When 2021 ended, I picked 2022 as year of exploration: to discover new things, hidden or overlooked, places, food, or even knowledge. Looking back, it was really scary to break out from my shell of following routines. However, this year I learned a lot from such experience. This post will delve into three aspects: work, people, and health.
It was my fifth year working in Shopee. I never planned to stay this long, but as my then-manager said in his farewell speech, every year working here was like working in a totally new company. The challenges faced each year is vastly different from that of the other years.
The first half of the year started with a wave of resignations: several ex-teammates, teammates, my then-manager, even my then-manager’s manager. And then several rounds of layoffs were announced. Even though the team that I’m in is safe, it was such a scary experience. There were several days that I didn’t feel like working since it’s really hard to keep on working when you’re worried if you or people you know were affected by the layoff exercise.
This brings us to today, where the company is cutting costs drastically, like cancelling team building funds, reducing staff benefits, cutting down on office snacks, freezing salary increase for most people, reducing annual bonus, while also rolling out unpopular policies like asking the staffs to work from office by default, and even tracking attendance. One respite is that the official working hours is now reduced slightly and that we have slight flexibility on when we can start and end work. I chose to start at 9:00 am and end at 6:00 pm, which makes me to have more free time at night.
Despite all these, I still managed to deliver some high impact projects, like changing package manager, refactoring development tools, and automating pinging people when CI failed. The last one helped me personally so much, since usually it’s me who manually evaluate and chase people.
The best thing happened this year was that I was able to meet my family again! I saw them twice: once when I flew back to my hometown in July/August, and the second time when we met in KL in October.
I am grateful to the people around me. So many of my colleagues become ex-colleagues this year, yet we still meet from time to time. One side effect of working from office being the default is that every work day I’ll meet my colleagues and they’re quite enjoyable to chit-chat with.
I also kept meeting up with various groups of friends occasionally. Some are now more often, and some are now less often. I guess that’s just how life works.
This year I injured my knee from swimming. As surprising as it is, I had to stop swimming and only do light exercise for several weeks. Only after several months that it fully healed. On a bright side, because of that, I forced myself to learn a new swimming style, front crawl, which mostly uses upper body muscles. Due to this experience, I learned that rest days are just as important as exercise days.
I felt sick one time around end-September, and I thought it was COVID-19, since the symptoms were really similar (sore throat and feverish). But no, I tested every day, and it returned negative. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I felt that as I grew older, when I fell sick, it become harder to go through.
In terms of diet, I’ve been focusing more on stabilizing body weight so that I don’t get malnourished. Although sometimes it went up (+2kg when I went back to my hometown because I ate good food everyday), it eventually returned to my desired level after few weeks.
2022 was a wild ride. When misfortunes happened lately, it can sometimes feel like it will last forever. But not everything is lost, I know that gain and loss are all temporary. I also treasure all the small wins that happened throughout the year.
For 2023, I hope that we can survive through it. I would make effort to make 2023 a year of authenticity. I will make effort to be brave to express myself, to procrastinate less, and to make decisions. I look forward for a better year ahead.
Happy new year 2023!