Looking ahead to 2023
Kon Marie in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up counsels letting go when an object no longer sparks joy, acknowledging service well rendered and wishing the object good journey on to its next home. I wish in 2023 to thank so many of my life aspects for service well rendered. I do now let parts go so I can move on to the next chapter.
Job of four years this coming January, I thank you for advancing my career from just a Data Scientist to Senior Director of Chemistry Development in charge of five teams and a lot of the direction at this struggling company. You have taught me more than anything how to lead through thoughtful communication, empathy, calculations, empowerment, and fun. However, managing fourteen people now brings its own stressors and bitterness—I increasingly no longer like the frantic and mean person I have become.
I’ve got choices ahead. I could double-down, work harder, assassinate fractious work colleagues, and try to take over more of the company. However, now that I know better the executive leadership, this is not the team and company I want to support. I could also dramatically quit on one day’s notice to deposit some sort of parting flaming bag of shit to signal my dissatisfaction, but why the unnecessary drama?
Instead, 2023 is the year to be less available to get off the critical path at work while I enjoy other parts of my life on the way to find my next job opportunity. I would like to work remotely for thirty days—most of the executive team does not live in the Bay Area. What about moving to Croatia or Budapest or Sydney or Paris for a spell? Likewise, the best way to confront mounting work drama is just to care less and let those work for me lead more. I want to take the team to Hawaii to celebrate. I still have many more stunts to pull off before I go (or before they make me go). I would like to learn Plotly/Dash and write an epic data visualization tool.
My boss counsels that if you don’t like right now, the company changes soon anyways in the next three months, so it merits sticking around to see how the poker hands are played. I do want something different in the second half of the year with a new employer by the end of the year. Scott’s company, Ansa, looks promising in nearby Emeryville.
Apartment of over 12 years, I thank you for your central location, affordable rent ($2300), and ersatz storage for art projects, but I want you no more. The renters battle the absent landlord, leaving me without a doorbell, stockaded around my art pieces under tables, in hallways, behind chairs. I have waning desire to maintain this property or to explore the now-dull neighborhood.
I don’t want to rent anymore. I survey from afar housing listings in Yellow Springs, Ohio and Sacramento. Although I cannot afford property due to $400,000 in stock losses, if the market does recover, I may be able to buy a small home of my own. I want to design, build, customize, host, and retire. If I cannot move for much of this year, I can still work remotely, travel a lot, and even attempt digital nomadism.
San Francisco party people, thank you for your community, challenges, and costumes. You have given me places to display my projects and myself. I have been thoroughly shaped by your sparkles and cocktails. But you are not my intimate friends, and it has taken me a long time to learn again this lesson. So much of Comfort and Joy and the masses at Club Mighty are transient party seekers on the hunt for adventure and fresh beauty. I’m no longer fresh nor beautiful. Even the Stud Bar has been demolished along with so many stories and stores.
Way back in my teens, growing up in the dull suburbs, I always wanted to live in the center of everything. Well, I got my chance. Time now to let go of the incessant party. Before I leave, I sing a swan song with my exploration of San Francisco this year through the NeighborGood Project. I’ll get a last look at much of the city. Christine’s Raining Chainsaws art trope looks promising.
I have one last LED project to build, five Owls, two of which are almost done. I should finish by March (ed. note in Feb.: April?), after which I would like to go back and refurbish older works. I no longer want heavy LED Projects, so I am taking apart the 4 Large Squares to make 16 Small Squares. Perhaps I can learn how to sketch and laser cut wooden slats for a faster and more professional product. I am quite happy with the Arduino LED show software I have coded over a decade.
I should write more. For a long time, I got tired of analyzing as opposed to doing. Now I barely do and don’t analyze at all. I’m good with words and have a lot to say.
30-Year old body in a 50-year old man, I am not ready yet to let you go. I’ve been kind to myself physically, keeping up with daily fitness, but also learning to taper. Although I no longer run my half-marathon to the ocean and back, I still go every week halfway into Golden Gate park, around Stowe Lake, and back again. Likewise, I strengthen my small muscles with resistance bands in my bedroom while occasionally upping and downing my dog through internet yoga. I like what I look like and feel like, although I do sense my muscles atrophying and my shoulders and hips wearing out. I should see a doctor in 2023.
Oh, dear parents, I worry about you. Mom, at least you seem well. You have recovered from your fall that broke your hip and you try to stay busy. Dad, I send you letters and now email. I know the end comes eventually. We all try to do the best we can. I’ll visit several times in 2023, but I no longer expect revelations. I would like to grow closer to my heroic caregiving brother Rob.