2015 is gone now, so I think this is a good time to look back and reflect on some things.
First and foremost, 2015 was my very first full calendar year of being married, and also of owning a house. There were challenges to overcome and projects to complete, but overall I think Chelsey and I did pretty good for our first real year. I’m certain that there will be more challenges ahead, but Chel and I have a way of respectful argumentation that allows us to resolve issues very efficiently - we’re a good team!
Secondly, work was, and continues to be, a spring well of interesting projects to work on. While there’s still a ton of legacy computer software to keep limping along, there are some new projects just on the horizon. 2016 may be the first year that I can actually use the Haskell programming language in a production setting.
Thirdly, while I technically only started my PhD in September, I’ve more-or-less been working on it all year. The sleep project is coming along, and 2016 will hopefully bring some big results. Stay tuned! On the same topic, after much inner searching (pun) I’ve come full-circle back to one of my first loves in computer science/AI: knowledge representation. How we go about representing, storing, and searching through knowledge to come to decisions has always fascinated me. Now it seems as though my doctoral work will be able to touch on that directly.
Finally, the tail end of December 2015 was when I finally started to have a little bit of inner peace. Ever since my Master’s work I’ve been finding myself more and more stressed - for no real reason! If I can guess, I would attribute it to a combination of the regular stresses of work, plus my whacked out sleep schedule. I’m trying to sleep better now, and I’m also trying (again) to incorporate meditation into my daily routine. I’ve always spoken highly of programming languages that can inspect their own structure, and now I’m applying the same kind of meta-cognitive inspection to my own mind. While this sounds pretty airy-fairy, don’t worry: I haven’t gone off the deep end! While I would definitely hesitate to call myself a Taoist in the religious sense, I believe that eastern philosophy has a lot to offer a person in terms of personal growth. I’ll probably write a little about that in later posts, so I’ll stop here.
In retrospect, 2015 was a year of interesting challenges and lots of personal growth. Here’s hoping that the new year will bring more!