Reflecting on 2023

Filed under personal on January 04, 2024

Thought I’d post a stream of consciousness type post on my year, might help me piece together some disparate thoughts.

Others posting

I’ve seen a lot of negativity from others this year. I get that things are tough, but there seems to be an active push against acknowledging the great things in your life. I’ve personally taken to being more positive about things, even if I do crack dark jokes at times.

“Oh you don’t have kids? You must have so much time” “Yeah, plenty of time to contemplate my existential dread”

“Oh, look at that meal you’ve brought! All cooked with love I bet” “Well, I made it, so it’s more of a kind of special self loathing”

I hope people realise I’m just joking around when I say things like that. It usually gets laughs, so I guess I’m probably in the clear. Aside from that, I do try to lift people up when I can. I try to offer only constructive criticism, I haven’t found a situation where I’ve felt compelled to tear someone down so I hope that continues in the new year.


I went from a contract position to a permanent one in October of 2022, and honestly it’s been a great move for my career. I’ve been handed more responsibility, have more sway over a lot of the technical decisions on the team and often get left with delegated powers when my boss has leave. I feel I’ve started to develop a lot of important social skills that I’ve been lacking, and I’m starting to get to a point where I can see my future laid out in front of me.


I joined a new melodeath band late last year, and we’re slowly grinding our way towards playing a few gigs (hopefully) before August. We’ve got more than a few songs written, and I really enjoy our practice sessions. Yet to play a gig or record anything with them, but hopefully that’ll change soon.

Gym and fitness

I’ve been lifting since 2015 or 2016 with a brief hiatus over the covid lockdowns. My wife and I were straight back in the gym as soon as they opened again, and I’ve been making steady progress since then.

This year was the first time I’ve managed to dead lift more than 150kg, with my final lift of the year coming in at 205kg. My bench press now regularly goes past 100kg, though I need to work on my squats and haven’t gone to the right side of 120kg for a while.

In terms of stamina, at the opening of 2023, I could jump on the rower for half an hour every day no worries. At some point, I got a really bad cold that forced ime to take a break from it and never really went back. I’d like to push myself to get back into that habit, as even 10 minutes now feels like a bit of a struggle.

Goals for this year

My goals for this year are pretty simple:

  • Get into a habit of speaking more clearly in meetings, I have a tendency to mumble or speak really quickly when I’m talking in front of more than a couple of people
  • Figure out how to delegate better. I’ve learned how to push work to people with more capacity, but I need to learn how to better choose when to step in and take charge again
  • Overhead press 100kg, probably at least 9 months of work in that as I’m about 30kg off shoulders kind of suck.
  • 5x5 pull ups. I think this is one I’m going to smash through in late February - mid March if I’m diligent
  • Finally get around to learning how to play Canon Rock. Watching Funtwo’s cover video back in the day was one of the things I can point to that made me want to learn guitar.
  • Play on stage for the first time in years. I’ll probably have to make a few more connections, maybe book some of my own gigs and slot us in as supports, but I’ll see how we go.

Stephen Gream

Written by Stephen Gream who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. You should follow him on Minds