This is my first published retrospective, hope it will be interesting to read in 10-years time. After all, 2021 by all means is not “just another year” with so much happened and still happening.


Habits define everything. Even the smallest ones, they either constantly improve you or destroy you. Example: 15 minutes training every day beats any professional workout 3 times a week. Simply working on a project 25 minutes every day is more productive than any SCRUM/Agile/Kanban methodology. Persistence is the key to success.

I always thought that I love travelling. This year I began to realize that it’s not love, it’s an escape. I’m constantly on the run from something, so gotta stop and figure out what exactly I’m running from the first place.

Another thing about travelling – in times of uncertainty and personal issues it can be hard to spend a lot of time together with your own family. First take care of yourself, otherwise nothing really matters.

Also – Cyprus is a joke.

No matter what everyone says, you cannot allow yourself to fail if you have children. They expect perfection from everything you do and if you fail them… well, you won’t be yourself after that.

Having children requires having more physical space. They don’t ask you for a bigger house or a new apartment, of course. But it’s just the way it is.

Having more things (stuff) is not a healthy habit. At least for me, because I literally feel the weight of all my material possessions. It’s not a good feeling. Started to get rid of everything I’m not using at least once a year. Sold a lot this year alone and reluctant of buying anything new.

I officially hate all remote communication. It cannon replace personal connections and have very little value in itself. Started to value personal meetings very much.

It’s much more difficult to avoid capital gain tax than I originally thought. Looks like Russian tax residency might not be as bad after all.

Turkey is great in October/November. Probably, the best place in the world for the two months. Also on Turkey: vastly underrated country, in my opinion. Original culture, great local traditions, awesome nature, rich history and amazing way of doing regular things in their “own” way. In times of globalization when all the countries tend to blend together and look the same, Turkey manages to stay unique and modern at the same time. Btw, you’ll see none of that from the hotels.

There is no “safe dose” of alcohol. Slowly reducing my little as it is consumption of it, hopefully to zero. Enough is enough.

Surprisingly, I like backend more than frontend. Who could have thought, after all those years? Maybe I should look for jobs/projects that allow me practice and improve backend skills more.

Still, React with React hooks is a fun thing to work with, actually enjoyed it. Especially when using functional components.

Web3 is a serious thing, it won’t go anywhere. DeFi, DAOs, parachains, dApps – these things are so revolutionary that it’s just impossible to stop it already. They can potentially change everything but at the same time it’s incredibly difficult (for me) to figure out how to play it right. Probably, investing my time (not money) and tinkering with the technology is the best way to go.

Funny thing: WordPress by definition is already web3 technology. I think world is slowly starting to realize it.

I’ve always thought that in order to optimize React SPA performance for SEO it’s enough to implement SSR one way or another. Was surprised that often it’s not the case, especially with new PageSpeed metrics. Such a deep rabbit hole.

Intraday trading is much more than just trading. Might be very useful not only for short-term gains but also to understand momentum and find opportunities for long-term entries or exits.

There is no 3-years-no-tax rule for trading stocks with foreign brokers in Russia. Didn’t know that before and it changes everything. Better have long-term investments with Russian brokers and trade elsewhere, then vise versa.

EV-hype is not going anywhere too but it might not be as good for the planet as everyone thinks. First of all there is energy problem. Simply put: there is not enough of it. Alternative energy is not even close to filling the gap so yes, we are going back to adopting nuclear worldwide. Secondly: there is no reliable and cheap way of utilizing EV batteries. More cars = more batteries to take care of = more pollution. Potentially much more pollution than we have right now, with all the “dirty” diesel and petrol engines. Don’t know what to do about pollution but investing in nuclear energy looks like a no-brainer to me.

Waste to Energy is a massively underrated technology that can actually solve both problems: world pollution and lack of energy. Yet it’s close to non-existent in comparison to solar or wind alternatives. Public perception of Waste to Energy plants is also horrible, even though modern ones can have almost zero impact on environment.

book cover

Sun rises in the East, fire burns, water flows and wise books remain wise. Life remains a totally separate matter. I’ve read How to Live and realized that it’s a great comedy book which just combines all the advices in one place. Probably zero practical value but fun to read and it puts other books in perspective, too.


