2017-2021, a Quick Recap

Hmm. So. It’s been over 5 years it looks like.

I guess the only appropriate update would be a recap of the last 5 years.

Seems like nobody blogs anymore these days, and as far as I know nobody goes here unless they’re some figment of my past or a hiring manager trying to see what ol’ Chris is up to. If you’re new here, welcome to my blog, where every once in awhile I bring my loyal viewers the mundane details of my life outside of social media.

COVID happened. That’s a topic all its own. I’ve been lucky thus far but have seen a lot of death and destruction around me. I’m vaccinated. Please consult your doctor if you are not and take their advice.

3 job changes. Career shakeup partially due to COVID, times were rough at the beginning.

Finally discovered the glory of Laravel, Node, and React. Not such a JS luddite anymore as you may have seen from past entries but then again, most of the stuff I disliked 5 years ago is long dead now as times continue to change.

Flash is dead, and the web is better for it. In 2010 when Steve Jobs infamously put the first nail in its coffin, it wasn’t ready. HTML5 and CSS3 were in their infancy, mobile devices were slow, and the content creation tools didn’t exist yet. All that changed eventually and it’s time to say goodbye to a technology I used a hell of a lot of through the years. There is an obvious lack of creative and complex interactivity these days than what we used to have in the ancient Flash/Shockwave/Java/ActiveX (lol) era, but I imagine some of that come back one day when mobile devices get more capable. Until then I don’t miss it all that much.

Medical bills have gotten in the way of the debt-free life, but nothing I can’t dig my way out of soon enough.

Still rocking the 15 year mortgage. Been 10 years of headache now. 5 more years and it’ll be paid off. People who know me, know I have what I call the “five year plan” and never shut up about it. It’s both a plan starting now, working up to the mortgage payoff so I can hit my semi-retirement running, and also the plan for how I’m going to invest in money-saving and quality-of-life improvements once I’m finally able.

Went through a couple of bouts with some kind of depression and continue to live with a mild form of it, likely due to chronic pain. I guess that’s my excuse for not writing, and also my excuse for writing again.

Was big into tiki and craft cocktails for awhile there. Still sort of am. I go to bars much less often these days for obvious reasons.

Not as huge into home automation anymore, but many of these dusty old gadgets are still chugging along, passively enriching my life. Some of them demanded too much attention and were cut loose.

I’ve made a few new friends along the way. Have occasional D&D nights, book clubs, pool/hot tub parties, fun stuff like that. But for the most part laying low while the pandemic engulfs Florida.

My tropical plants all died in the unusually awful winter of 2018. Got into permaculture and edible perennials recently and am slowly building a food forest in my yard.

My ego has been knocked down a few notches over the years. It’s humbling and needed to happen. At the same time I’ve overcome a lot of impostor syndrome, which is hard to shake in IT.

I’ve been having chronic headaches for years now. Still trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and so far nothing has worked, but for now I get by as best I can with literally neverending pain.

The whole Trump thing happened. Probably a whole other topic to elaborate on (or not). But it’s weird to look back at it and think, wow, all that stuff happened. That weird old orange guy from reality TV was president and things went as you might have expected.

This country and much of the world has changed a lot in 5 years, and not for the better. So many of us are bitterly divided over everything. Everything. Even things that don’t matter. The rest are terrified to talk about anything for fear of losing even more friends and family. If I could only have one wish, I’d wish we could all just go mentally back to that time before the mid 2000s, before the left and right turned literally everything into a culture war, when we could all agree to disagree without wishing death on everyone else.

Got me an electric car in 2018, a 2016 Nissan Leaf, gently used. So far I’ve done nothing to it but change the tires, cabin filter, and wiper fluid, and it has been an amazing car.

My grandfather, Emery Bartek passed away a few years ago, leaving me with no more living grandparents. His passing was a bit tougher on me than I expected; this and the loss of others seems to have initiated the page flip that started a new chapter in my life. The wakeup call that I’m getting older and I, too, will die one day.

So many people and places I loved are gone now. It’s hard to wrap my head around how much things have changed in my life in general over the last 5 years.

I plan to write more this year, but as mentioned above, I’m in constant pain which makes doing so far less enjoyable than in the past. I’ll try the best I can.

Until then, cheers, and have a happy new year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *