It's another one of those "5" years. I'm now halfway to 90. 90 sounds old, but once upon a time, 45 sounded old too.

The year has not been easy. We lost my maternal grandmother, Ann Woods, in August. I have many good memories of time spent with her up in North Dakota.

My brother announced that he and his wife were getting a divorce. Again, not happy news, but we have to accept it. The end-of-year family get-togethers have seemed incomplete without my sister-in-law.

However, even with those events, this year has been a pretty good one for me.

Professionally, things have been better than usual. I developed Real Professional mobile apps for iPhone/iPad and Android. These apps have over 30,000 users, and they have been well received. Most applications I've developed during my career had only a few dozen users, so this larger reach gives me a sense that I can have some sort of effect on the world.

I've wanted to make iPhone and iPad software since I was 12 years old. Unfortunately, iPhones and iPads didn't exist back then. I'm glad that the devices are finally here, and that they pay me to work with them.

One resolution I've made for the coming year is to spend at least one hour per day working on personal programming projects. I gave up programming "for fun" a few years ago when work was burning me out, but now my interest has been rekindled.

I started meditating almost-daily about 12 months ago. For this, I credit 5by5's Dan Benjamin, who mentioned his meditation practice on several podcasts. I'm no zen master, but I do feel less stress and it's easier to ignore all the little problems in my life. I only have a mental breakdown two or three times a day now.

The optometrist prescribed progressive lenses for me this year. I don't like having old-people glasses, but I'm glad that my corrected eyesight is better. I wish I'd gotten these years ago.

Life with my wife and stepson keeps getting better. Bailey has matured and calmed down a lot over the past year—we actually see him smile once in a while! Pebble hasn't had to spend any time in the hospital this year, which makes us both feel a lot better. Our five dogs are all healthy and happy. Our little cabin in the foothills is still the nicest place I've ever been.

I don't like getting older, but as long as the years keep getting better, I won't complain about it.

© 2003-2023 Kristopher Johnson