January 2021 Review

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black laptop computer turned on showing computer codes

After an indulgent Christmas, I thought I’d get straight back into my habits.

Like many people, I tried to throw myself into a productive new year.

Tldr – I did ok, not great.

Work

After the usual Christmas wind down, many companies want to race out of the blocks in January. As such, work was intense.

With yearly targets defined, I focused on optimising previous marketing channels and exploring new acquisition methods.

Results are promising and we’re experiencing good growth.

Coding

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve wanted to learn coding for a while, despite previously starting and failing to complete the course twice.

This time I made a resolution to stick to my learning goal.

To do so, I set a daily challenge of watching at least one video and I’m pleased to announce that I’ve managed 47 consecutive days as of writing this article.

I’ve only completed around half of the course, and while simply viewing the content does not equate to solid comprehension, I’m pleased with my progress.

I’ll certainly have to revisit modules that are unclear and continue practicing what is, in effect, a never-ending learning journey.

Although I’m not sure I’ll ever be a particularly skilled developer, it’s already paying dividends in troubleshooting website issues at work.

If you’re interested, the course is on Udemy and I highly recommend it.

This full web developer course cost £14.99 and comprises around 600 videos, which is an absurdly low price for the value delivered.

It’s literally life-altering material if you were to pursue a programming career afterwards.

We truly are living in an internet age which has democratised education.

Reading

This month I fancied getting stuck into some stories:

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

As the Cohen brother adaptation of this story is a favourite film, I thought I’d read the book to compare the two.

I’m always interested how accurately a story is portrayed on the big screen, and in this case, it’s spot on.

Characteristically dark as is McCarthy’s wont, I was immediately swept up in the story once more.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Immediately after finishing NCFOM, I started Blood Meridian, supposedly one of the great American novels and touted as a modern-day classic.

Set along the American-Mexican border in the mid-19th Century, McCarthy describes the brutality of frontier life and the effect on its inhabitants, including running battles between bands of marauding Americans and Apache Indians.

Beautiful descriptions of the natural world, although overall violent and depressing like much of his work.

Note – the book is extremely long.

Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I’m a big fan of Tchaikovsky’s other work, including Children of Time, which won the Arthur C. Clarke award and Cage of Souls, a fictional Papillon-esque tale.

Dogs of War is a worthy addition to his oeuvre, skillfully blending genetic engineering, artificial intelligence and military technology into an engaging story.

Meditation and writing

The main issue this month was that meditation took a major nosedive, with only 9 sessions completed.

I think the primary issue was time – my morning routine now looks different in that I’ve been doing my coding course first thing upon waking, traditionally time reserved for other activities.

Writing has similarly been impacted, with little energy outside work for creative output.

I’ll have to try and tweak the February routine, reserving additional time for vital activities.

Exercise

I managed to do some exercise to work off the Christmas excess, but clearly, motivation wasn’t that high after the festive fun, with only 16 runs completed:

Summary

Not a bad month considering the demands of client work.

Hopefully, as we settle into 2021 I can invest more time into personal projects like Bloomsoup and massaging my mind with some good old meditation.



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