2024 yearly theme: Outward

Happy 2024!

In this post I review the past couple of years through the lens of my 2022 yearly theme, having skipped picking a theme for 2023, and discuss the new theme for 2024. If you’re new to the concept of yearly themes I suggest listening to episodes #95 and #110 of the Cortex podcast to find out more.

Retrospective on 2022 - 2023’s Intentional Heartbeats

My theme for 2022 was “Intentional Heartbeats”, a theme through which I wanted to orient myself towards a better work/life balance, allocating more time and resources to my non-working life and particularly to fitness and hobbies.

Granted, I had two years to work on it, but when I look back at the last couple of years I can unreservedly say that, for the first time since I’ve started thinking about yearly themes, I’ve done a great job.

Fitness has once again become my main hobby, as it used to be years ago. My physical condition has progressed well beyond the abysmal state in which it had been languishing for the last few years, having made tangible progress across most basic moves in the calisthenics and weightlifting domains. I have resumed working on my very own workout program, a hybrid of calisthenics and weightlifting optimized for daily commitment. What matters the most, however, is the consistency that I’ve managed to develop, making fitness once again simply another aspect of my life.

More recently and on top of my fitness work, I’ve also gone back to plucking the strings of my electric bass and pulling off what could be considered, at times, a passable imitation of an actual bass player. I really am nothing of the sorts, though.

All this would not have been possible without the stability that I’ve built in previous years and I’m absolutely grateful to my past self for taking the risk of narrowing his focus at the expense of what I am now able to enjoy.

New theme for 2024: the year of outward

My 2024 theme is “the year of outward”, a gentle nudge towards those aspects of existence that look outward into the world rather than inward towards one’s own self.

My yearly themes, so far, have mostly focused on inward growth. For those who know me, this should not come as a surprise. I am, after all, a (relatively) introverted person who greatly prefers being alone doing my own thing, whatever that might be, rather than participating in the shallow mingling typical of large gatherings of people. Though I like to think I have a decent sense of style, I also have never really cared for appearances, having spent most of my life with barely enough clothing items to scrounge a passable look when required.

However, as most of us have come to realize in one way or another, overindulging into one’s own proclivities is a good recipe for disaster. Furthermore, it’s not as if I don’t enjoy socialization at all. I am not interested in becoming a hermit, which feels like a miserable way to live. Where I am most at ease are social contexts with a few, selected people and a shared story that binds us together; contexts in which implicit communication and shared experiences, whether past, present or future ones, play as important a role as that of the spoken word. I have also come to deeply appreciate a specific kind of fashion which primarily focuses on well-fitting, practical, understated outfits that attempt at striking a more sustainable balance between aesthetics and durability.

These are just some of the more outward aspects of life that I’d like to explore in 2024.

In practice, I think I’ll start off by adding a social dimension to my fitness and musical endeavours. I’ve long been wanting to join a local climbing gym, for example. Also, investing some time in brushing up on music theory might put me in a better place to start playing with others again. The latter might take a while, though, as my musical brain has dramatically atrophied over the years and I’ve been mostly living off of what little muscle memory is left in my fingers.

Professionally, I can’t publicly say much about my plans for 2024 but, if all goes well, I’ll get to the end of the year with something of my own. A bit nebulous, I know, but I’m very excited about it.

See you at the end of 2024!