2018 is already over, eh? It’s been one hell of a journey, and has brought a huge range of emotions – from stress and anxiety, to joy and anticipation of things to come. Looking back, there is a lot to celebrate. Here are some of the many highlights from 2018.

Read last year’s edition β†’

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Family

Our little dude turned 4 and continued to grow exponentially in the last year.

We found out we are expecting a baby girl in March 2019! πŸ‘Ά

We moved into our new home 🏑…

…and celebrated the holidays with the family.

The kiddo was pretty stoked about his new Cozmo Robot 🀣

Travel

Hannah and I got to see (and meet) our favorites, Desus & Mero in Chicago. 🌟

We spent time with family in Marquette and Grand Rapids, Michigan ❀

…and in Wisconsin’s Northwoods on our annual summer vacation.

I got to travel to exciting new places for work…

…like Amsterdam…

…Montreal…

…Nashville…

…and Orlando, for our company-wide meetup called the Grand Meetup (GM).

Music

Hannah and I went to a bunch of great shows: Jason Isbell, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, The Jayhawks with Old 97s, Avett Brothers, Ray Lamontagne, Ringo Starr, and more.

🎸 My pals and I in RedHawks took part in Mile of Music by playing shows for the sixth year (out of six) in a row.

Vote

…and of course, I voted βœ… πŸ—³βœŠ

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Voter Number 158 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ—³βœŠ

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Work

On the mobile design team at Automattic, we shipped a LOT of stuff in 2018 – a number of projects which I was lucky enough to work on – such as Revisions, Save for Later, Free Photo Library, GIF Support, the upcoming Gutenberg editor on mobile, and more. I’m so proud of the work our team put out this year, and I’m looking forward to 2019.

Another thing I’m proud of is the fantastic foundational research that we tackled, which will pave the way to a better understanding of the folks who use our apps and how we can better serve their needs. I look forward to doing additional research in 2019.

I did a rotation as a Team Lead for the mobile design team while my lead was on his sabbatical. I learned more about myself in that 3-month period than I thought possible, and in the process discovered strengths and weaknesses that I didn’t know I had. I’m now a much better designer and teammate because of the experience, and I’m excited to see what the new year brings.

Intentions for 2019

Last year, I spent some time really digesting what the previous year meant, what I accomplished, and what I felt I should focus my energy on moving into 2018. This year, I’m focusing on continued improvements to last year’s initiatives, while focusing on the following.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Be a Better Dad

I am beyond lucky to have a job that not only allows us to take time off to be parents, but encourages us to do so. I’m going to take some time off when our baby girl is born to just be there as she discovers the world around her for the first time, but beyond that I also want to be more present with our almost-five-year-old.

I intend to be as present, attentive, and supportive as possible with the whole family, not only when/after our new baby girl arrives, but throughout the entire year.

βŒ›οΈ Less Screen-Time

Despite the strides I’ve made to improve this over the last year or two (mainly by turning on “Do-not-disturb” mode on all of the things), my urge to always be informed has always been stronger than my urge to disconnect. I’ve found that the more time I spend in front of a screen, the less focused I become over time at work, and the less present I am at home β€“ while not necessarily feeling more informed or happy.

I intend to be mindful about how much time I’m spending in front of a device, and to do what I can to minimize that amount by turning them off, leaving them away from me when possible, and by finding other ways to keep my mind and body busy.

πŸ“… Make Time for Priorities

With so much going on everyday, I’ve found it hard to make time for the most important things like personal & work growth, financial organization, and weekly/monthly retrospectives.

I will be intentional about making and scheduling time for these things so they become habit. I will also find ways to delegate or defer tasks wherever possible.

😍 Be More Mindful of Health

In 2018, I learned a lesson the hard way, by dropping the ball. When life got hectic and I had 1000 things going on in my brain, I started dropping the ball on some very important things. This is something I’ve struggled with for years, but when it got to the point that it was affecting my loved ones, I could no longer afford to ignore it.

So I went to the doctor, where I was assessed for and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder with Inattentive, essentially AD/HD without the hyperactivity. Going through that process taught me so much, and has helped me to be more attentive and less distracted, even if I do have 1000 things going on in my brain.

I intend to listen to my body and be more mindful of my health – both mentally and physically.

πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰
Thanks for reading! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019 to you and yours!
πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

Published by Thomas Bishop

Product designer at Automattic working on the WordPress mobile apps. Musician. Lover of curry. Always be learning.

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