2023 in review
At the end of every year I do a big yearly review. I go through all my notes, look through all my photos, check my calendar and try to list out everything I did and learned. It takes a while, and it’s always hard to finish. But it gives me a sense of control about what I am doing in life.
Like so many other important things, I don’t love doing it, but I love to have done it.
2023 was a strange year. Following up a very big 22, 23 was filled with important things, but still felt like a bit of a transition year.
- Timeline of events
- Books I read
- Things I learned
Timeline of events
January to March
Started the year strong on a rooftop over Berlin we saw the pent up fireworks form the pandemic years light up the sky for almost an hour. By sheer luck it was warm enough to stand outside without jackets on.
Had several work trips in Germany, visited the town of Bruchsal, and the cities of Karlsruhe and Hamburg. Work trips are never fun. But seeing a bit of Germany was very interesting.
Saw the first buds on the bushes in mid feb, and was so happy we’re no longer in Sweden.
April to June
Celebrated easter in style! Living away from family we’ve both found diving into traditions to be surprisingly important and fun. So our easter was a traditional swedish one with egg hunt and way too much sugar. Even though it overlapped with my birthday.
A handful of amazing friends came to visit as a stand-in for a bachelors party. And it was amazing to hang out, to show them Berlin, and to carouse through the night without thought of our normal adult responsibilites.
We finally went on our long overdue trip to the US. It was cancelled 3 times. But we finally made it. San Fransisco is still amazing, though the zombie apocalypse we witnessed there really made us despair about how goverments treat people. We also met up with my brother and his wife in Las Vegas, which was amazing despite Vegas being just as overwhelming as always.
I also signed a new contract, and had to negotiate a way to not start the new jov just as we were getting married!
We ended the quarter with one of the best midsummers we’ve ever had in Sweden, with friends from Edinburgh, family and a surprising amount of sun!
July to September
Just a week past midsummers we finally got married. Everything went as planned, and while we were limited by not living in the same city, it turned our incredibly well.
Big projects for the year done, we explored Berlin and enjoyed late summer. We even saw a bit of Babylon, one of the most ancient cities in human history.
We visited Stockholm again to sign wedding papers. Do some kareoke with Thord and Helena, and accept the role of a guide for Levi a close friends son.
Back in Berlin more Kareoke happened, and we played the original German version of Bowling.
October to December
My first visit to Edinburgh was in the middle of a storm. And poor planning on our part had us at airports almost as much as in the city. It was still an amazing trip, and I can’t wait to go back!
Visited Ericeira in Portugal with my new company. And learned that portugal was closing applications for their immigration tax rebate. We immediately applied.
Saw Little Big live in Berlin! Little Big is a hilarious band, and Berlin sure knows how to stage concerts.
We celebrated Agnes birthday with her mom visiting, visited plenty of christmas markets, and even made gingerbread houses. Before we flew to Stockholm for a very traditional Christmas, and a swanky New Years feast.
The big project for the year was of course our Wedding. So everything else had to wait.
I still launched a new version of BlankPage. Started the process to move to portugal, joined a new startup, and started building little apps using AI.
Far from a productive year. But a good one.
These are some of the books I read in 2023, both the most interesting, and the least interesting. All the links are amazon affiliate links, please use them if you are interested in the books.
Where is my flying car? Another surprisingly insightful read via the Stripe Press. Our culture has slowed innovation by being too cautious. Objectively so, since in many examples our caution is have a documented negative effect. I was completely unaware.
Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It I was so ready to love this book. But it fell absolutely flat. Don’t read it. It’s pretty near useless. Jakob Greenfeld has a good review if you are not already convinced to skip it.
Make Something Wonderful A collection of Steve Jobs sayings and correspondance that inspired. I too want to make something wonderful.
Remembrance of Things Past (book 1) The first book in Prousts magnum opus. It was quite difficult to get through because it’s so long, and the sentences are sometimes pages long. But it was also a meditative lull into the feelings of nostalgia. I really liked it. But I’m not sure I will pick up book 2.
Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide John Cleese has taught me more about creativity than anyone, or anything, else. This book summarises that knowledge. And it’s a great little read.
Measure What Matters Excellent on the why and how of using OKRs. A little long though, so get it on audio and listen while working out.
Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making Wonderfully inspiring book. No actionable advice.
Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work Very actionable advice on leadership, dovetails nicely with Non Violent Communication. Also quite long.
Things I learned
I learned a lot 2023. But more than ever before I spent time deeply integrating what I learned, instead of just plowing through cocktail knowledge tidbits.
These are some of my favorite topics form 2023:
- Agency is something you can learn.
- Walking physically makes your brain work.
- A theory of how willpower works.
- Artefacts are much more valueable than I thought.
Very much looking forward to a dynamic and more aggressively productive 2024!