Starting 2023 (A New Hope)

Posted on January 23, 2023

I’m particularly glad to remark that 2023 is starting with a newfound energy - and new habits.

It would not be true to say it’s the same seemingly limitless energy I had back in my twenties, but it feels extremely good to be content with what I do - and build - with my time. Since the end of 2022, I have been working with and experimenting more and more non-Swift technologies: Flutter, React, TypeScript, AWS, and last but not least Svelte, with which I’m currently building the Website for Andre’s baptism. I’m also enjoying adding new elements to my toolbelt: most notably to Arc, ChatGPT, just, nushell and Scriptable.

I’ve been managing to reduce my usage of social networks to a minimum: I’ve blocked YouTube from all my browsers, uninstalled Twitter and screen-time-limited Mastodon to 20 minutes. I find Mastodon to be healthier overall than Twitter, whose algorithm was proposing more and more distracting content - as Facebook does, which is the same exact reason why I uninstalled the latter back in 2018.

New gadgets have also entered my life, starting with a newer Apple Watch - which I’m happy to use as it was meant to be used, i.e. keeping it charged every day! I’m not entirely sure if its enhanced performances compared to S0 and S3 helps me make a better use of it, or if it’s just me. But I find it useful in a way I did not find before. Additionally, a more powerful iPad with Stage Manager is - finally! - starting to feel like a lighter MacBook replacement and, most of all, the M1 MacBooks are amazingly fast, reducing wasted time and a number of small yet significant daily irritants.

I’m once again able to keep track of my Streaks daily. Truth be told, I usually struggle following those for more than 3-4 months in a row but, still, it’s a good re-start.

A new interest in non-tech activities is back in my life too. I was extremely happy to watch “The Banshees of Inisherin” and, even more, “Godland” at the cinema. I had a crush for the latter, which I found as strong and crude as I hoped it to be.

Also, since January 2nd I’ve been managing to keep a short but daily log of what I do every day. This is also enabled by another tool: Obsidian, which is now part of my daily routines. Not that I didn’t have other tools capable of doing the same - 5 years ago I was using Bear for taking notes; which is an excellent app, even better than Obsidian in some use cases - but perhaps “the planets weren’t aligned” at that time.

Bottom line: I’m pretty pleased of how my activities have improved lately, even though I know that it won’t be easy to stay on the good track for the rest of the year.

I cannot conclude this short personal note without analysing why I feel that more productive and creative lately. It would be arrogant to state that it’s just a matter of will. Sure, will plays a role into all this, but it’s probably just a virtuous circle that starts with a positive state of mind brought by André’s encouraging development, quitting Publicis Sapient for Hymaia and launching Tech Connection with Julien and Greg. That said, I cannot understate how André’s conditions play a significantly major role in the equation as it’s the “enabler” to a more positive attitude and openness to change.

I don’t know what the future will be made of. I know good habits are easy to be abandoned as they are hard to develop. I also know that in recent years I have been less positive than I wanted to admit to myself. It’s been rough times. But here’s to making all this last as long as I can. Let’s cling to what works, no matter how small it is, no matter how dim the light is. And life will feel better, will be better.