2016 In Review

Written by David on December 31, 2016

Another year. Another year in review post.

I’ll break this up into a few overarching categories with recaps of what happened this past year and what I hope happens next year.

Some big lessons I learned this year:

  • relationships take work
  • talking about God is very important; talking about normal life stuff and seeing God in those things is just as important
  • [some caveats of course, but] it’s okay to do some things just because you enjoy doing them
  • God doesn’t owe me walking - and a full life is ultimately not contingent on walking or on positive contributions to society
  • I have some new problems with being hyper-competitive
  • I still have my old problem of freaking out a lot about work and feeling like I’m underperforming
  • the significance of prayer
  • sometimes the most effective leadership is hands off

The most important things I want to do in 2017:

  • love God through His Word, prayer, and leading people closer to Him
  • love Suzi well and invest in “us” more
  • be vocal/unafraid to share my life

Athletics - 2016

  • running
    • I had a hard time staying healthy, and even did physical therapy earlier in the year for my right knee, which started hurting about a year ago (interestingly, right after the Seattle Marathon, but not leading up to it)
    • races
      • ran the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon
        • 1:37:13, 284th overall out of 11k runners (but hadn’t run more than 6 miles in 6 months leading up to it, so those last few miles went surprisingly well.. like clockwork)
      • forgot all about the Cinco de Mayo half (but probably wouldn’t have done it as I was having knee issues at the time)
      • missed the Seattle Half Marathon due to a broken ankle
    • had some really meaningful late night runs by myself at the Redmond High School track
  • basketball
    • CSL
      • played CSL again on the team Panda Express, seeing many of our games go to overtime or come down to the last two minutes, so it was a lot of fun/league had some good parity this year
      • we got some pretty sweet CSBC Panda Express t-shirts (thanks Jay for designing!)
    • ankle injury
      • 10/16 - ankle injury happened. We were down by 20 with like two minutes left, so it didn’t even matter. For the first few days, I didn’t think it was broken and even managed to walk a little a few days after the incident
      • 10/21 - went to a walk-in clinic after a few people from marriage group peer pressured me into getting it checked out
      • 10/25 - surgery
      • 12/7 - started being weight bearing again
      • 1/18 - 3 months since the injury happened; should be clear to run

Athletics - 2017

  • running
    • Hoping to start working out with a few others from church and get all around stronger. I’m hoping that will translate into better form and running longevity
    • Hopeful to run another full marathon and get back to a point of like 40 mile weeks with 7 minute pace being comfortable. If I’m more serious about weightlifting towards the beginning of the year (with little to no mileage), then I’d be looking at a winter marathon like Portland or Seattle

Work - 2016

  • spent half of the year working on WWW Videos Core Experience and the second half of the year working on a new Videos team
  • got pretty stressed out after 1st half performance reviews, feeling like i was notably underperforming and that i might get fired
    • turns out, I got a mediocre performance review, and I was quite content with it
    • also really stressed out over a metrics bug that I caused, but later realized that the bug itself that I had caused wasn’t actually that bad
  • sporadically attended a weekly internal Christians meeting
  • was a summer intern manager
  • got involved a little with Draft.js open source
  • 2 weeks of training and a few other short 1 or 2 day trips down to Menlo Park headquarters
  • Facebook moved into new Dexter offices and announced some new offices as well
  • did one (only one) Facebook hackathon, but that was right when I had started, so I wasn’t able to be that productive
  • volunteered with Medical Teams International one day, packaging medical materials, for Facebook’s Global Causes Day
  • there was the annual Facebook Game Day, where we go play games in a field; I played Capture the Flag and it was pretty humbling. Apparently I’m not really as fast as I thought I was.

Work - 2017

  • share my life with my coworkers more and develop real, organic relationships with them
  • be more vocal/opinionated when it comes to both code and product decisions
  • be less afraid to ask questions, contribute to internal discussions, and learn from everyone
  • be willing to represent myself and my work more appropriately (I tend to undersell myself rather than oversell)
  • meet with more Christians at Facebook and determine a calculated framework for evangelism at work
  • ship
  • don’t work too hard - work when I need to work and rest when I need to rest (ie know when to stop working, and improve my focus when I need to be working) (thanks James’ mom for the quote)
  • get legitimately involved with Draft.js open source

Books - 2016

  • Frank Turek’s I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist
  • GK Chesterton’s Orthodoxy
  • Nik Ripken’s Insanity of God
  • Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages with Suzi
  • Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack’s The Index Card, on finances and investments
  • Dave Bruskas’ Dear Son
  • Tim Keller’s Hidden Christmas
  • maybe CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity (not sure if this year or lasts)

Books - 2017

  • Tim Keller’s Making Sense of God
  • Maybe Andy Stanley’s Visioneering
  • I’m always open to suggestions! Let me know, my list of books to read is short.

