Another orbit around the sun, another year under our belts.
In the new year, I’ve been reflecting on what this year’s motto will be. Each year I generally have a theme that I often refer to and aspire to as I journey through this world. Also, I love mottos.
This year, my motto is: Stay DRY. ¹
You may be asking yourself, what does this mean, and why are you capitalizing ‘dry’?
DRY is a programming principle ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’.
It aims to reduce the amount of repetition in one’s code.
Why is this desirable?
Less repetitive code = easier code maintenance = less bugs.
Less code to write = less typing = more efficiency.
Applying this (literally) to my life, I am aspiring for more efficiency, and less maintenance (and less bugs).
In choosing a principle of software engineering as my motto, I am explicitly implying that I am working towards mastering the art of computer programming, and this motto serves as a statement and a reminder.
Applying this even more literally, I would like to have higher quality rain gear so that I never feel an ounce of water on my sensitive skin that is prone to transmit a feeling of ‘cold’, especially when wet, no matter how hard it is raining nor how long I am subjecting myself to being outside while it is raining.
Metaphorically, I would like to not repeat mistakes that I’ve made in the past, whatever they may be. And, I invite new experiences into my life. There is a beauty in finding satisfaction and contentment in a daily routine, but even more beautiful to me is finding ways to explore the world from within the routine.
For example, one way I do this already is that every day I try to choose a different route through downtown as I walk from my casual carpool drop-off location at Fremont and Howard St to my office. If I’m feeling wild, I even get a latte from a cafe that I’ve never tried before ;).
Simple? Yes. Satisfying? Absolutely. DRY? You betchya.
When I was telling the new years crew about the yearly motto, I was asked, how do I decide on a motto each year?
Well, the answer to that is unclear…
Sometimes I set an intention and a clear, succinct, (preferably catchy) few words describe that intention.
Sometimes I let my mind wander and various mottos float through my mind, but one resonates above all the others.
Sometimes I just start saying a turn of phrase and it sticks.
But this year, it was different.
This year my motto is inspired by the massive rainfall that is falling upon California at this very moment. Though welcome, the precipitation seeped through my zippered pockets as I skied down the slushy slopes of Kirkwood yesterday, infiltrated the hideous Otterbox case that has dutifully protected my phone for over two years, and short-circuited the battery.
So thanks for the rain, but this year, I’ll be trying to `Stay DRY`.
¹Appropriately, I began the year in the desert of Joshua Tree.
A history of my annual mottos:
2016: In the window
2015: Don’t rock the boat
2014: ? ← (I was Ukraine, and my brain was frozen)
2013: What does it matter?
2012: LLSOD (unofficial)
2011: TMG (unofficial)