2016: The Year of Temporary Homes

2016 was my first year as a real life adult. That’s not to say I have mastered the art of diligently flossing, or fully understand the global health insurance package I bought – I have a long way to go. But this year, I worked, lived, travelled, and adventured like a relatively functioning adult human being.

In 2013, I did an Annual Review (2013 What Worked & What Didn’t), as I believed before I could think about a year ahead, I had to acknowledge the good, the bad, and the unexpected from the year behind. So once again, based on the fantastic framework set by by Chris Guillebeau’s inspiring blog, the Annual Review is back.

Warning: honesty ahead.

2016: What Worked 

1. Honesty in relationships:

I have spent the year in a pretty consistent state of unknown. To be fair to everyone in my life, I have tried to be brutally honest with where I may be when, honest with my feelings, and honest about how married I am to my job.

2. Prioritized people, not stuff:

Many temporary homes. Less stuff. No room for stuff. Stuff gets moldy. Stuff gets stolen. People, they are what make these homes. Under the stars, above the Liberian waves, there is a rooftop where the great questions of life have been debated. A repurposed San Francisco mansion-turned-communal living community always welcome me back with a hug and a mug of tea. A weekend away? Dinner with a coworker? Lunch in the slum? A consistent yes.

3. Boldness in work:

A year ago, I was an exciting but small side project hoping to impact a couple hundred lives. Then, the obvious hit. We are a food company. We need to be doing food. Today, we are on the cusp of a Liberian processing facility producing nutritious low-cost food for hundreds of thousands of kids. And if we do it right, we might just have a model that could really make a dent in the universe.

2016: More Importantly, What Didn’t Work

1. I devalued self-care:

I stopped 3-word journaling. I don’t know how my health insurance really works. I hadn’t thought about my finances in way too long. I stopped flossing. I didn’t eat well most of the time. That beard I have been rocking this year? Honestly I just haven’t made the time to shave.

2. No systems to take work outside my brain:

Working alone in Liberia, I haven’t put in the effort of getting systems in place for others to truly understand all the nuances of the goals, the relationships, and the steps needed to go from zero to feeding kids everyday.

3. Wasted opportunities of tiredness:

Early in the morning, or late at night, in a blanket of tiredness, I try to do work. I’ll send one email, and sit unconsciously looking at my screen for 80 minutes. Either do work, or relax, I need to stop trying to do both at the same time.

 

Coming later this week, the 2017 goals.

Do you reflect? Or set goals? Feel free to share in the comments!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. MyBeirut says:

    Nice read! Working abroad and traveling really opens up your eyes… 🙂

  2. Different ways of thinking, acting, and living that are the everyday reality when traveling definitely can make a big impact on a person

  3. Vishal Kumar says:

    This is so good to read. Being brutally honest with self about work, like and relationships take us a long way!
    Would love to know more about the food processing plant you are trying to set up.

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