January 1, 2020


2019 in review

The ending of a year, and with it one decade comes to an end, and another begins. The Twenty-tens are finished and now we greet the Twenty-twentys.

2019 was a really amazing year in my life, there is a lot I am truly grateful for but before I can get into it a note about 2018. 2018 was also an amazing year as well, but more because it was one marked with unfathomable change.

My dad passed away suddenly in 2018. Still just thinking those words feels unreal to me. I may have come to terms with this reality but I cannot really believe in it, if that makes sense. The truth still feels foreign to me, like a dream, a dream I want to wake up from and forget. I just really want to be able to say ‘hello’ to my dad again.

I was kind of lost for most of 2018, which may be why I had a lot less to blog about. I’ve been kind of picking up the pieces of myself ever sense. The year after you lose someone close is really tough. Losing my dad was a crushing life-altering event.

In an odd way, going through this kind of trauma can provide even more clarity of how important someone was, and is, in your life. So much of who my dad was has shaped who I am, and so much of that carries forth in my life. I am ever more aware and appreciative of the gifts contained in this experience we call existence thanks to my amazing father. His physical life may be over, but I am not alone, thanks to the kindness and wisdom he left behind in my memories of him. It’s almost as if having lost my father I actually feel never more closer to him.

It’s hard to think of 2019 in any way other than a reflection of 2018. 2019 was a year focused on discovery, survival, and appreciation. I discovered renewed desire to learn and grow in my career. I survived the devastation of great personal loss. I appreciate the enormous gift that is life and it’s infinite treasures.

Here are some highlights from this year.

  • I celebrated my father on the one year anniversary of his loss. (There was one request he made to me years ago, which was to play taps at his funeral. In the chaos of the funeral after his death I was not able to make that happen, so on the anniversary our family met and I fulfilled that request.)
  • I learned a lot about web and interface design.
  • I saw some pretty great movies.
  • I went to my second web design conference in Denver, where I learned a ton more. I also turned that trip into a vacation spending time with my oldest niece Hannah, speaking of…
  • I saw my oldest niece Hannah four separate times (in Virginia twice, the beach once, and Colorado once - that was a record).
  • I started walking a lot! I will no longer underestimate the benefits of walking every day!
  • 2019 was all about games! I started playing a slew of new board games with friends, and some I deemed worthy I shared with my family. This has been transformative really. Playing a variety of board-games has added a lot of enjoyment to my life, and allowed me to share that joy with others.

Do I have resolutions for 2020/the Twenty-twenties? Yes indeed. Don’t stop dreaming. Don’t stop learning. Don’t stop playing! Don’t stop appreciating the gift of life!