper on a technical level and spur further career growth. Between these two things, I have plenty to adjust to, so there are no grand New Year’s resolutions or changes I want to commit to. Though I do hope I am gentle and forgiving to myself and MJ as we seek out this new balance together.