2017 Q3 Review

I have been distracted lately, a bunch of stuff is going down in my life. From the fires in the town I went to high school in, to an attempt to write a book, to work and life, some moments are great, some really suck, but I feel like I am more distracted than ever.

What's fascinating about this, is I feel like the third quarter of 2017 was the quietest summer I've had in years. Very little travel, nothing wild work or life wise. It was a good summer.

So I'll walk through my goals, and things I did, just know that the word I'd use to describe July, August and September of 2017 is quiet.

For context, check out my first quarter and second quarter reviews.

My 2017 goals are as follows:

  • Improve physical health

    • Stretch every morning
    • Complete a 5K
    • Complete a half-marathon
    • Cook eight meals a week (Out of the 21 possible)
    • Record all eating
    • Join a sports team
  • Put out content to improve the internet

    • Take in revenue from one side project
    • Write 200 posts in 2017
    • Maintain a four post per week average on https://writing.natwelch.com
    • Give five talks to groups larger than 10
    • Get 100 websites on Onesie
    • Try to get one #opsparty office hour a week
  • Grow your brain

    • Read seventy books
    • Go to four art exhibits, live shows or movies a month
    • Read one non-fiction book a month
  • Deal with reality

    • Find an interesting problem to solve with people you like (aka a Job)
    • Dedicate one day a month to address finances
    • Reevaluate all investments, and define a general money strategy and tracking system
    • Define what you want to be doing when you're 40.

Improve Physical Health

Another quarter that I failed at this. I had stretching regularly going, but near the end of the quarter, that seems to have dropped off as well.

The only thing I've kept up with is home cooking. I'm easily eating more than eight meals a week at home. @mel_cantrell and have been splitting the cooking duties, and it's been working out well.

Put out content to improve the internet

I gave a talk on SRE at StrangeLoop 2017, putting me up to four talks this year.

I am writing a decent amount, but not reaching the four post average that I was looking for. I think I need to tweak this goal next year. Aim for a two post a week average, with one technical post a month. I think that's much more feasible.

Onesie and ops.party have both slipped. I have thoughts about them but need a few days of downtime to get them up to snuff.

I actually did take in revenue from a side project. I promised to deliver some writing for a larger outlet and got half up front. That writing is slowly progressing. Slower than I would like, but it's chugging along.

Grow your brain

I am doing really well with my book consumption at a numbers level (I'm at 60 out of 70). That being said I am not consuming the number of non-fiction I want. I'm about halfway through Hillary Clinton's latest book, but that's it.

In terms of "going out and consuming culture", I did alright this quarter. I averaged four things a month, although August was a little light.


  • The Met
  • deYoung
  • Atomic Blonde
  • Baby Driver
  • The Whitney
  • Hamilton in SF


  • Columbia University for SneakerCon
  • Dunkirk


  • Washington Nationals Game in DC
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • StrangeLoop Conference
  • The City Museum in St. Louis

Deal with Reality

I am still employed at First Look Media, and still having a good time. I also spent time monthly to deal with finances this quarter. They aren't as good as I had hoped, but overall I am doing fine.

Define what you want to be doing when you're 40.

I had an interesting conversation this quarter at StrangeLoop that reminded me that you can split your personal and work goals. There were many people who were achieving amazing things in their professional lives, who also had fulfilling family lives.

Thanks to everyone at StrangeLoop who talked to me about their personal lives. I really enjoyed talking about the struggles and successes you're going through and how it affects your day job and your general mental health. These realizations and events in your lives helped me evaluate my own mental health and the decisions I have been making.


I hope you had a good quarter, and I'll see you in a few months when we're finally free of 2017. Let's hope next time it doesn't take me a month to actually write my review.