Achievement Unlocked: August 2018

Achievement Unlocked: August 2018 banner

Hello friends! 👋

So you may have noticed (or not!) that I missed writing a review post for July. I had actually forgotten. By the time the middle of August rolled around, I only just remembered. And then I remembered that there may not have been much to recount in July anyway, because I was on holidays in America during pretty much all that time. So all the holiday posts I’ve been writing about have effectively summed up that month. 😉 I’m hoping to have them all out within a week’s time, for the following reasons:

  1. I’m going to Portland this week for XOXO. And somehow, writing about two separate trips so close to each other is literally too close for comfort. (Even though the purpose of going to Portland is mostly for a conference, and any exploring is going to be squeeeeezed into my schedule along with remote work.)
  2. I made a goal to have all the posts published by the end of August, but I didn’t even have all the posts written up. So I need to push, push, push, and make sure I still complete that goal, even though I did not complete it in the time I gave myself.

On with that, welcome to the first day of Spring! If you’re in Australia, that is. Today was a welcoming Saturday with a top temperature of around 20–21ºC.

With all that, let’s talk about the August, the month that was, and all the achievements that came with it. In the usual format, my friends.

Just before writing this, I was:

I was telling myself to write this post. Not even joking. OK, but we got new lamps for our apartment today, and Nick set them up with Philips Hue bulbs, and I was turning the main light off in the study and putting on a nice warm orange-yellow colour for the new study lamp, so that I could concentrate. Nick kept teasing me this whole time that I said I was not interested in hue lights but he bet I would love them and use them more than him. 😪 We will see! I am just glad I don’t have brash light all up in my face.

This past month, I achieved:

  • Alright so, there was a huge debacle around me trying to obtain my marriage certificate. I got married almost a year ago, so maybe that will put this into perspective. Perhaps I will write about the so-called debacle another day, but basically the paperwork was lost or it was never sent after our wedding day, and the marriage was never registered. I did not know this until I went back and forth with applications, emails, and phone calls. Once I filled in some paperwork to rectify the situation, a couple of attempts were made to mail the certificate to me, but they sent it to my home address instead of my work address like I had asked. So I had to chase that up until I finally got the damn thing in my hands. So I’m calling this an achievement, because damn.
  • The reason I needed a marriage certificate, beyond just personal records, was to change my name. All that bother with the certificate for what was actually a simple process. I dashed to the service centre after work one day, only had to fill in a form and wait less than ten minutes, and a couple of days later my new ID arrived in the mail.
  • I spoke at DDD Sydney. I was really surprised that my talk had received enough votes to make it through. My talk was titled Your blog ≠ everyone else’s blog, and it was actually a re-hashed version of the one I did early in 2017. It ended being a totally different talk though. I wrote a blog post about the experience and how important it is to be welcoming towards junior developers.
  • I’ve made great progress with my bench press and was able to bench 4 sets of 8 at 35 kilograms. My goal is 45 kilograms, and considering when I started taking it more seriously a few months ago I was only benching 20 kilograms, I think I am doing really well!
  • I also got my deadlift back to 60 kilograms. Some time at the beginning of this year before I fucked up my leg, I was able to deadlift 70. I’ll get there, I will.
  • The other day I went rock climbing with my friends Phuong and Geoff, and we all tried a wall that looked deceivingly difficult (level 16). The wall slowly angled towards you the higher you climbed. If you let go or relax, it will be very difficult to get back onto the wall because of the angle. We were all tired and spent, and it looked like this might be our last attempt. While I was up there, I felt my hands and fingers hurting a lot but I did not want to give up. Did not! I made it to the top and felt, of course, a sense of achievement. 💪
  • I joined MentorCruise as a mentor and received an application from my first mentee. 👏 I’m really excited to be working with him and hopefully I’ll have more to share in the months to come. This is my first experience with a mentee, and as many of you know, I love bringing people up and highlighting their strengths, and inspiring and helping people all round, so the opportunity to do that one-on-one is a very delightful one.
  • I had my performance review at work and I got some valuable feedback on what to keep doing as well as knowing what I have done really well. 🙂
  • Omigod sooooo I had a general health checkup and everything is all good. But beyond that, I deserve to feel happy about even the genetic things that I cannot usually control.

This past month, I learned:

My bullet journal has not really been working for me. It’s possible it’s because I “slacked off” using it while we were in America because there was not much of a need for it, but I still don’t think the format is working. I’ve changed it up, but I feel like I’m using the journal less, and it’s actually becoming more of a fitness log. I like writing out my gym workouts but I feel like that’s what it’s mostly become. I feel like that should be the purpose of this notebook and maybe I should get a smaller one for my usual tasks.

This notebook isn’t that big and I like the size, but I do prefer a bullet journal to be more portable and this one sticks out of my daily handbag (which is rather small). I’m generally pretty picky with notebooks, and I’ve seen some contenders at the bookstore, as well as considering something like Field Notes, but I will definitely have to give it a little more thought.

Looking through said bullet journal, too, there was not a lot written about learnings. I tend not to write down my work-related learnings unless they are more general, but perhaps I should get into this habit. I think I don’t do it because sometimes it’s hard for me to write a quick note explaining what I just discovered, without writing a lot about the context. 🤔

I did learn a lot about the existing code in one of our projects at work, after pairing on it with my coworker Ryan. We did a lot of pairing that gave me some insights into how a lot of the project worked – previously I had no clue. I almost feel like I know it inside-out now. Particularly this one file that is written in React and generates the UI for some data tables. 😀

I also have a better familiarity with how the map function works and how to write loops, although, I may need to look up or copy the syntax. 😅

This past month, I got bored of:

I suppose I learned some stuff from the War on Waste television show too, about how much waste we produce in Australia (it’s a sad, crushing amount), but it inspired me to recycle and reuse my clothes instead of just donating them. I got bored of some of my clothes and took them to the local tailor and asked if she could fix them up and make them a bit different. I had a striped dress, for example, that I asked if she could turn into an off-shoulder top. I’ll be picking up my clothes in the coming days and I am sure she will have done a fantastic job.

But that’s OK, because I enjoyed:

It felt good to be back at the gym after our holiday!

Today, something that made me happy was:

I ate a poke bowl. 🤤

Today, something I could have done better was:

I suppose I could have done better in our Body Pump class today, but my pectoral muscles and arms were so dead from pushing it in yesterday’s workout, that I struggled to do some of the upper body exercises in the class today. 😪

Tomorrow, I’m going to:

Do some more writing and finish up those posts about our trip to America. I also plan to do some housework like some ironing.

In September, I’m looking forward to:

I’m going to Portland and I have never been so nervous for a trip in my whole life. 😱 It’s a combination of the four full-on days at XOXO, and the long haul flights, and travelling alone yet again.

I’m probably being my normal self, but I’m also looking forward to going to the gym and making more gains.

In September, I’m going to make the positive change of:

I will try to write more for my blog. I promise. 🙏 I will try to blog much, much more regularly than I have been.

One thing on my to-do list is:

List a few items on eBay.

One happy photo from this past month is:

Here’s a photo of me and Rosalie! We met at DDD, and our mutual friend is Pauline, who indirectly introduced us 😂

Two women with dark hair, smiling
Rosalie and I met at DDD Sydney

If I had to write a book or record a film about this past month, I would call it:

Be unapologetically, you 😉

After I post this, I’m going to:

Blow my nose.

And then. As I usually say. Go to bed. 😆

Thank you for all your support this month! 🙂 Especially if you’re a new reader coming after seeing my talk at DDD.

Hey, looks like these Hue lights help to keep me focussed and not distracted. 🤔

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