2018 has been a hell of a year. Usually when I do a year in review, I jump right into fond memories and work accomplishments. But this hasn’t been a normal year. Gramps‘s funeral was on my wife’s due date. We flew Ella out to Utah when she was two months old so she could meet Gran, a wise matriarch who played a critical role in raising my wife, before she passed away two days later. We rushed to Virginia after my father-in-law landed in the hospital and was diagnosed with severe congestive heart failure amongst other things. And then a few weeks ago my dad was life-flighted to the hospital and was in a coma for several days. He’s still in the hospital fighting off bacterial spinal meningitis, and he’s thankfully making a valiant recovery.
What a fucking year.
But then there’s our daughter Ella, who has been the giant counterweight to all of the unfortunate stuff we’ve been dealing with. She’s a smiling, laughing, curious, wonderful baby and my wife and I are so incredibly in love with her. She’s added an entirely new dimension to my life, and I love watching her grow, learn, and progress.
Ella was far and away the highlight of my year, but work-wise things were pretty great as well. I wrapped up my fifth year running my own business, and I’m pleased things continue to be going well.
2018 By the Numbers
- Became a dad to 1 daughter
- Wrote 36 posts on my blog (an improvement over last year!)
- Shared only 84 links on my site
- Traveled over 36,196 miles to over 19 cities in 4 countries on 2 continents
- Spoke at 1 conference and gave 4 company and conference workshops, which is the least amount of speaking I’ve done in years. Now that Ella is here, I’m a lot more deliberate with how often I’m gone from home.
- Read 10 books, which ain’t bad for being a new dad.
- Helped 7 clients navigate the many facets of creating and maintaining successful design systems
- Worked on 2 client websites
- Processed 2,938 orders of Atomic Design
- Raised $10,473 to help reunite migrant families who were separated from each other at the southern US border, raised $1,500.00 for victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, and raised $535 for the Pittsburgh Food Bank.
- Launching a 6-part design system series for InVision with my friends and collaborators Josh Clark and Dan Mall.
- Launching an online course for working with atomic design and Pattern Lab on Gymnasium.
- Sharing my struggles with React. I’m happy this post resonated with people, and I think there’s a lot more to explore on this topic. I’m thankfully getting my head around React and I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned.
- Working with Dan Mall to share how we collaborate as designer & developer. I’m excited to continue sharing more on the topic, and I’m thrilled we’re going to be doing designer+developer collaboration workshops in 2019. If you’re interested in us coming in to work with your team, feel free to get in touch.
- Taking control of my schedule and being more deliberate with how I spend my time.
We’ve been in survival mode for most of the year, so I haven’t really had a chance to look too far into the future. That said, I do know a few things that are on my plate for next year. I’ll be working on a big React-based design system for a client, and I’m excited to share that journey along the way. I’m looking forward to doing more design system consulting and company workshops. As I mentioned above, Dan and I are going to be workshopping our collaborative designer+developer workflow. I’m looking forward to blogging, reading, and sharing. I’m currently building an office in our back yard that will also double as a music studio, so I’m definitely excited for that. And most of all, I’m excited to be there for Ella as she grows and plays and smiles and laughs.