Year in review — 2023

/Rathes Sachchithananthan
Year in review — 2023

As the end of the year approaches, I sit here with my morning cappuccino, reflecting on 2023 and envisioning what the upcoming year should look like.

My recollections of this year are primarily overshadowed by the loss of my uncle in August, so this is an excellent exercise to help me remember that not everything was terrible.

Fitness & Health

Last year, my plans for a half marathon were disrupted by COVID-19, leaving me unable to run even a tiny 3 km. Despite being unable to participate in a half marathon this year due to illness on race day, I overcame last year's setback. I completed my first Parkrun and also participated in a 10k race.

Towards the end of this year, I also signed up at a gym again, so I am now following my own Hybrid Training plan again. I aim to finally run the half marathon on my third attempt while maintaining a decent body shape.

Mentally, I've been struggling a lot this year again. It's that constant feeling of not doing enough, not achieving anything, but also feeling like I have no time at all to do what matters to me.

I've gotten a lot better at managing these thoughts, but a few too many times, they took over and paralyzed me. In 2024, I'll be more proactive and deal with these situations better. It is okay that I have these feelings; they've always been part of me, but they should motivate me instead of holding me back.

Family and Friends

The most significant event of this year was my cousin's wedding. He's more than just a cousin to me; he's like a brother. We grew up together, witnessing each other's life phases, so it was beautiful to see him getting married and entering a new chapter.

In addition to this, it was my uncle's passing that brought me closer to my family and friends once again. It was the most challenging time of the year, yet it was also when I felt the closest to my family.

I'm bad at staying in touch with people, but I got better and will keep working on getting better at it.


Our crowning achievement of the year was purchasing a house. Since 2019, I've been constantly on the move. Alone since I relocated to London in 2020, I lived in four places before settling into this house. It's a good feeling to know that we have something permanent now. It's a small but cozy house situated on a quiet street with wonderful neighbors and an opportunity to make it the most personal space I've ever had.

I'm looking forward to undertaking DIY and home renovation projects in 2024.


Our travels were limited this year due to stricter budgeting and time constraints. However, we did visit Paris for my wife's 30th birthday, which included a trip to Disneyland. We also had a lovely trip to Italy, where we attended a wedding on Italy's east coast in Pescara, followed by enjoyable days in Florence and Bologna. And a day trip to Pisa.

For 2024, we can hopefully travel more again. And also revisit Italy — and make it our tradition. For a short period earlier this year, I even started learning Italian.

Traveling was an excellent opportunity for me last year to pick up photography again, and I stayed consistent with it this year.

I've had a few good pictures this year that I decided to showcase on this website.

Photography took away time from writing and reading. I didn't publish anything at all this year, and I only managed to read or listen to — I gave it another go — ten books. Hopefully, this gets better again as reading helps me calm down mentally and boost creativity.


My progress on a professional level is the one that hasn't actually seen much of a change this year. It has been on hold in favor of other goals.

At Intercom, I moved teams, and I'm now working more with React than before, aligning my day job with how I want to work long-term.

In terms of side projects, I haven't done a lot. Which is something I want to change for 2024. At the end of the year, I committed to working on a side project every single day, regardless of how busy the day was, and it really worked well. I made decent progress and enjoyed the process.

But I am not good at working on just one thing. I enjoy my work because I can try out new things and explore and learn. I want to incorporate that into the daily work in 2024 and see where I get to.

Overall, this year wasn't as bad as I feel about it now. And going through this exercise and looking back at the year really helped. If I want to set a theme for 2024, it's not giving up and keeping going. I might be a tiny bit away from the success I seek.