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2021 in Review

A man in a puffy coat grins while placing his hands on the proverbial shoulders of a goofy-looking snowman
The whole frame is full of deep green ivy, upon which are sprinkled pale pink petals
The sand of a beach at a high tide. The waves have made impressions in the sand, and there are lots of little circular spots where anenomes are buried in the sand.

Rahul proudly shows off his snow-son / Cherry blossom petals on ivy in the neighborhood / Anenomes on the beach at Discovery Park

Well, Year 2 of the pandemic is in the books. Despite the heaviness of the past year—and the intermittent moments at which I process anew everything we’ve been collectively going through—I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with gratitude as of late. Work is interesting and fulfilling; I am surrounded, near and far, by people I love; and I am currently working on an exciting personal life milestone. I feel somewhat sheepish about expressing gratitude in public, given that good and ill fortune visit us unevenly and at different times. That said, I figure sharing positivity and passing along some of that good fortune in more tangible ways can’t hurt at times like these.

Highlights

  • I wrapped up my time on the Microsoft Edge web platform, where I’ve spent the better part of 7 years contributing to the web’s evolution as an even-more-capable platform. Some of the last projects I collaborated on are Automatic HTTPS, and more customizable HTML controls; I still participate in those discussions in Open UI.
  • In September I started a new role at Netlify, again in product management. The Netlify platform was a revelation to me in my own personal web development practice, so it’s really exciting to be able to contribute back to that ecosystem.
A collage of screenshots from my fiber blog, seasons site, and drawing a generator

I shipped a couple small side projects in 2021:

  • Fiber blog, which I update with my sewing, knitting, and weaving projects as I complete them.
  • SEA — Seasons, which is all about living more seasonally and is optimized to the Seattle area.
  • What to Draw, continuing my need to pursue more analog creative hobbies.
The front of a lime green kayak in a narrow pass of water. Wind is picking up small waves.
Big logs of driftwood on an empty beach. There are plenty of clouds in a sunny sky, and evergreens off in the distant.
A white pegboard hung above a desk. On the pegboard are hooks bearing scissors and rotary cutters; jars of pencils, pens, and brushes; and a couple shelves holding little figurines and a Pomodoro clock.

Kayaking on the Fremont cut / A beach on Bainbridge Island / Finally got the pegboard up

  • I wrote 20 blog posts, including my monthly Learning Logs. “CurrentColor SVG in forced colors modes” seems to be my most-read 2021 blog post, and “Sticky CSS Grid Items” is still going strong.
  • Baby’s first podcast episode: I went on Smashing Podcast with Steph Stimac to talk about customizable form controls. Thanks again for having us, Drew.
  • I spoke about web platform accessibility at An Event Apart’s Spring Summit and Fall Summit. This was my first time speaking with AEA, and unsurprisingly this crew runs great events. Everything went smoothly for me as a speaker, and AEA draws out a great audience: I loved observing the chat while my talk was live, seeing attendees sharing knowledge and encouraging each other to keep going with web accessibility!
  • Outside of work and the web, I’m most grateful for having gotten to see my family again. I live in the opposite corner of the country from them, and visited them for the first time in a year and a half in June: when we were vaccinated, people were spending more time outside, and things were starting to look a little more hopeful. Of course, we are now 6 months wiser on that front, but being able to see my niece for her 2nd birthday and have everyone stay healthy was priceless.

Media

Books

I read 74 books this year! That’s a new personal high, which is funny considering I set my Goodreads Reading Goal to 1 this year. Over the past year I’ve been working on reducing my “own but unread” piles, AND have really taken advantage of the physical library branches opening back up again. So many stacks of books merrily piled on the checkout plate.

Here’s a few favorite books I read this year:

Movies

I watched 29 movies this year, but don’t remember a whole ton about them. I seem to have most appreciated His House, I Care a Lot, and Promising Young Woman. Definitely recommend checking trigger warnings on these, by the way.

Music

This summer I switched from Spotify to Tidal due to better outcomes (💰) for artists. 2021 — Tracks is a compilation of the songs I particularly liked or listened to on repeat this year:

Definitely continuing on my “ladies of boygenius” kick. A couple albums that got a lot of airtime include:

Podcasts

I wish I listened to more music, because I end up spending a lot of podcasts! Particularly when doing chores. A couple I listened to a lot this year:

Yes…there’s a theme here…

2022

No Resolutions for the next year, but in the next couple of months I want to:

  • Continue learning at work, helping to keep web teams productive on the Jamstack.
  • Work my way back towards a pre-pandemic level of fitness. 😬
  • Keep finding joy in my analog creative hobbies and cross some of my fiber craft goals off the list!

Hope you have a delightful end to your year, and best wishes to you and your loved ones in 2022!

Responses

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  • Reply from Marisa on

    Always enjoy reading these when people put them together. I love the seasons site; it looks great!
  • Reply from Melanie Richards on

    Thank you! And agreed, I love reading other peoples’ compilations too