Today began gloriously sunny, lighting up the decimetres of snow we got the last few days. It’s more subdued now—low-level clouds moved in, darkening and softening the views. Still, feels properly Christmas-y and so on, which is cute.
It’s been a pretty busy end to the year. This week saw the end of a long-running project, a continuation of the legislative change work from earlier this year. It felt great to pass the baton from the strategic policy side of things—getting a framework in place—to the delivery side of things, though of course there’s been plenty of mixing along the way.
Now, though, things feel at peace. Changes are afoot with me and work—Friday was my last day at CDS for a while, as I embark on a new adventure, on which more another time. I spent a fair amount of the week reflecting on, writing about, and discussing the past and future of CDS, and of the broader digital government project (federally, in Canada, globally, whatever you’d like). As ever, I was struck by the great privilege of getting to do this work—to contribute to public service, to try to help others, if mostly in a quiet, behind-the-scenes way. My fourth anniversary post (also linked above) includes links to many of my thoughts on the subject. No doubt there’ll be more like that, as I get my thoughts in order.
Mostly, it was a week of fond farewells (bye-for-nows) to dear friends. The people make it both hard and easy to leave—hard, because they’re so wonderful, and you’ll miss soaking up their excellence; easy, because they’re so wonderful, and you know they’ll run farther and faster with that baton than you had energy left to do. (And, you know, it’s not healthy to have a saviour complex suggesting you must stay or else things’ll go sideways!) So much appreciation for everyone working in this space, and, of course, particular fondness for my team.
I’m starting now into a few weeks of time off, for which I’m grateful. Trying to avoid over-optimizing the time, or feeling like some way of spending it is inherently better than another—letting the mind and the self wander, in other words.
A few links, as I’ve got a hungry cat on my hands (and lap, and shoulders, and…):
- The Globe put together a retrospective with 100 years of photography from the paper. Great fun to browse.
- The surprising history of the thumb drive.
- Last year, Simon Collison shared his thoughts on Apple Music vs Spotify. Reading it recently had me thinking and exploring Apple Music, which certainly has some appeal—though I was reminded how annoying the slow-ness of Apple’s desktop apps is.
Next week, I’ll share some recommendations from a year in reading, as I did last year and in years prior. All the best for the week ahead, in the meantime!