Ministry/Personal Relationship with God - 2016

  • led a Friday night teaching on how I think about outreach, some tips and stories, that sort of thing
  • discipled someone (we went through 1 and 2 Thessalonians and about half of Romans)
  • worked a little on the CSBC website, moving the server from Illinois to California and finally running some Facebook ads for the church
  • small groups
    • UW
      • one of my greatest small group experiences, one that really shaped my thinking about how important it is for a small group to establish a culture of enjoying time together and transparent sharing
      • we would do public worship every time we met, singing a song or two
      • we would do evangelism in some form once a month, as well as evangelism training in some form once a month. we tried a few different approaches and it made sense, as we were always surrounded by people (we met at a dining hall on campus)
        • one of my fondest outreach events consisted of us watching an episode of Adventure Time, followed by some questions that I had prepared that actually ended up with some gospel conversations. I had a lot of fun preparing for it. Then we ate at U:Don
    • Redmond
      • also really enjoyed this time together because we generated a bit of momentum, I think because we had a lot of people crammed into a tiny space. We often had food together and we often ended up hanging out late into Wednesday night
    • Beacon Hill
      • this group just started, I’m eager to be a part of it
  • had to learn to reconcile/resolve conflict with some people from church, took painfully long to resolve
  • have been re-learning the significance of prayer as of the last few months and how critical it is to be praying for the people in your life
  • finished reading the Bible straight through for the first time in April (it took me like 3 years though; I’d get stuck somewhere and then just end up reading somewhere else)
  • played piano in the worship band at church, but less and less now that we have another pianist. Got a little bit of bass though, and had fun playing jazz at our annual Christmas party
  • made some sporadic progress memorizing the book of Romans; in chapter 15 currently (I have at most 3 or 4 chapters at a given point of time), but not really actively working on it anymore
  • I relapsed into porn around April after maybe two years :/

Ministry/Personal Relationship with God - 2017

  • continue reading the Bible on a regular basis before work
  • make a point of praying daily for the people around me regularly, praying for my small groups’ prayer requests on a weekly basis
  • keep memorizing Scripture, whether that’s Romans or not
  • make sure I’m not being timid about sharing my faith with people; if I need to err on a side, I’d rather err on the side of recklessness than silence
  • no porn
  • befriend a nearby family

Community - 2016

  • house timeline
    • early June - put in our first offer ever, in to a house in Columbia City; we offered like 25k over asking and still lost by like 75k
    • late June - mutual agreement with builders to buy a house
    • mortgage paperwork ends up being very frustrating
    • mid October - actually moved in
  • after moving into the house
    • Suzi’s sister and two friends from church all moved in with us
    • some really good late night conversations
    • some great meals
    • some great times watching Haikyu!, Boy and the Beast, Deathnote, among other anime
      • fine line, but I think watching more TV helps me experience more emotion than I normally do, and that helps my outlook/attitude towards life
    • some Bible reading together
    • taking Christmas pictures
    • hanging out with Kumamon
  • some friends from church moved close to us, like a few blocks away
  • guy’s appreciation night (Mario Party themed)

Community - 2017

  • read the Bible together as a house
  • continue to invest in our small group and have community with one another
  • prioritize people over work (my tendency is just to want to get things done instead of just being with people)

Miscellaneous - 2016

  • went to a Veritas Forum at UW
    • had never been to one of these, but I had heard about them/seen some Youtube videos of one with Tim Keller. It wasn’t actually as cool as I thought it would be; ended up being more about genetic engineering than blatantly spiritual things
  • started Rubik’s cubing again, lowest was ~37 average of 5, lowest single run was ~27 seconds
  • ditched Evernote for knowledge sharing in favor of Quip and small FB groups
    • I think when you work at Facebook, everything starts to look like a Facebook problem. We made Facebook groups for lots of things, even groups with just 2 people in them
  • went to my friend Andrew’s wedding in Houston in April

Miscellaneous - 2017

  • be more responsive when it comes to communication (emails, tasks, etc)
  • do things that I say that I’ll do
  • take Suzi on more dates and make sure to celebrate and remember victories more
  • make good mistakes

In Closing

If you read this far, thanks! 2016 wasn’t that great of a year for me. I got frustrated with a lot of things. The ankle injury. Mortgage paperwork. Relational conflict. Thinking I might get fired. Having a one dimensional view of God, which was pretty crushing at the time. I continue to hope and pray that God will turn me into the person He wants me to be, and that I won’t miss out on Him or His work in 2017.