Yearnote 2020

We didn’t have fireworks, but at least we had a jätkänkynttilä for New Year’s Eve.

2020 was definitely a year. As is my habit, I want to reflect a bit on how it was.

I was lucky and privileged in that my year wasn’t that bad. It was easy for me to start working remotely, the business was good, and me, my close friends and my family did not have big health problems, due to COVID-19 or otherwise. Many people had a way worse year than I did.

Still, it would have been nice to meet people in person. It would have been nice to do things.


Working life

I worked with two big Finnish companies. I switched from one to the other during the lockdown in April. It’s a bit odd that I’ve only met the people I work with once – we had a lunch together in September – but we’ve got the work working nicely.

It was great to get to finally try out remote working for real. It suits me well: I enjoy the lack of commute and the peace of my home compared to open-plan offices. Remote work forces you to communicate more explicitly and to document things better, but that’s just a plus in my book. I just wish we had more space at home. I would love to have a study.

Will I return to the office in 2021? I don’t know. There’s so much uncertainty about the vaccination schedule that it’s hard to say when it would be possible. It could make sense to take steps to make remote-by-default a permanent arrangement.

Open source

I published clj-branca and clj-base62, but apart from that, I didn’t do much. I wasn’t really in the mood for working on open source in my free time, and at Metosin, there were more pressing needs than open source.

At Metosin, we released Malli (my contributions were minor). It was great to see such positive reception from the Clojure community!

Free time

I had a lot of time for hobbies this year. I read more books than ever. I wrote more blog posts than ever, many of them technical. Here are a couple of my favorite ones about Clojure:

I wrote more Christmas cards than ever. I started to write morning pages, too. That has turned out to be a benifical practice. I had this feeling of “I wish I would think more” and the morning pages were exactly the structure that I needed.

In the summer, I kayaked more than ever. It became a theme for the summer: when I didn’t know what to do, I went to kayak. I cooked more than ever. Thanks to the transition to remote work, I started to eat lunch at home. It also meant that I have washed more dishes than ever.

I exercised a fair bit, although probably not more than ever, and even bought a kettlebell.

Regretfully, I did not hike more than ever. I had hoped to hike the northmost section of the Kungsleden trail but had to cancel it when travel to Sweden was restricted. I did hike the Kaakkurinkierros loop around Repovesi National Park, though. We were there on some of the hottest days of the summer and it was great. The numerous small lakes offer a lot of opportunities for swimming.

In 2021, I hope to hike more then ever. I’ll go to Kungsleden if that is possible but if not, Finland has plenty of interesting trails.

What’s next?

2020 ended with expectant mood. Who knows what will happen in 2021? I feel hopeful that we can make it a better year than the previous one.

Traditional commentary on Finnish politics

I’m not surprised that Sanna Marin’s cabinet has held together. I think they’ve done pretty good job with the pandemic. Were there even any other political themes this year?


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