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The adventures of 2022

2022 was a mixed bag. On the one hand, our three year old started preschool and ended up bringing every sickness he came across home, and we were essentially sick for half the year. We also finally succumbed to COVID-19 in July.

On the flip side, the boys finally got vaccinated! And we finally got to go back to Philadelphia, twice! I went to my first in-person conference since March of 2020, and generally things began opening up again. We’re still not back to where we were before the pandemic, but I’m not sure we’ll ever be, or if that’s a desirable state. Folks in the United States have really played fast and loose with illness for decades, and now the thought of going out without a mask when I have a cold just feels rude.

I’ve also had a bit of a reckoning with myself that’s still in progress. I’m a mother now, and in charge of a single family home. As a result, these two things consume almost all of my free time, most of the rest of which goes to attempting to get enough sleep. I keep setting milestones after which I think I’ll feel better (conclusion of breastfeeding, my youngest sleeping through the night, not being sick) but I keep being disappointed. So in 2022 I worked with my doctor to start a low dose of antidepressants, and started talking to a therapist. I also spent a day away on my own at a local resort, which was a brief respite but one that I really needed. Most days I can tell that the medication and small changes here and there are helping, but I definitely have work to do and am in need of more support.

MJ and I got to connect a bit more in 2022. It’s so difficult finding time to spend together with a baby at home, so as the boys slowly eased out of baby-hood this year, we were able to go out on a couple big date evenings (anniversary and my birthday) and have started leaving the house on weekdays as we can to do lunch together. In October we even got to go out for a quickly little day trip to a BART maintenance facility, which may not be the most romantic thing, but it was nice to get out together and enjoy something together that we totally would have done before we had kids.

I love a lot about being a parent though. I have always been happy about the fact that I never grew up too much and still know how to play and be silly, but it’s really kicked up a notch when you have kids around. Being thoughtful and creative with them comes so naturally not because I have experience with kids (I don’t), but because we share so many of the same interests and the so many of the same things bring us joy. As my boys continue to get bigger, I’m enjoying sharing my interests with them, from riding a train to looking at the stars and identifying planets (we’re big fans of Jupiter over here).

Work was quite fulfilling in 2022. We had some major product launches that I worked hard on supporting, several major events, and I was thrilled that the work I put in to preparing my promotion resulted in said promotion. I’ve become more focused with what learning I want to do each quarter, which has had the unintended consequence of strengthening my bonds with the mainframe community as I find I’m able to connect even more. In all, I’m still loving my job, and everything I’m continuing to learn.

The only trips we took in 2022 were two to Philadelphia, the first in September and the second in December, but I did still give some talks! Mostly virtual, but I did give a couple in-person at the Open Mainframe Summit while I was in Philadelphia in September. The following is my talk rundown.

As we ease into 2023, I’m hopeful that this year will bring some of the changes to my life that I need to take. I’m aiming for some more milestones at work, and I’m going to continue pursue taking better care of my self, both with regard to my physical and my mental health.