I haven’t done one of these in a while. In fact, I’ve sort of neglected my blog since the start of the pandemic. Everything got too much and I was in survival mode. I’m making conscious effort to write more and attempt to write out talks. I don’t know if I’ll submit them yet.
Inching Closer to a Degree
A big thing that has been eating into my time from 2021 has been starting a degree program at TU Dublin. It’s a part-time course that runs for 13 weeks each semester with 3 courses every semester. I’m finishing up the first half of year 3 shortly after I pass the exams.
It is rough handling a full-time job and classes in the evening. The big advantage has been that classes are online, so I just need to be home by 6:30 pm and focus for another 3 hours. The assignment schedules are supposed to be centrally coordinated, but some times thing go wrong and I have two tests the same week. The use of ChatGPT/Bard has meant that there are fewer take home assignments and more in-class tests. Not the worst thing, but it does make scheduling tricky.
I’ve been working with Sarah for over a year now and the consistency is beginning to pay off. In 2023, I ran about 840 km and did 23 strength workouts. I ran a half marathon, attempting to set a new PB, but that was not be. I re-ran the Ecotrail Wicklow 30K in terrible conditions this year and managed to improve my time by 30 mins! Early in the year, I set a new 5K PB of 26:26. The next goal is to see if I can get to below the 25-min mark.
Not Laid Off (yet)
My employer, like most tech employers, did a round of layoffs early this year. It was a shock to wake up to not being able to even say goodbye to some of my American colleagues. It took a while for the decisions to be made in Ireland. Many close friends were laid off and it was a stark reminder that we’re just a cog in the wheel.
Between the time that I wrote a draft of this post and now, there’s been a second round of layoffs. We’re yet to get a concrete statement on what will happen in this round in Ireland.
This year has been a year of many road trips. Early in the year, we did a Ring of Kerry trip with a friend. It was gorgeous but utterly exhausting. Remind me never to drive 1000+ km across 3 days ever again. We took a trip to West Cork in February. It helped us go all around West Cork and see some sights. On our way back, we stopped in Cork and Waterford for a quick meet with a friend. Later in the year, we visited Waterford again, for the Booze, Blas, and Banter festival.
This year, I had set myself the goal of going out hiking some more. I’ve not done any since 2020, when I went across the Dublin Mountain Way. I went around the Big Sugar Loaf with a friend as a route reccee for the Ecotrail race, did the Spinc and Glenealo Valley Walk in Glendalough on my own, and did the Howth hike, this time with colleagues as a big group.
It’s been a slow start to the year, but I’m looking forward to more running and hiking. The layoff stress continues, but I’m hoping to somehow life my life irrespective of whatever happens.