The Year in Review

I’ve been thinking a lot about 2021. How it’s kinda seemed like shit. Like a poor sequel to 2020. However, the truth is that it’s only shit in comparison to my outsized expectations.

There’s a great line from my favourite singer

There was nothing to put me in love with the good life
I’m in league with the the gangs guns, and the crime
There was no hollow promise that life would reward you
There was nowhere to hide in Tacoma

Neko Case, Thrice All American

I grew up about 3 hours north of Tacoma, and the truth is, I am a little too in love with the good life.

I think there was an expectation that in 2021 everything would approach some sense of normalcy, but that it wasn’t enough. We’d been put through so much in 2020 that we’d earned around-the-world trips or some equally outsized reward. And that led me to overlook the really good things that happened this year


The most important thing was that I spent a lot of time with my family. And they got to do things and make decisions that were best for them. Cindy decided that she needed to step away from work this year, and she’s going into 2021 with the opportunity to look after herself. I have had those types of opportunities in the past; sabbaticals for 3–6 months between jobs, and they are amazing breaks. I’m so excited that Cindy gets to focus on herself for a bit.

Iain got to go to Camp Wenonah for six weeks in the summer, and reconnect with all his friends. After the disaster of remote learning, actual human connection was so great for him. Grade 12 hasn’t been fantastic, and omicron is messing everything up, but still overall the year has been good for Iain.

I got to travel to Vancouver again in September and see my parents. They also came through Toronto in August on their way to Drakes Island, ME, and they got to see my sister and her kids for the first time in 18 months.

Maybe not everything we were promised, but good.


I joined a new team at Shopify (Retail!) and got promoted. Worked with a new set of folks, and some folks that I know from back in the Wave days. New domain, new stuff to learn. Kinda fun too.

Obviously let the blog slide …


I started to ride the bike a lot more. I beat both my goals of 2,000 km and a 100km ride. More on that in a later post, but it was a great year for me.

I did end the year heavier than I’ve ever been, but that will just be the basis for a new goal.


It was a weird year. Objectively pretty good, subjectively felt like shit. Oh well, here’s to a better 2021.