As has been my practice for the past 14 years (see list), my first post of 2023 across all my sites is of three words that are my aspirations or “themes” for the year ahead. They are not “resolutions” so much as guiding thoughts or principles.
Health (or a health-related word) has been one of my three words in 11 of these 14 years. 🙁 BUT… the truth is that I’ve reached an UNhealthy point where I MUST prioritize caring for my body. I’ve had a couple of minor health scares. I’ve been too sedentary. And I’ve continually made some poor choices in food consumption (but… all… those… cookies!!). I need to lose a significant amount of weight and I need to get exercising again. I don’t want to be one of those mid-fifties guys who drops dead while mowing the lawn! And.. we have two amazing daughters and I’d like to be around to see where their lives go… and I’d like to grow old together with my wonderful wife. So my health MUST be a priority… really at the expense of all the other things.
The current chaos and drama at Twitter has highlighted how important an online community can be (or in truth a combination of many individual online communities). Many of us are now trying to figure out where the next communities will be. This theme will also be an important part of my work at the Internet Society this year, as I’ll be taking on a new role co-leading a project seeking to help grow “sustainable technical communities” around the world. We’ve seen over the years that where there is the strongest and most resilient Internet access, there are strong communities of technical people. They might be network operator groups (NOGs), or security-focused groups, or other user groups. Helping identify where technical communities are - and where they are not - and helping share best practices among groups will be a substantial part of my work in 2023.
Outside of work, this word and theme plays into other aspects of my local life. I’ve been getting more involved in some activities in my local town. I’m also in the leadership track for our local Rotary Club and in July I’ll become the President of the club. I’m also involved in other global communities such as the IT Disaster Resources Center (ITDRC) and of course the Wikipedia editors community.
"Community” - and building thriving communities - is SO important in all that we do.
This is a theme I haven’t included before, but over the past year of returning to some activities, including singing in a church, I have realized how much I have missed music being more of a role in my life. In 2022 I started to take some guitar classes again, which I’m hoping to continue in January. I’ve also started to do a bit more noodling around on the piano… and may actually think about some lessons somewhere in here. And, at some point in time I’d like to do some singing with a group, something I haven’t done in a couple of decades. We’ll see.
Missing from the list this year is the nearly ubiquitous “Content”. I didn’t create a great amount this year, and I’m hopeful that I will do more in 2023… but I’ve come to terms more with the reality of everything else going on. Creating content will not necessary be a “focus” area, but hopefully may be an outgrowth of some of the other work. But whatever happens, I’m not going to stress about it too much.
That’s what I’m looking forward to this year. How about you?