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5 + 1 Things I'm Grateful for in 2020

eevajonnapanula profile image Eevis (she/her) ・4 min read

A year ago, many things were different. I'm kind of sorry that I didn't write myself a letter at the beginning of the year, as it would have been interesting to read words from pre-Covid-world. All the plans I had for 2020, I can't even remember them now.

What actually has happened is that I have moved, I have switched workplaces, and I've started blogging. There has been a lot of changes, and many of them have been for the better.

This year has been challenging, as for many of us. I could talk about that, but I choose not to and will concentrate on the positive things that have happened this year and share five highlights with one bonus from my last year.

New Job

At the beginning of the year, I was still working in a previous workplace. I had made the decision to switch jobs in 2019 and signed the papers in January. I handed my notice in the middle of January and worked there until the end of March. Those months had some... let's say interesting events, so when April eventually arrived, I was happy.

It has been an interesting nine months - no company is perfect, but I can warmly say that Futurice is the best place I've worked in so far.

A hand holding a Keepcup with text

Certified Professional in Web Accessibility

One thing that makes Futurice so good place to work is that employees are encouraged to learn. Without that support, I couldn't have achieved my goal of becoming a Certified Professional in Web Accessibility, in other words, get certified in accessibility. The company provided me with time and resources for studying to learn and take the exam.

This is one of the most significant achievements for me this year. I kinda thought that this would be the accomplishment for next year, but I got the results on Christmas Day, and thus it all happened this year. πŸŽ‰

Blogging

I also started actively blogging. My good friend and colleague Senja created a support group for blogging in November, and it gave me the last push to start writing again. I've blogged in the past about handicrafts (mostly knitting), but I thought for a long time that I don't know enough for writing about technical topics.

It has been so much fun, and I've learned so much. One of the reasons I do this is to learn more. When you explain something to others, you usually understand it yourself in the process. 😊

During these past months, I've made it to Dev's top 7-list twice, and it has been such an honor. The posts that have gotten to the list are Ode to Semantic HTML and You Make My Head Spin - Reducing the Motion on Web.

Graduation

This is something fresh from the print: I graduated today! I've been studying in the Degree Programme in Business Information Technology, and finally, the day of graduation is upon us. I must admit - I do studying as a hobby, so most probably this is not the last degree for me.

I am a Master of Arts in Russian Language and Culture from a life before a software development career. That degree is from a university, and this new one is from the university of applied sciences. The main difference is that universities are more theoretical while universities of applied sciences are more... practical, let's put it that way. Studying for this degree has been different from the previous one, and I'm not entirely sure if I would do it again if I got to choose.

All the critique aside, I am still very proud of myself for finishing the studies. They've taken a significant portion of my free time, and now there's room for new projects.

Bonus: New Hobby

I've feared some things - the sea, public speaking, that I would fall badly while on skates... and I've decided to face my fears in small portions at the time.

First, I started roller derby a couple of years ago and learned how to fall safely. (Ok, that's something I had to quit after falling and hitting my head, but that's another story, and it was an accident. Let's focus on the positive things here πŸ˜…) I actually learned how to skate! It felt so good.

Another thing I've done is that I've started speaking. This pandemic has made it a bit easier - usually, when giving a talk, I'm just talking to my computer without knowing how many people there are watching me. πŸ˜…

The third fear I've faced was the sea. This summer, I started kayaking. It has been a great way to relax, away from everything and explore the archipelago near where I live. I can't wait until next summer to get back on the waters! I've even been paddling in waves. Like, actual waves. Even though that was my biggest fear, I didn't die. I survived!

A view from a kayak showing the front of the yellow kayak and water surrounding it. There are land and some trees in the distance.

What are your top things in 2020? It all can't be bad, right?

Cover photo by Dawid ZawiΕ‚a on Unsplash

Discussion (2)

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andi1984 profile image
Andreas Sander

Top thing in 2020: Not being dead myself and none of my beloved ones. Congrats for being a certified A11Y person!

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eevajonnapanula profile image
Eevis (she/her) Author

Thank you!

That is definitely a top thing for last year! I mean, it is for any year, but I think 2020 made it clear that sometimes we take it granted. So I'm really happy that you and your loved ones are alive after last year!