I’m still alive 🙂

Stayed abroad for almost 4 months (mostly in Turkey) which is probably more than 99% people due to lockdowns. Actually lived through the lockdown in Turkey myself and experienced almost no restrictions as a tourist.

Took a proper time off in October in Turkey. First real holiday in years.

Found a real, authentic and beautiful apartment in Fethiye on AirBnb. Not bought for rent, not part of a condominium, not run by a tourist agency. Just a family of teachers earning additional income, very nice and friendly. Such a rare thing nowadays.

Fulfilled my dream and rented a house in Lev Tolstoy’s manor – Yasnaya Polyana. Absolutely magical experience so I went there twice: with a family and alone.

Also, went to see people whom I wanting to see in person for a long time, including Michail Kobzarev in Tula.

Read Atomic Habits and actually implemented it’s simple ideas. And it worked! Spending around 25 minutes a day on a pet-project allowed me to launch 6 months later, improving JavaScript skills along the way. So good to be able to call myself indie-hacker once again, I really missed that! Probably wouldn’t be able to launch it so quickly if I hadn’t stumbled upon amazing Sail deploy tool made by Konstantin Kovshenin. Absolutely recommend it to everyone developing WordPress apps.

Helped rebuild and Consulting can be fun too, especially if you’re doing it on WordPress.

Stopped using Vagrant as a local development environment. I know, I know, it was overdue 🙂

Launched not one, but two WordPress plugins: Whisk Recipes and Whisk Recipe Widgets.

According to my tax declaration 2021 was by far the most successful year on stock market for me. Which is a good thing in itself but will be a pain next year (read: massive capital gain taxes). I’m going to work on improving my capital structure to minimize taxes in future.

Managed to close my old Etoro account and withdraw remaining funds right before they stopped working with Russian users. Pure luck!

Participated in GameStop epic battle in the beginning of the year. Even though technically it was a fail since I lost some money (not much, though), I had so much fun that it was worth every penny. A truly historical event!

Finished all the paperwork and legal procedures about inheritance from my father. Finally, that pain is over. Now I have a small country house to take care of.

Went on retreat to Cyprus with my team from Whisk. Surprised we actually did this with COVID and all. Worth every minute though, truly great time. I got to know many people whom I normally don’t work with and heard many stories. Very inspiring! Small, but mighty team we have.

Successfully shorted Tesla in December 🙂 What a ride! And for the record: I’m not doing it again, omg, no.

Restored my father’s old 4×4 Hyundai Santa Fe. Very handy in winter, so much more confident on the snow. Plus another car in the family 🙂


Overpaid for my first 2-months stay in Turkey. They went on lockdown 2 weeks after we arrived and I could ask for much better prices than we actually paid. Maybe that or maybe something else but I failed to enjoy those 2 months. Which is a shame because everything was just great.

Should spend more time with my son and wife.

Tried and failed to create a habit of daily meditation. Which in my state is a huge FAIL.

Failed to keep a great habit of daily writing. It helped me so much in 2020 but I totally failed to keep it up in 2021. Not only writing, translation practices also went from 100 to 0 in one year. Miss those too, was pretty interesting.

Spent too much on Million token hype, lost most of it in the end even though initially 3x my investment. Learned a lot about DeFi in process but it was an expensive lesson.

Failed to optimize for capital gain tax and going to suffer in 2020.

Did not even try to apply for a new job. I didn’t have to change it but failing to stay with the market can be dangerous for the future.

Failed to focus more. Sometimes it was really hard with so much things going on at the same time. Life-draining experience. I have to learn to say no more to people, things, projects. Better undercommit than overcommit and under-deliver.

Didn’t go to Saint Petersburg as planned (my 2yr son broke his collarbone and I don’t remember whole month after that).

I failed to actually talk much this year. Looks like I’m not such an introvert after all, because I miss talking.

Actually went to the WRONG airport once and missed my flight. Not sure though, it might belong to a Win section after all 🙂

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