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The adventures of 2019

The biggest thing of 2019 was welcoming our little Adam Stanley Joseph into our lives!

Throughout the year we’ve got to experience piles of the joys of new parenthood. The newborn snuggle time, reading our childhood favorites with him, adorable baby giggles, the look of happiness when he sees me after work, the on-going process of watching him discover everything in the world, and generally being able to bring him on all kinds of new adventures. My heart-melting reaction to some of these things was surprising to me. Having a child truly does change you, especially those of us who wouldn’t have classified ourselves as “kid people” prior to having one of our own.

Being a new parent is also difficult and exhausting, so this year has been really challenging. I met my goal of breastfeeding for a year, but it was hard, especially with my travel schedule. My daily schedule has completely changed. My priorities are very different. Even relationships that I never expected being influenced by parenthood have changed, and conversely some that I thought would have not. I’ve gotten very good at prioritizing things, especially when it comes to tasks around the house. I’ve definitely leveled up when it comes to multi-tasking too. I bring little Adam on errands most evenings, and all around the house with me as I do laundry, sort mail, and all the other little tasks one does to keep a household flowing.

I also started a new job this year. After almost four months of maternity leave, I started at IBM at the end of April. I’m still doing Developer Advocacy, but I’ve made a major change by getting into IBM Z (mainframes). I can use a lot of my existing infrastructure experience, but it’s also been a year of learning a lot, starting with what a mainframe is. It’s been a fascinating eight months with an extraordinary community of people. I dove into events immediately, but I took some time to start doing talks again as I grew into my role and learned what I needed to, but I was back up to my usual pace of talks and conferences by October and I’m in a great spot for 2020.

Photo courtesy of the Linux Foundation source

I’ve spent more time with family this year, mostly due to everyone wanting to meet and spend time with Adam, but also because we had both a funeral and two weddings to attend this year. Socially, I’ve really struggled. I’ve never been a social butterfly, but I’m constantly juggling precious little time and energy, and I haven’t been reserving any to make plans with friends. I don’t know if that will change soon, but I am mindful of the effort not being expended there and I don’t want things to be like this forever.

Travel-wise, I had my slowest travel year in recent memory, with just 54k miles, and since I decided to wait until Adam was a year old for any international travel, it was all domestic.

  • March: Philadelphia to visit
  • April: Hollywood, FL for a funeral
  • May: Atlanta for TechU conference, and visiting some family
  • May: Boston for the Red Hat Summit conference, and visiting some family
  • July: Philadelphia to visit
  • July: Poughkeepsie, NY for an office visit
  • July: Hollywood, FL for a wedding
  • July: Portland, OR for OSCON conference
  • August: San Diego for the Open Source Summit conference
  • September: Philadelphia & Rochester, NY for a visit and a wedding
  • October: Portland, OR for LISA19 conference
  • November: San Diego for KubeCon NA conference
  • November: Philadelphia to visit for Thanksgiving
  • December: New York City for the Open FinTech Forum conference
  • December: Philadelphia to visit for the holidays

Talks were similarly on the lean side, but I’m building a nice base of talks and a narrative that seems to resonate. I was really happy with the events I participated in.

As I look at 2020, I don’t see a huge change in store for us. We’re slightly more confident parents, but my priorities are still going to be family and work.