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On 2023

Posted on:January 5, 2023 at 08:00 PM

Tick tock. Blue green. Better and worse. Left and right.

There is a natural sense of alternation in time, of the pendulum swinging both ways. Apple for years had the S-year iPhones, where a big change would come with the 4, the 5, the 6, and more refinement would come with the 4S, the 5S, the 6S. Intel followed a tick-tock pattern for their CPU releases, where a tick would mark a small update and a tock would mark a large one. Blue-green deployments are a strategy to ensure uptime for production applications, where the current stack, let’s say blue, isn’t torn down until a new stack, let’s say green, is brought up, tested, and switched out. The blue and the green take turns serving users, awaiting the other to come in and take over. Microsoft’s Windows is considered cursed so that every other version is terrible, with 98, XP, 7, and 10 being good, and ME, Vista, and 8 being bad.

The phases of our lives do not line up neatly with the calendar year, but the new year is still a good time to take account, reflect, and consider. Yet I cannot help but feel the force of that pendulum, ready to start swinging the other way. This is troubling, because for me, 2022 was a good year. It was the year I got to reconnect and deepen friendships, when I got to travel and explore again, when I got to spend time with those I love the most. It was the year I became stronger and lessened my pain.

Of course, the pendulum may linger before it swings back. It may begin its swing, but not cross the half way point for a while. Or it may have not reached its apex yet, and may continue on its merry way. Yet the feeling remains. “No good deed goes unpunished.” “Waiting for the other shoe to drop.” “Those who laugh in the morning weep in the evening.” These and other such pessimisms, cautioning against high expectation, cast long somber shadows from the quiet corners of my mind.

I remember the beginning of 2022, looking at the calendar and feeling like the year was over before it began. Feeling sad about how much was already committed, and how little time I had for the unexpected, the serendipitous, the delightful. I resigned myself to following through and not thinking about it, and ended up having one of my best years.

Here I stand in the beginning of 2023, and feel similar. So much is already planned: I know what February, March, July, and August look like. I have an inkling of what’s to come in the Fall. Yet there is also the portent of change, the possibility of challenges new and unexpected, and the knowledge of the past which tells me that I know less than I think.

A year’s worth is only realized from a distance, and cannot be seen from now. A bad plan is worse than no plan, and since I do not know what is coming, I choose not to plan any more. I can think in terms of days, and sometimes in weeks. I’ll keep to those more digestible chunks of time, and let fate guide me for the rest.

Whether it will be a year of refinement or newness, sophistication or challenge, or a vibrant mixture of all, only time will tell. Time has been good to me before, and I trust it will guide me again.

What do I think of 2023? I’ll tell you in a year.