Encouragement · Gratitude · Reading

A (somewhat late) Mid-year Check-in

When I started this blog roughly 10 years ago I had hopes of posting regularly and finding consistent engagement from people who shared my interests in product development, pop culture, Agile, and reading. At this point I’m not sure I can even call myself an “occasional” blogger given how rarely I post here. The truth is I have struggled to find the right tone for this – how “professional” it should be versus how much it looks like a journal of more random musings, how focused on “life at the intersection of finance and technology” to keep this versus how many of my diverse interests to include, and how much to discuss problems I am wrestling with at work versus sharing insights and successes. I have also not found the regularly engaged audience I was hoping for when I started blogging, nor have I found consistent support from my job to devote time to this work.

As a result my initial plans to write at least weekly devolved into sporadic posts (sometimes several times per week and sometimes only a handful of times per year), and now I maintain the site mostly because it’s inexpensive and serves as a record for at least a few meaningful insights (for those willing to dig through the posts). I still have dreams of being a regular blogger with a dedicated and active set of readers who engage with me in the ideas I share. But life’s shifting priorities mean that this dream may likely not come to fruition. I know that in truth it’s not that simple.

I do plan to post a few entries in the coming week or so because I find myself at a pivot point in my life and career. After more than 15 years with one company I will changing jobs soon and look to take my product management skills and ideas into a new context. I am confident I will learn a lot from new colleagues and fresh challenges and I hope to share some of what I learn on this site if time allows. This job change provides what feels like a good opportunity to take stock of what 2021 has brought me so far and to think a little about what I’ve learned in the past 15 years.

My last post from December of 2020 set out goals I had in three areas for this year.

  1. Professional goals. My team has done incredible work this year in spite of some hard challenges. Investing deeply in them as we’ve pursued a focus on outcome over output and growing deeper engagement with our users has brought great satisfaction this year. As I move into a new role I am confident that the team is in a strong place to continue experiencing success.
  2. Reading goals. I wanted to take advantage of additional time in my life (largely due to a lack of commuting during the pandemic) to strive for some ambitious reading goals and these have also gone incredibly well so far. I am just about finished the eighth fiction I wanted to read (out of 12 for the year) and the twelfth non-fiction book; I’ve completed eight audio books (goal was 4 for the year) and 39 graphic novels plus completing an entire series (goal was 24 total volumes this year); and I will soon finish a third volume of poetry (my goal is four volumes and the final one I’ve selected is long so this goal will require more focus). Reading so much has been delightful and I hope to continue reading a lot even as the world (at some point) opens up again.
  3. Community goals. This one has been tougher, as building new relationships and even investing deeply in existing ones has been harder during months a social distancing. I’ve had some great times with friends and see potential for building new and deeper friendships as the year progresses, but I remain hungry for closer connections with people beyond video calls.

A great many things feel “in flux” for me right now; at such times I find it helpful to reflect on where I’ve come from and what I’ve learned and to set out some goals and structures for what lies ahead. Hopefully I’ll share some of both here in the coming days, so stay tuned and thanks as always for listening.

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