Wrapped culture has lost the plot but never one to miss a fad here’s my round up of 2023.
2023 saw me hit a couple of milestones. I turned 50 which still feels a bit surreal that I am THAT old. A couple of days after I paid off the mortgage. Boom. Something that I had planned and aggressively targeted five years ago landed, made more memorable by the bank employee who seemed happier than me as he declared you’re mortgage free. Brilliant.
Work also saw a significant change as I stepped into a director role and I’m now responsible for a team of not 15 but 150. First couple of months saw a few changes that have landed ok but lots more to do in 2024. Enjoying the challenge so far but also need to look after myself – more on that below.
Fitness wise I had an ok year. Kept the previous target of walking 2000km in a year and managed a bit more, clocking in at just over 2300km. Pace also better than the previous year.
There are two points to the walks – to keep weight in control and also to get out from behind a keyboard/screen/controller. And while the stats show the weight is ok that wasn’t through choice.
I had IBS for a couple of months from late August and it shows in the weight loss. It’s come back on quickly enough but I need to be mindful that some of the ailments I suffer from particularly migraines/headaches are stress related and there’s no doubt that some of the work I was involved in this year impacted my health. Some of that was self inflicted as I threw myself into the new role but some of it was pressures from elsewhere and I need to control that better and be more self aware going forward.
If I’m being honest I was approaching burnout and the body was shouting it loudly and the head was saying don’t be daft, it’s fine. The first 5 months of the year I was disciplined and did almost zero weekend work. That then changed and I worked flat out for weeks at a time which isn’t sustainable. However I’ve had a good long Christmas break and I’m now more determined to make time for me. My trusted friends inside and outside of work can spot the signs and they have looked out for me which I’ll always appreciate even if I don’t say it.
Made a concerted effort to watch more films this year and logged 88 films which is far more than the measly 25 in 2022. Highlights were Aftersun, Tár, Rye Lane, Air, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Oppenheimer, Blackberry, Killers of the Flower Moon and Past Lives. 100 in 2024?
Watched far too much TV and still have quite the backlog but series I really enjoyed included The Last of Us, Silo, Happy Valley, Poker Face, The Gold, Slow Horses, Race Across The World, Blue Lights, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland, Foundation, The Bear and Boiling Point.
As for games I spent far too much on hardware and have a new gaming PC and a Steam Deck OLED. PC has a 4090 in it and while games look amazing my room is a sauna in the summer 😂. Games I enjoyed this year were limited to older titles although I’m committing to Balders Gate 3 in 2024. The improvement in Halo Infinite thanks to new maps and regular drops of content is huge so thats still my goto game. Also got back into Super Hexagon and its variants on the Steam Deck. God I love that game although my age is showing me up now.
One thing I’ve not missed is Twitter/X. A site I once loved but now fully embrace Mastodon with a bit of Threads mixed in. The brands and the politicians haven’t moved away though which is a shame but I’m missing those less than expected. Hopefully Space Karen walks away from X in 2024…or is pushed.
Finally, podcasts. The Rest is Entertainment and The Town are two new essentials. I’ve also had to drop a couple of the tech shows – they are just too long – regular 3 hour episodes are difficult to squeeze in.
So 2024, no resolutions although I do put a theme together to help guide where I want to improve or change. The first three to four months will be very career and work focussed but I must take the time to separate work and home life and have proper down time. Need to give myself permission to switch off which I find easier to say, difficult to do…so work to be done.
Also want to put more effort into this little bit of the internet that I post on. Weeknotes are interesting but I fall out the habit, maybe more shorter form links and thoughts that I used to push onto Twitter will appear more regularly. Still thinking that through but got a bit of excitement around the website again which I haven’t had in a while.
2024 has so much potential that I can’t wait to get stuck in…here’s to a happy and healthy 2024 for you all.