Looking Back [Forward] 2021-2022

As the year 2021 came to the end, it’s time to look back year 2021 and begin thinking year 2022. After covid vaccine became available, most health experts believed the pandemic would be over, but Covid pandemic persisted. As soon as there was a decrease in Covid incidence, more virulent and transmissible strains like Delta and Omicron dwarfed any progress.

Like last year, this year was not ideal year too for self-learning environment due to social isolation and other restrictions. Here is a brief overview of year 2021 and here are links to previous year-end review posts – year-end 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Another Pandemic Year 2021

Even though testing and Covid vaccines were widely available, a large segment of Americans decided to not receive vaccines, risking themselves and harboring virus reservoir for more spread. Vaccines for young adults (5-years and old) became available only recently and still there are no vaccines for younger (less than 5-years old) kids. According to media reports, these unvaccinated younger populations and more contagious Delta and highly transmissible Omicron variants are currently fueling skyrocketing covid cases in the US.

Self-Learning Took Another Hit

I am a big fan of Sarah Drasner’s coding is distraction on Medium and often use as a source of motivation. Though, to some extent it was true this year too, however the pandemic fatigue, political protests, high profile Minneapolis court cases provided enough ‘noise’ to distract many of us from our daily activities. Yes, this year was another difficult year too.

I would repeat here the following Natalya’s quote from my last year’s post:

This has been a deeply unsustainable year for so many. Showing up and making it through each day and making any progress is enough. Not giving up and trying again, day after day, is success.

Natalya Shelburne in CSS-Tricks

I Felt Burnout

Though I often read, people burn out easily, and I do too, mostly from physical work or repeatedly doing the same thing over and over. However, in my learning endeavor, I seem to find a way of getting out of it by changing the topic and revisiting the previous topic later. But not this year, it was hard!

It appears, though, I was not alone. Here is Tania Rascia, a self-taught developer who has inspired me to self-learn, talking about burnout in her recent 2021 year-end post.

I’ve experienced major burnout in the past and that has manifested in different ways, such as quitting my job and taking a three-month long solo stint in Europe, as well as long periods where I didn’t look at any code outside of work. Burnout is a hard thing to get over so I’m very careful about not over doing it.

Tania Rasicia in her 2021 into 2022 post

Like Tania, I would also try to balance my creative learning endeavor with some physical activities like gardening, taking outside walks, and learning from others to cope and come out of this burnout things next year.

Year 2021 Goals: A Brief Overview

Goals for 2022

Because of a feeling of little burnout and a lingering pandemic, I have set my goals for 2022 modest and simple.

  • Learning and documenting block themes. The first official default block theme, Twenty Twenty-Two is scheduled to be included in WordPress 5.9 release, I anticipate there would be an explosion of block based themes, this year. At the time of writing this post, there are already 34 experimental FSE themes. I plan to continue to learn from these themes and other resources, and document my learning in quality articles.
  • Converting classic themes into block themes. With the knowledge on creating block themes, I plan to gradually convert my classic themes used on this site and others, into block based themes.
  • Content organizes on this site. My learning endeavor has been scattered in many sub-sites, which I often call my digital gardens, that I had been planning for a while to consolidate into one single place – this site. However, it has failed been a failed project! This year, I am warning myself – not anymore, no excuses. I must be held accountable to this unfinished job. This is not difficult work, but simply it has not got the priority that it deserves.

In Closing

Despite the ongoing pandemic and a feeling of some burnout, I am proud of the progress I made during the last year. Next year, I plan to have a more balance healthy lifestyle and continue to explore my creative learning & sharing endeavors, with a focus on writing quality articles for sharing.

Let’s anticipate a better year 2022 for learning & coding!

Note: As you might have noticed already, this post is influenced by Tania’s post who I greatly admire and learn from. I have also greatly benefited from her JavaScript tutorials.