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!