I turned 39 on Thursday. No milestone, no magic number; just another increment in a life well lived.
For the last couple years I’ve written in-depth blog posts around birthday-time, reflecting on the year just past and speculating on goals and desires for the years to come. I haven’t yet gone back and read previous entries, because my memory is that I have focused too strongly on the past and too weakly on the future; and that is a mistake, I think, a mistake I don’t want to repeat this cycle.
That’s not to say that nothing good has happened in the last year. Far from it. I’ve strengthened some key relationships. I’ve made some great new friends that I didn’t even know existed at this time last year. I’ve learned and grown in my career and made some key moves there. I’ve seen my kids make major strides as they’ve started school and made the irrevocable move from babies to little people.
But there’s also been a lot of drama, a lot of pain, anguish, angst, an excess of uncertainty, and a lot else that I won’t be eager to see repeated this next year.
So, in the spirit of looking ahead with a positive attitude, what am I looking forward to this year?
Crowdify. I have rededicated myself to Crowdify and to take full advantage of the odd hour or two here and there and focusing hard and getting a marketable product out the door by end of summer next year. I had let this project lie dormant while I went through a bunch of churn in my personal life, and am not going to let a new chance to move this thing forward slip by.
Friendships. I’ve made some great, great friends in the last few years and I want to continue to nourish and nurture and build those friendships up and sustain them no matter what might be going on elsewhere.
Aggressiveness. In the past, I’ve been accused of being to passive, of letting procrastination get in the way of opportunity. I don’t want to make those same mistakes in the upcoming year. If I want something, I’ll ask for it. If I feel I deserve it, I’ll press for it. I will maintain my calm and grace and patience and ethics and politeness, but I’m going to do things in a way that are directed and consistent with my long-term goals.
Networking. In my new job, I don’t have an office, which means my professional interactions will have to be carefully planned so as to keep me interacting with members of the tech and startup communities on a regular basis. Co-working, regular attendance at events like TechCafe, Hops and Chops, and special events like Deploy 2010, not to mention consistent attention to having coffee and lunch with acquaintances in the industry, are all a must.
There is obviously a lot that I’m leaving out of this post, for various reasons. There are confidences to be kept, situations yet still unresolved (and, sadly, perhaps unresolvable?), and respect for those who don’t have a voice on these pages. But close friends can intuit some of what is left out, and really close friends, by definition, already know.
I’ll leave with a little anecdote, something that happened recently, that makes me hopeful for the next year. A friend did something for me, completely unexpectedly and out of the blue, that was just so nice and so unequivocally giving and unselfish and building-up (as opposed to tearing-down) that I was actually a little stunned. This particular friend had never done anything like this, which doesn’t say anything bad about this person, but rather says a lot about normal daily expectations of what we so casually call “friendship”. But this person exposed themselves, set themselves out there to a large degree, and made themselves quite vulnerable, which is a characteristic that implies a lot about the state of mind of a person and how much trust or faith they have in someone else.
Coming out of left field as it did, it completely reaffirmed my faith both in this person, as well as humanity in general.
I’m sorry I can’t go into more detail without exposing confidences, but I hope you get the degree to which this gesture affected me.
Off to go sling some bits! Looking forward to the year ahead with much anticipation and gratitude.