A Look Back At 2012

December 31st, 2012 - Posted by Steve Marks to Miscellaneous.

At the time of writing this post, it’s New Year’s Eve and that time when everyone begins to decide on their new year resolutions, only to then fall back on them a few weeks later (I apologise in advance and congratulate you if you’ve stuck with yours).

It’s also a time to look back and reflect on the year just gone. Here’s some of my highlights from the past year that stick in my mind:

New lady and new town – In March I found my best friend and soul mate Amie. Soon after I moved to Birmingham with her and I love it there.

Me and Amie

New car – In April after some serious saving and 6 months searching I bought a new car. I’d had my previous car over 4 years and I currently cover some serious miles every week so this was a big deal for me.

New Car

Festivals – Some people like to spend their holidays on a beach, some on a mountain, and others on a cruise. I like to spend mine at festivals. Festival season is by far my favourite time of year and I managed to fit in 5 this year across the UK, France, Germany and Czech Republic. It’s a chance to spend some quality time with friends, see some of my favourite bands in person and, with no news, internet or television, almost forget about the outside world.

Festival Season

Stopped Smoking – On my birthday in August a few of us agreed to stop smoking. We went cold turkey and after 4 months now the majority of us are still going strong. Do I feel better for it? Do I feel healthier? Do I feel richer? Have my senses improved? In short, the answer is ‘no’. To be honest I feel no different at all but I know that in the long run it will be worth it.

Do I have any tips? It definitely helped doing it with others so it’s more of a competition, making it more fun when you see how each other is doing (and who will crack first). We also decided to make a sacrifice in the event you broke the pledge. In our scenario it was our favourite band t-shirt. If you smoked then your favourite t-shirt would be set alight (bear in mind that some of these t-shirt’s were limited editions and weren’t replaceable).

Climb Mount Snowden – In October I climbed Mount Snowden in Wales, UK. We took one of the more difficult paths up the mountain which, along with the cold, wind and rain that day, made it feel much more of an achievement when we made it to the top. I’ve since caught the climbing bug and plan to do a few more mountain walks in the new year. Here’s me at the peak of Mount Snowden:

Mount Snowden Summit

Decided To Go Freelance – In October I also decided to take the plunge and go self-employed, offering my web design and development services to others. This was a big decision and it took a couple of months to come to a conclusion, however it’s one that I can’t wait to get stuck into and to hit head-on. This chapter of my life begins in January and is one that I hope will feature in the look back at 2013 next year.

Enhancing Coding Knowledge – During the latter part of the year I’ve really got back into experimenting with the latest frameworks and technologies. With products like Laravel and node.js making their presence known, I can’t wait to find an excuse to put them through their paces next year.

I also launched two new sites of my own during the last quarter of the year: What’s En Route and Gifts To Thrill. Again, these gave me the opportunity to play with some new technologies and to improve other aspects of my skill set.

There have been other highlights throughout the year, other days out, experiences and lessons learnt but these are the ones that stand out for me. I think the one thing that I’ve really started to appreciate this year is that everything’s moving so fast around us and you’ve got to keep up or take the lead if you want to stay on top of your game. As such, I’ll sign off this post by wishing you a happy new year and with this Chinese proverb I saw recently that I will definitely be taking with me into 2013:

“Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

This entry was posted on Monday, December 31st, 2012 at 8:01 am by +Steve Marks and is filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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