Following the suggestion of Modern Mrs. Darcy’s post, I will try to make a sum of my 2022, of what went well and what didn’t. This exercise is always a bit tricky, because you have to go back to what you did and what could have been done, and it’s not always a comfortable place to be. But I feel that this has been an important year for me, that’s why I will share it.
Table of Contents
1. Working from Home
At the beginning of this year, I was in an awful situation. My commute was a 100km (~62 miles) drive, usually stuck in traffic, only to be seated for 8+ hours in a corporate (Italian) office that was too cold in winter and too hot in summer. And they had a full air conditioning system. It was crazy, I was exhausted.
Since when I came back from London, where I lived and worked between 2014 and 2017, I started looking for jobs that I could do from home. I thought: I’m a Frontend Developer, it shouldn’t be too hard to find such a job, right?
Long story short: it was. Turned out that remote companies are highly selective, and I didn’t just want to apply to any remote company: I wanted the best.
That’s when WordPress came to help. At the time – and it was still 2017 – a friend of mine asked me to make her a website for her dog training center. I had never used WP, only read about it, and I took the opportunity to learn something new. I enrolled on a course on Udemy and built a website that, looking back on the number of things that I should have done better, is not even that bad.
That’s how the second part of my journey as a Frontend Developer started. I kept asking people if they needed website, and I started to get more and more experience with WordPress, read a lot of articles, watched a lot of videos, practiced a lot, made a lot of mistakes.
And after a year, in September 2018, I got accepted as a Front End Engineer at 10up, one of the best web agencies in the WP universe. I’m not special, I’m definitely not smarter than anyone else, but I work hard and believe that you can achieve anything you want.
So now I can work from home, I’m free from the 9-6 driving-to-commute chain, and I can manage better my time and my life.
2. Starting the House Works
2022 is also the year when we started house works in order to build the flat where I will hopefully go to live next year. It’s a big step, I will finally have a house for me where I can be with my dog, and it’s close to my parents, which means that I’ll be available for them in case they need my help.
One of the things I was suffering the most from, when I was in London, was being almost completely alone. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely loved living in London, I think it’s a great city, full of opportunities, and companies have a great working culture, but I was alone. It’s not that I didn’t have any friends, I had loads, but no one was there when I was sick, for example. Some weekends were also quite tough, because the house was empty, no one was around.
I lived so many awesome moments, but others were just difficult.
That’s why I’m happy now that I’m back here in Italy, with my family and all my close friends, and my dog. Plus, I’m going to have a flat soon, which is a big achievement.
3. Everyday Habits
My main belief is that if you want to be successful, you need to follow healthy habits in your everyday routine. I’m not going to bore you with the usual “wake up early”: it doesn’t work for me. If there’s something that I cannot do, it’s waking up early.
But there are other things that I believe are important.
Making the bed: I read somewhere that successful people always make their own bed. It’s something that I’ve always done, and keep doing every day. You might say that it’s obvious, but not that much. There are so many people that wake up, get dressed, and just leave the house without taking too much care of the bed. It’s an important habit, it sets your mind to cleanliness and order.
Declutter: I like changing the setup of my room, especially now that I’m working from home and I have to be available on video, and I think it’s good for your health (both physical and mental) to declutter the environment, to move stuff around, to release bad energies and keep them away.
Get ready for work: Even if I could potentially work in my underwear. I don’t have to wear a suit, of course, and I definitely keep wearing slippers all day long, but I do dress up a little bit, even if I stay at home, just because it’s good to keep the working hours separate from my free time.
4. Reading More
As I mentioned before, up until September I had a 9-6 job with a commute that took 2 to 3 hours of my day. This means that I had literally no free time, ever. I woke up around 6am, went to work, came back at 8pm, ate, went to sleep maybe while watching some TV. It was insane and didn’t let me time to do anything.
Since I broke my 9-6 chains, two months and a half ago, I’ve already read four books and I’ve just started a new one. I now have time to read and do so many things that I couldn’t do before, like playing with my dog or getting a coffee with a friend.
5. Things I could improve
Again, 2018 has been the start of my work-from-home journey, and if on one side it means that I finally have some of my freedom back, on the other it could hide some downsides too.
The working environment: I don’t have to physically go to an office anymore. I have colleagues which I see and talk to every day, but it’s all virtual. Every day I sit at my desk, but around me there’s no one. When I started I was a bit worried about this: I didn’t know if I could’ve coped without the physical presence of people. Turned out that it’s not that bad. Yes, I don’t have the colleagues next to me anymore, but I don’t miss it that much. But I still think I should see more people, even if I keep going out with my friends. So, the resolution for next year is to see more people and make new friends.
Exercise: I need to exercise more. This doesn’t need much explanation. I tried with some aqua-spinning, without much success. I still need to find out what I really like to do, and I don’t think that reading books and watching TV shows counts as exercise (or does it?).
Keep learning new things: This is an easy one. I never stop learning. Even to create this blog I learned so much, and I want to keep learning. I have a few ideas in mind, let’s see which one I will stick to.
It has been an interesting year for several reasons. I think I can still improve in some areas, but overall I am quite satisfied about the quality of life I’m creating for myself.
What I like the most is that I’m doing everything on my own. To be honest, I had the first push when my parents helped me with my education, but everything I’ve got I made it for myself, and it’s a big satisfaction.
Let me know in the comments what your year has been!