The end of 2020

There’s been so much written about this year. It was a Dumpster fire, it was terrible, let’s move on. I suppose I would have a lot to say about it, but I wanted to focus on my stuttering. Since this is supposed to be a stuttering blog. And how stuttering affected me this year, and how I was able to navigate this pandemic because of it.

I can’t recall making a huge stuttering mess out of anything this year. There’s not a time that I can look back and say, wow, I had a really hard time, and that was really embarrassing. That’s got as much to do with my attitude toward stuttering as using my techniques more and more.

I didn’t finish a lot of things on this blog. I was going to measure some goals, and that lasted a few months. I’m not even sure where they are right now. I know I lost some weight. I gained some back. I got rid of some possessions, and I added many more. I moved out of my apartment, bought a new house, and got married again. We traveled very little, posted on social media a lot, and read when I could.

Work consumed me a lot more than I thought it would. Working at a food company means having to keep the plants open and safe. When you’re doing projects, that means making sure the contractors coming in are following the rules. It also means deciding what’s really important for the plant and what can wait. And the goalposts moved every few days as areas became more and less restrictive.

I definitely talked a lot more this year than any other year of my life. Of that I am certain. At one point I was participating in 30 or more conference calls per week. And in most of them I had to either lead or heavily contribute. More than anything, that intensity helped me build up acceptance of my stuttering. I literally didn’t have time to dwell on a word that was getting stuck.

So what’s next for 2021? I think more writing. Here and a newsletter I’m thinking about. I’m not sure if a stuttering newsletter is necessarily in the cards, but I’d consider it. I wanted to do something for young engineers — passing on all the fun things I’ve learned over the years. I think there is a lot out there about software engineering, but not a ton about field engineering. What’s done out in factories. What that life is actually like, the kinds of things you should know, and what mistakes I made — so others don’t have to repeat them.

I know following this blog hasn’t always been easy with the sporadic publishing schedule, but I do appreciate everybody who has read in the last year, the last half-decade. I see the numbers (they are small) but hopefully someone out there is getting something positive out of this.

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