January 2021
2 min read

January 2021

January. The month when we push the reset button, set new goals for the year, and turn up the heat here in Wisconsin (the low tonight is -15ºF 🥶). How did January 2021 go for me?

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, very little has changed in my daily life. My remote employment as a software engineer at FormAssembly remained unchanged. It is privileged position I try to not take for granted, given the economic catastrophes that have afflicted many. My wife continues to work at the family restaurant. My daughter, now a five-year-old, enjoys her early education childcare (she's had three pizza parties in as many weeks!), as well as dance class and swimming lessons.

One significant change this month was I purchased my first home! At the age of 35, it feels like I'm late to the party. But I like to make an entrance, so it works out. I actually closed in late December, but we spent a few weeks getting everything painted and prepped before moving in mid-January.

Previously, we lived with my wife's parents. Doing so allowed me to save a lot of money, have help taking care of my daughter, and take a shot at a startup. However, the pandemic accelerated the desire to have my own space again.

After settling in, I'm embracing the comfort of being in my own home, my own domain. It feels like one huge checkbox ticked on the to-do list. I find myself channeling my inner Josiah Bartlet, poised to move on: What's next?

Beyond the new house, there isn't much news from January. I received a small raise after a positive annual performance review. My first anniversary at FormAssembly was in November. We have a large product launch in progress for Q1 that I'm excited to contribute towards.

I've been starting to sell my collectibles and invest that money into the stock market. A large goal of 2021 for me is to increase my net worth. While some of my collectibles do appreciate, it is rare and inconsistent. They also take up a lot of room. At this point, I'd rather look at a dollar value in an app than boxes in my basement. It's been fun learning more about the market and investments as well.

For February, I have set the following goals:

  • Read the book Designing Data-Intensive Applications
  • Write 2-3 blog posts here
  • Do one engineering project with a new language or software
  • Complete the backlog of Hindsight Is podcasts recorded with Sheng
  • Sell $2,500 worth of collectibles and invest the proceeds
  • Do one exercise session a week (I am terrible at this so I am setting a very low bar 😬); I'm hoping Carrot Fit can help me
  • Document and recap my February activities and accomplishments in the second edition of this monthly update

I'm looking forward to sharing the progress of these items with you. Ciao!