Cheering for a Good 2024

I hesitate to write too much for my goals in 2024. As we round the corner on the first half of the 2020’s (or enter the 48th month of 2020 as I saw one jokester put it), I can’t help but worry that this year will be another rough one. We’re in for another divisive presidential election and multiple potential wars are brewing with a general public that’s completely detached from the realities entering an actual war would bring. At times like these, it’s best to remember that the best we can do is manage the things we can actually control.

Last year, Fin insisted on a slight pause and breath before spinning up anything “big”. Attempting a pause was probably good idea, as my tendency is to over-commit and burn out. In retrospect, it’s amazing that I managed to finish a degree. Structure helps. With last years theme being recovery, this years theme will be making some new starts.

And so, as is my tradition, I begin 2024 thinking about goals for the new year:

  • Keep our family budget updated and current through the year. We’re starting 2024 with the budget mostly up to date (need to balance checkbook since Christmas). With costs of everything going up, this will be more important.
  • Track fitness and health progress. Doctors keep telling me this is important, and I keep not doing it. This year’s goal for fitness is pretty simple: increase my awareness by tracking exercise and vitals. I’m not certain if I’ll be using another data mining app or (more likely) old school pen and paper.
  • Farm Landscaping. This year, I’d like to actually get both the East and West pastures under control. That means nuking unwanted trees, and adding our (planned) Christmas tree farm. We also need to build some sort of walkway replacement to our front door after our entryway is replaced.
  • Finish Degoogling. I’ve been working a lot on getting Fin and myself setup with degoogled phones and self-hosted services. We’re still missing a couple Google equivalents, and there’s a lot of “quick setups” that need to be more sustainable.
  • Home project spaces, offices, and IT. Last year, we finally started making some really solid progress on unpacking and using so much of the things boxed up since we moved houses. This year, my goal is to have the office area ‘done’, have the garage usable for cars and projects, and finish wiring the home network.
  • Make an embedded project PCB. Probably my most ambitious goal, but I’m hoping to build a full embedded project with SMT components, populate, and get it working. This may be a bit close to the ‘day job’, but as I’m a remote employee, upping my skills on board rework and design greatly helps.
  • Rediscover or Create some local hobby group. I used to be a member of a musicians group that essentially disbanded during COVID. This year, I’m hoping to find some similar groups or reconnect with hobbyist communities. I’m hoping to find something in the smaller community I live at now instead of driving to the city.
  • Cover technical projects in my blogs (including this one). I’m not certain what this will look like yet, but I’d like to start writing more on technical subjects. Maybe cross-linking posts, maybe retiring the ol’ blog and redirecting here, I’m not certain. There are some definite complexities to handle.
  • Read 6 books. This will probably always make my list. My reading list is a bit thin now, but I’ll find a few things to fill it out.
  • Start contributing to online communities. Mailing lists and message boards are in a sad state these days. I’ve greatly reduced my presence on ‘the big’ social networks, but I think it’s getting more important for people to contribute to smaller communities. Build it and they will come or something.

If this year does turn out rough, hopefully we all find some positive highlights and keep working to improve the limited things within our ability.

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