The theme of 2013 was living with and without Apollo. Apollo was a constant presence in our lives (as you can tell in our photos) and we have adapted our life to taking care of our little one; but it is also about learning to live our lives as if Apollo was not here – so that he wouldn’t prevent us from doing things that we enjoy or have to do.
Apollo has grown from being three months old in January (where he was finally aware of his surroundings) to being a year and three months (where he is full blown toddler with his own little wants, fears, and personality). His life and how we interact with him is ever changing but in the last third of this year, I think he has grown up to the age where you want a baby to always be – he’s not completely helpness and can play with you, but he is still small and young enough to need you to hold and cuddle him. Apollo will continue growing and we will share new memories, but I think this is the time where his cuteness factor will be at its peak.
My hobbies remained relatively the same, in the sense that they are mostly in maintenance mode. I took more photos in the beginning of the year as Apollo was younger, but now I only bring out the camera for special events. My guitar sits in the corner. I could make time for it, but I still don’t know how to practice effectively. Music in general still exists for me (but in maintenance mode). I will buy music (online) if it’s on sale or if I have no other means to legally acquire it (i.e., KPop). I don’t seek it out Western music, and to be honest, it is just not that appealing. It’s not that I’m becoming old and can’t enjoy the New Music, it’s just that western music isn’t catchy to me anymore (except for a couple of tracks)!
I’m still blogging, and it seems like I’ll continue doing that for the next little while. But I’m no longer working on my website or other web work. I didn’t really read this year. I don’t have the appetite for long books, and couldn’t quite find the right way to read articles (although Pocket and Kobo integration could change this in the new year).
I spent most of my year playing Happy Street, and other crafting games. I’m about tired of the wait-for-premium currency business model though; to the point that I would rather pay for a good quality game & experience. My gaming is primarily on cellphone, with a little bit of web and tablet thrown in.
The cellphone is still the centerpoint of my computing, although I find it is more polarizing now. When I’m working, I obviously use my computer for everything (I mean catching up on news, email, social networks etc). However, once I’m done work, the cellphone is where I do the same things. One of the reasons this happened is because with Apollo around, I don’t sit in front of the computer that often anymore, but the cellphone is always with me. For life organization, I started using Google Keep a lot.
We went cross border shopping a few times this year, but I am at a stage where I have nothing to buy. Sure, there are tech gadgets that I might want, but I don’t really need to buy them (and if I do, I have probably bought them). So shopping and the associated activities around it (going to malls, checking RFD, waiting for deals) has kind of dwindled. Unfortunately, nothing has really sprung up to take its place – maybe when Apollo is older, we can go outdoors and half fun instead of going to malls.
I switched jobs in March and am in a place where I’m happy with what I do (not that I was too unhappy before). I’m still in the technology field which I enjoy, but now I am 100% working on Android development. I still enjoy building things and learned a lot about the Android field this year. I like the fact that I am now remote, with regular (but not too regular) trips down to the office in New York city; and I like the fact that I have a lot of mobile devices and other interesting tech as a by product of my job. I’m still doing personal Android projects in my spare time, although that has slowed down a bit – however I am integrating much of what I’ve learned from my day job so my personal projects are evolving as well.
I think this year, I can clearly say that the tech products that I use (laptop, cellphones, tablets, cloud etc) are complimentary to my life. I still want up to date gadgets, but I don’t have a crazy techlust for them because the ones I have are pretty good. The tech is now just improving my life. I think the new ultrabook I bought this year greatly influenced this feeling. Also I have an embarrassing amount of tech gadgets now.
I felt like I moved more and more things onto the cloud this year. This might have something to do with work where since I am remote, I deal with everything virtually anyways. But more of my non-media data is in Dropbox and the ilk. I had to setup 2 new computers this year, and it was pretty straightforward to get my data onto those devices.
Although we did travel this year, it didn’t feel like we did a lot. I think that’s because our lives no longer revolved around planning for the next trip. While it might not seem like much, it is a big change – as planning for a vacation creates a dream to look forwards to. This year, there were a lot of changes like that but on the most part, I think they were neutral or positive changes. I don’t think I will look back on 2013 and feel that my life changed for the worse.
In fact, I am kind of fearful that I have used up my good luck and in the coming years there will be changes for the worse. Like 2011, I wish that I could live in 2013 forever. It wasn’t a bad year.