Roel van der Ven on a SUP board in the mist

Here’s what my life is about now:

(last updated March 18th, 2021)

I’m nearing the end of five months of parental leave. It’s been a chaotic but privileged period where I was able to take care of our family of four and take my mind off of work for a while. It was a total privilege to be able to do this and I’m grateful I was given the opportunity.


  • The COVID-19 pandemic revealed many interesting and sometimes shocking things in society and people. Many patterns and trends have been accelerated by the second order effects of people finding new ways to endure whatever changes they have been exposed to. For us, it meant no kids birthday parties, a baby barely met other babies, and seeing grandparents through FaceTime only. I’m grateful how lucky we’ve been in the previous year, it’s interesting to see what the long term effects will be.
  • Running has been on the back burner for the last months as I’ve developed an injury in my toes. It has been a bit better in the last weeks and I was happy to put on the shoes again and hit the road. I’m looking forward however to get in shape again!
  • I’ve been reading books and essays to try and stay drunk during a time where I know I wouldn’t be as intellectually stimulated as before. One of the things that came out of this is that I am looking for ways to invest in my writing skills. It will be incredibly useful for work, but I’m also looking forward to create space and time to focus and publish something. I’ve applied to Compound Writing, if I’m accepted I’ll write about the experience.





I didn’t manage to keep this page updated as often as I like, I will do a better job going forward. I did reach most of my 2019 goals however! When writing new ones, I realized I should keep previous goals visible as a little celebration for the ones I’ve actually achieved. So here’s an updated section, including new goals for this year:

My 2021 goals

  • Shoot for a promotion to principal product manager
  • Take an ice bath
  • Run another half marathon
  • Develop a work/life rhythm that allows for focus, exercise and family time
  • Eat less dairy products (cheese, that is)
  • Rebuild this website into a private digital garden, create something that allows me to post to my own feed.


My 2019 goals

  • Become a senior product manager
  • Learn Swedish
    • My Swedish has definitely improved, but it’s no where near a level that I envisioned when setting this goal. The last 13 months made it a lot harder to practice as well, so I’ve let this ambition go for now.
  • Run a half marathon
  • Invest more time in meditation
  • Become a vegetarian


Saw this over at Jeremiah’s personal website and copied it. The original idea is by Derek Sivers. Thanks!