Snow, sky, and frozen lake are painted the same color, pine boughs laden with white, icicles hanging from the eaves reaching towards the busy bird feeder outside the cabin window. The larger pine grosbeaks are moving in on the black-capped chickadees, a silent drama playing out in ruffled feathers and dropped seeds. Aggrieved, the chickadees perch sideways on the icicles.
At this point, you’re wondering when I started paying attention to birds. Well, Occam’s razor tells all: this dogeared copy “Birds of Minnesota Field Guide” has forgotten more about birds than I’ll ever know. And Gabe looked those up while I tried to take pictures of birds through glass and pondered the shadowless expanse that is the Boundary Waters on a cloudy winter day.
My 2015 is ending as it began, in the far reaches of northern Minnesota’s lake country near the Canadian border. The cell towers haven’t reached this far, but this cabin has internet (unlike last year’s rental). Snowshoeing, playing board games, and eating Christmas cookies in front of the fire leaves plenty of time for contemplation.
The quiet of these few days casts my hectic 2015 into sharp relief. This year I spoke at a company’s internal devops event, eight meetups, and eleven conferences in three countries (not counting two other conferences where I gave a vendor talk). By miles flown, I circumnavigated the globe more than three times. I joined the devopsdays core organizer team and put on the second devopsdays Minneapolis with our great local crew. I joined the Velocity program committee and read so very many talk proposals that I think I could now write (and possibly have written) them in my sleep. I changed jobs from one I loved to another that’s the definition of exciting new challenge.
It’s been a stellar year, and I’ve tried to identify why: I think it’s because I defaulted to yes.