My 2021 Midyear Review

When my days are full, I sometimes struggle to find the time to write and reflect. When big things happen, it’s ever more important to take a step back and look at one’s life in a bigger picture. In the past three months, I have seen big events happen in my life. The end of June is when I conduct a midyear review on my Annual Goals, although I’m a bit late this year. If you’re interested in personal productivity, you can read more about my yearly planning routine here. When referencing this against My 2021 Annual Review, which I have broken down into a blog post here, interesting patterns might emerge.

Without further ado, let’s go!

Things that are going well

Reunited with my wife. In early 2020, my wife was in the process of moving to Finland. After a two and a half month holiday in the Philippines, I flew to Finland in advance. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, the borders closed behind me and the wheels of bureaucracy ground to a halt. The pandemic forced us into a long-distance relationship, and the period of uncertainty lasted for more than a year. It was only in the spring of 2021, when restrictions were being loosened, that we managed reunite and close this chapter in our lives.

Started a new job. My new company is Innofactor, which is a Finnish software company focused on Microsoft solutions. Scrum Master, my job title, can be described as a servant leader to a development team. Working as a Scrum Master enables me to utilise my core competence laid by my degree as a game producer, and allows me to sharpen my skills in Scrum and teamwork. The return to the office marks the end of my remote work period, which I welcome with open arms. Expect to hear more about Scrum on this blog!

Moved into a new apartment. I originally moved to Kajaani in 2017 to study at the Kajaani UAS. I have lived in various student apartments close to four years, and every so often carried all my possessions to the cellar before heading on new adventures abroad. Fast forward to 2021, the feet of me and my wife are firmly on Finnish soil, and our situation in life has allowed us to move to a bigger apartment. This progress is the reward for our hard work, and while it feels amazing, furnishing a new home presents its own challenges!

Things that aren’t going so well

Staying consistent with good habits. In 2020, I picked up several good habits and made goals to improve them next year. These habits include meditation, running, journaling, and reading books. Here are a few things I’ve learned about habits lately. First of all, maintaining a good habit is as important, if not more, as improving it. Also, when one’s situation in life changes, even in a positive way, that’s when their habits are put to the test. Lastly, when living with someone else, one must determine which habits are their own and which habits should be shared.

Listening to my body. The human body is a complicated organism, which changes throughout one’s life. Listening to your body is an important skill to have, especially when you’re putting it to the test by regular physical activity. Recovery is as important to the body as exercise, and to know when you need to recover, you have to listen to your body. I have learned that it’s easy for me to push myself but hard to determine where to stop. Listening to my body and knowing when it’s time to recover is an ongoing learning process for me.

Living in the present. When there are new and exciting things around the corner, it’s easy to dwell in the future and forget about the present. The problem is that there’s always something to look forward to, whether big or small, and as a result, you might find yourself never being present. This is not how I want to live, but this is what I default to. Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now was a real eye-opener for me about this subject. The simplicity and brevity of the book make it an easy read to come back to, and now would be a great time to do just that.