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!
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
- Frontity framework and headless site. Last year I spent time learning and documenting Frontity React framework and published two long papers on – creating frontity headless sites, and Mars Frontity default theme on CSS-Tricks. I was really impressed with the framework, but creating my own Frontity headless site remain unfilled because of hosting cost affordably as well as its recent acquisition by the Automattic.
- Document and Share Gatsby Source WordPress Learning Project: As planned, I wrote a detailed and long article on creating a headless WordPress Gatsby site, which was published on CSS-Tricks in early 2021.
- WordPress Block-based Editor. As planned, I kept a constant watch on Block theme development through Make WordPress Themes, where bi-weekly reports on theme development are posted. Full site editing site by Carolina Nymark was another great resource to learn all about block-themes. The Automattic Theme team started creating experimental block-themes in 2021 and their Blockbase parent theme was very helpful to learn and make my own hand dirty. My block-theme learning notes are archived here. In October, I created Labre Blocks – A Modified Quadrat Based Block Theme and have been using here, but would soon be replaced with more stable Twenty Twenty-Two based theme.
- Articles published: The following articles that were published on CSS-Tricks. An article on my thoughts using experimental block theme is in preparation and expected to be published on CSS-Tricks.
- Failed Project. Recently I read Failure Resume, which in honestly, I was not aware of, appears to be more common in academia. This makes a lot of sense in the context of my self-learning endeavor, both to learn from and returning back to complete the task. I am sure, we all have many such failed projects, at least I do, here is one of mine – content organizing on this site – a project deserves mention.
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.
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!