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Year in Review '23


December is coming to an end, and with it so is 2023. In general, it’s been quite an incredible year, marking my first year post-university, which always brings a lot of changes to one’s life. Allied with living in another country, trying to learn the language, traveling, a lot has happened, and there is a lot to be grateful for.

As usual, I am going to talk a bit about a few categories and for each I will give some highlights of what has happened during 2023 and what I am grateful for, as well as some ideas or plans of what I would like to see in 2024. I want to do this exercise where I reflect in some areas of my life, and set some goals of what I would like to be seeing in 12 months. I think writing this post might be part of it.

✍️ Website

During 2023, this website has suffered quite some changes, but not necessarily visible to you, the reader. I’ve talked about most of them in my “Recently” posts. I want to highlight that this past month, during Christmas, I gave my website a little bit of a πŸ’„ makeover, making it slightly more festive.

Website With Christmas Decorations
Website With Christmas Decorations

I think the largest and most impactful decision was to go back to using Hugo. This is a decision that I believe will remain stable for the foreseeable future. However, that is something that I’ve likely said before, so, who knows? I’ve also open-sourced my website’s source code, as well as improved my IndieWeb Go libraries.

Looking back at the posts, I’ve released a record of 43 articles. That is more articles than I’ve ever released before within a single year. I’ve also written my first article completely in Dutch, which meant quite a lot for me. More on that later. On the other side, I haven’t published as many pictures as I’d hope, and that’s also related to the fact that I haven’t been taking my camera out as much as I’d like to.

In 2024, I plan on keeping writing on a schedule: at least a “Recently” and a “Vergeet niet om in te checken” per month. That already totalizes 24 articles per year. In addition, I think it would be nice if I could reach 50 articles within a year. We shall see. Not a hard goal, but an interesting one.

Something else I am planning on doing in 2024 is trying to be more involved in the IndieWeb community. I will try attending a IndieWeb Camp in person, as well as some Homebrew online meetings. As before, not a hard goal, or the most important one, but I think it could be quite nice.

πŸ„ Life

Life, that is a very general category. So it’s quite hard for me to pin point exactly what has happened. So I’m just going to write some highlights and see what comes out of it. Firstly, it was my first year living in my new apartment in Eindhoven, as well as my first full year living with my partner. It’s been an awesome time, that I’m certainly grateful for.

During this year post-university, I’ve opted for working in a co-working space close to my apartment, where I’ve met some wonderful people I’m grateful for. Next year, some of us are moving to a different coworking space, which is a bit further away from my house, but I think that can be a nice change.

Santana da Serra Church Tower

Something else I would like to note is how many train rides I took this year. Specifically, special πŸš‚ train rides, not ordinary ones. I’ve ridden the new ICNG, a steam train in Germany, a Dinner Train, and a steam lunch train. I think that was all for this year. It might not sound like much, but it was a lot of fun.

Regarding my Nederlands skills, I would say that there have been quite a lot of improvements. I do feel more comfortable talking, even if I make mistakes. It is still not enough for what I want to achieve, but it is progress. I think it was the year that I had the most progress with my Dutch so far. I’m not going to elongate myself here, as I want to talk a bit more about it in my Dutch post next month.

In 2024, I hope I can tick a few more items off my impossible list, specially when it comes to traveling to new places, and train trips. I am also hoping to see friends more often. I think I always see some people every month, but I feel like the frequency could be adjusted a bit more.

I am also hoping that by the end of 2024, I am able to have regular conversations in Dutch with people without major problems. I think this will be a great challenge, and I definitely need to get more basic vocabulary. Right now, it is quite hard for me to explain something that I don’t know.

For example, if there’s a word for something and I don’t know the word, I want to be able to explain the thing whose word I’m looking for. However, I feel like I still have this problem with English, and even Portuguese. So maybe it’s more of a skill I have to develop in general, not necessarily just for Dutch

πŸ’ͺ Health

The two greatest things I want to highlight is how consistent I have been with going to the gym, and how much my achilles has improved. I haven’t had any major (or any?) complaints over the past month or two. I’m hoping it will stay like this, and I think this is mostly about knowing immediately how to manage it, and not pushing it too much when I start feeling something.

In 2024, I plan on continuing visiting the gym twice a week for both cardio and weightlifting exercises. Maybe I will be increasing this to three times a week, but that is not yet certain. It also depends a lot of my availability and other things in life.

πŸ’Ό Work

On the work front, I am glad I managed to see my coworkers in person a few times last year. I was able to work on quite some exciting things during the year. However, it wasn’t nearly as challenging or growth-inducing enough as I would’ve hoped.

That likely comes from the fact that lots of changes are happening at work, so we could never start really big projects as the future has always been quite uncertain. From January on, I will likely be working for a technically different company, but within the same projects.

In 2024, I am looking forward for learning and growing more. This comes with being challenged. If that will involve looking for a new job, then so be it. I am going to give it a benefit of the doubt for the first few months, and then I will reflect back on what’s happening and how I’m feeling.

Thus, this is it. Maybe there’s something else I’d to talk about, but I can’t remember it now. I will now do a reflection for myself, perhaps more structured. Maybe I’ll write about it on this website next month? Who knows. In the meanwhile, I wish you a πŸŽ‡ Happy New Year, and that good things come on your way!