Dec 31, 2019 3 min read

Pondering over past and future: 2019 edition

Looking back on my life & work in 2019 and what might come in 2020.

Pondering over past and future: 2019 edition

If you have a blog it seems to almost mandatory to do a recap at the end of the year. Everyone is doing it and I don't want to feel left out. I am cutting it close but in Belgium I still have a couple of hours left until the New Year starts, so let's get to it.


2019 was my first full year of blogging (having started at the end of October 2018), topping out at 19 posts. This is an average of 1.5 blogs/month, which is a major slow down when you compare it to the 11 posts I did in just 2 months in 2018.
I don't mind since most of my posts require some work, and it is a workable pace for me. If I can keep up with this cadence in 2020 (and it doesn't start feeling like I have to do it), I'll be happy.

2019 was the year that I started my own consulting company Qubix, together with a business partner and under the protection of the biggest IT service provider in Belgium, Cronos. It's a special form of entrepreneurship without much (financial) risk for me but still offers a lot of freedom to run the company as we'd like.

2019 was the year I got awarded Microsoft MVP in the Office Development category. It made me enormously proud as I have always looked up (and still do) to the MVP's, it was never a goal as I didn't believe I could achieve it anyways.
It also kicked of an enormous impostor syndrome: thinking the award was a mistake, that I don't contribute as much as other MVP's, I don't know as much and thinking a lot of non-MVP's deserve it more than I do.
I'm not over it, far from, but I was lucky to meet some awesome people at an MVP-only event in Amsterdam and at Microsoft Ignite who changed my look on it all: I no longer question myself, and realize I do have something valuable to share and opinions to give. You know who you are, and thank you again for the deep conversations we had at conferences, bars and in Universal Studios rides!

2019 was also the year of personal loss in our family, the year we lost a brother/brother-in-law/godfather at the age of 27 to a brain tumor. It's unfair, it makes you feel small, insignificant and completely powerless. It puts everything in perspective again. I learned from it and it changed me as a person, but it'd be better if I didn't had to.

2019 was another year I didn't do any sports, had some weight gain and got out of breath faster than the year before. I do realize something has to change here but currently my excuses (founded and unfounded) still win.


2020 is the year I become a father again, somewhere mid-January. We wanted two kids close to each other but nature decided to put 2.5 years between them. Very curious to see how this will change my life.

2020 is the year I'll try to keep up with the things I started over the past few years: blogging, community contributions, work and family.
No specific goals, just do whatever is possible. I used to set goals on the amount of work done, salary increase I'd like or things I wanted to learn or do during the year. I'm interested in almost everything so the learning happens anyways, I make enough money to live comfortably with my family and work is not everything anymore.

2020 is hopefully the year I put myself out there more. I feel like I said "I don't do public speaking" a million times at all events and conferences when I introduced myself, and it's time to do something about it. It's probably more the fear of rejection than the actual fear of public speaking that's holding me back. I like speaking at events where I picked myself as a speaker 😀.
The great people I mentioned above have convinced me to submit some sessions for a couple of events, I have no confirmations yet but hopefully some of them will take a chance on me!

2020 will hopefully also be the year that I take more me-time. Doing things for my own enjoyment that help me calm my constant stream of thoughts, and preferably without the feeling guilty afterwards about all the more useful things I could have done.

We'll see next year how it all turned out!

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