I love reading year in review posts, but have always felt squeamish about writing my own. Too personal! Too vulnerable! No one cares! F that. This is partly for me as a way to keep track of successes and good times as well as places I want to improve and grow in the new year.
Fave Websites I Made this Year
I love all the projects I work on, but some sites stick out as my favourites. These were my favourites this year.
I worked at the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group for 7 years. It’s where I learned communications for non-profits, figured out I loved graphic design, and planted the seeds for my current career. Designing and building their website was like coming full circle.
A new podcast I helped create with a group of friends about climate change. As the resident web dev, I built the site first on a theme, and then remade the entire thing a couple of months later from scratch. Because that’s my idea of fun.
A project out of GEIST Magazine, Contact No Contact is like a Humans of New York, but with stories about modern contact between indigenous folks and settlers in Canada.
Honourable Mention: Good Jobs BC
Other work I loved:
Unifor Equity Report [PDF]
48-page report that Unifor presented at Canadian Council in August.
The report included many pages of infographics exploring the diversity and meaningful representation of marginalized groups throughout the union and across Canada.
I designed the report in both English and French, for print and for web.
Things I learned:
The big one is coding websites from scratch. Up until earlier this year, I believed my web design skills outmatched my ability to code my designs. I took the leap and coded the SFPIRG site from scratch in June and loved it so much I haven’t looked back.
Big Bright Dark – I loved working with a group to make something political and creative. We’re about to release a new episode, check back in the next week to hear it.
Money goals reached
- Divested from fossil fuels
- Started monthly savings in socially responsible investments with Wealthsimple (I put these on hold after I left my day-job and started my own business)
- Started funding a 6 month emergency fund (to cover sick leave, EI etc) – 1.5 months saved so far.
- Upped monthly donations: 350.org, Pivot Legal, OpenMedia
March: Hawaii Ladies Yoga Retreat
May: NYC for my 40th
June: Roadtrip up north: visited Carolina in Prince Rupert, camped in the Nisga’a area and saw the lava beds
August: Sointula, whale watching + camping with friends
August: Hiked the Cape Scott Trail
December: Cuba for Sharmeen’s 40th
- Cape Scott Trail (53kms in 4 days)
- St Mark’s Summit
(too crowded, the nearby Tunnel Bluffs was better)
- Thornhill Mountain, Terrace BC
- Crater Lake Trail, Smithers, BC
- missing the Gondola on the Sea to Summit Trail
- July: Design + Content in Vancouver BC (excellent, as always)
- November: Seattle Wordcamp (felt much bigger than Vancouver’s – might start going to this one annually)
Because I turned 40:
- Bought a car (first time in my life)
- Covered up a tattoo I got at 19
- Bought a bed
- Buy a record a month (fun goal right?). Partial success: stopped buying records when I was travelling lots in the summer.
Records include: Sade, Nicolas Jarr, Sirens; Jamie xx; the XX; Massive Attack, Blue Lines; Sufjan Stevens, Carrie + Lowell; Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago; NTS buy more albums by women next year.
- Write a blog post a month. Fail. Wrote 2 posts in series about technology and activism and then stopped.
- Do something every month to not feel so trapped and hopeless by political dumpster-fire. Partial success: started a letterwriting club, went to protests, signed petitions, upped monthly donations. Was more active in the early part of the year. Still felt pretty hopeless – but not always.
- Read 40 books. Success! Read 44.
Fave books read this year:
- Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Return to the Dark Valley, Santiago Gamboa
- The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy
- Exit West, Mohsin Hamid
- Next Year for Sure, Zoey Peterson
Random Local Faves
- Yoga: Lana’s Friday class at Open Door
- Bread: sourdough magic by Fife Bakery
- Beer: Echo by 33 Acres
- Focus more on website strategy and development: work with graphic designers for look and feel (contact me if you’re a web designer with a background in non-profit work)
- Redo my website (build from scratch, minimize and focus content, update offerings)
- Write a blog post a month (for real this time)
- Teach again (WordPress)
- Learn CSS Grid
- Get better at PHP
- Go to a couple of inspiring conferences
- Make more connections to people doing similar work (non-profits + development + design)
- Colombia (April/May)
- Toronto/Hamilton (June for sister’s wedding). Maybe add on Montreal or Detroit?
- Sointula (August)
- Live/work in Budapest for a month – not currently planned for this year, but could still happen (in the spring/fall?)
- Brazil for Lana’s yoga retreat in the fall? Long shot, but would be great!
- Get better at podcasting and publish at least a episode a season
- Volunteer: Ladies/Kids Learning Code, Rainbow Refugees?
- Finally put together an emergency kit
Thanks for reading, and happy new year!