This year went by in a flash. I want to assess it across five dimensions - Career, Education, Health, Financial, and Personal.
- On the career front, I left OnMobile in April and joined Khoros.
- Why I left OnMobile is a post I will reserve for another day. I now handle the “Social Listening” capabilities within the Marketing suite of products at Khoros. I am being challenged in ways I never have before and this presents opportunities to learn, expand and grow. I am excited about how this plays out in 2022. More work related writing will find its way here in 2022. I intend to crush it at work. I want to make a dent here.
- I want to be more deliberate with my writing. Instead of aiming for perfection, I am going to string together quicker thoughts and hit publish more often in 2022. Shipped imperfect writing is better than an unpublished grave of drafts.
- Although I had ambitions to read a lot, I ended up reading very few books this year.
- Over the years, I have acquired way more books than I will read in my lifetime. I am going to hold myself accountable here and ensure that I don’t buy more, but read what I have first. The few books I read this year include:
- Leviathan Wakes - by James A. Corey (also watched the show - the book and the show go really well together)
- Exponential - by Azeem Azhar
- The 5 dysfunctions of a team - by Patrick Lencioni
- I leveled up my product chops with a few courses in 2021 (more on these in future posts):
- Although I started off strong (about 4 workouts every 7 days, for about 6 months), I ended up doing little to no exercising in the second half of the year. This has reflected in my constitution - I now weigh more than I ever have in my life. I eat out often and my meals tend to be heavy. I go on my occasional long walks, but clearly, that isn’t enough. I need to curb my food cravings and become more disciplined. Swiggy and Zomato, I love you, but you need to go!
- We got double vaccinated by June and (touchwood) remained COVID free in 2021. My in-laws, however, caught it in April-May and it took a severe toll on them. This was at a time when Delhi was in terrible shape (No hospital beds were available, there was an acute shortage of oxygen cylinders and medicines - and there were curfews everywhere). My wife handled their care remotely from Bangalore. This was a difficult phase to navigate with all the anxiety and uncertainty.
- I spent a lot of my time mindlessly scrolling through Twitter and Instagram this year - way more than I would’ve liked and this affected my mental health. My mind would be dreaming about the future or worrying about the past. I was not present in conversations. My wife pointed this out to me on several occasions - I thought about this a little this week - It all stemmed from boredom, FOMO, jealousy, anxiety. To improve in 2022, I have uninstalled Instagram, but haven’t yet mustered enough courage to remove Twitter.
- Becoming serious about my health is going to be a big part of my 2022. It is my #1 priority for the year. I want to be physically and mentally healthy.
- I will workout more often and stay disciplined. The long walks will continue at their natural cadence. I will be more conscious of meal portions. My target weight is 78 kgs (I am at 95 kgs now).
- I have set usage limits on apps. I won’t look at my phone when I am not supposed to - Rather than actively chasing new information from my Twitter feed, I’ll leave it to serendipity and let information find me. My efforts to learn in 2022 will be from long form content - reading books. My target is 30 pages a day.
- I have had success with breathing exercises in the past. It made me less anxious (time to dust the cobwebs off of my Headspace subscription).
- Switching jobs helped, but despite that, I always felt I was always short of money. I can’t pin it down exactly. I invested in myself a little this year (buying all those books and courses). I bought myself a new MacBook Pro (Max Pro). I placed a few bets (I put money into a startup). I also invested a little in SGBs. And bore the usual expenses - LIC, PPF, child’s school fees. It still felt like I was playing catch-up for the most part. Everyone around me was pumping money into Crypto and NFTs and my Twitter feed was filled with stories of folks becoming paper millionaires. The FOMO was real.
- I feel I ought to get more disciplined with my spending - especially on food - I now log my daily expenses - no matter how small - and I’m trying to get a better handle on knowing my outflows. I expect money spent on books will go down in 2022 and so will food.
- I lost my dad in March. This event pretty much defined 2021 for me. It was a rude shock. It came out of the blue and left us filled with grief and emptiness. I won’t go into much more details here as this loss is still tough for me to process. It weighed us all down as a family.
- To add to this, I also lost a good friend to COVID - about a month after my dad’s passing. Talking to his brother about how to book a spot at the crematorium refreshed wounds from my dad’s loss. March and April were dark and tough times.
- My mother got to visit my sister in the US in November. This offered her a chance to experience a change of surroundings and offered us (me and my wife) the chance to level up and become more responsible in running the house. We did this alongside managing demanding work hours and a young toddler. This experience has made us more disciplined, brought us closer and given us the confidence to face things we thought we couldn’t before.
- My wife has been a wonderful support system and balancing force - There’s a saying that too much of something is bad for you - She has been that corrective gravitational pull that ensures I don’t over index on other pursuits like work and prioritize family matters as well. She’s also been very supportive and courageous. I don’t vocalize this enough. In 2022, I will appreciate her more for the wonderful person that she is
- My daughter has been a great teacher. She is teaching me how to be more patient and giving - She gives her love so abundantly to me, even when I am short on patience. We have been bonding over Avengers. I love her dearly. In 2022, I will be more patient and more kind to her.
- My mother has always been my rock, but this March, I saw her at her most vulnerable. As she gets older, I want to be the support she has been to me. In 2022, I will spend more time with her. I will take more photographs with her and shoot selfie videos of us saying silly nothings.
- I did a terrible job of keeping in touch with my friends in 2021. I forgot birthdays, hardly met any friends and didn’t really keep tabs on them. 2021 was a difficult year for most. I came across as self-absorbed. I will be more deliberate in reaching out to them. I will try to be a better friend in 2022.
No matter how hard this last year has been, here we are. With another chance. For this, I have nothing but gratitude. I am beginning again with new hopes, renewed energy and aspirations, and I hope you do so too. May 2022 be your best year yet. Happy New Year!