Two Thousand Nine, the year of the suck. A year that saw us fall deeper and deeper into debt and financial disaster. A year that saw us not living, but simply existing. My second year consumed by a fruitless search for employment, and little else. A year that was punctuated and defined by the sudden and heartbreaking loss of Zeke over the Thanksgiving holiday. A year that should not have been, and hopefully will never be again.
Yet, even in this, the worst of years, there were two bright spots. Deb has finished her first year at a wonderful Company. She has hit her stride, doing what she loves and does best. Her future looks very bright. The second was the inspiration and challenge of the Harmony Project. A solid reminder that with some effort, an incredible leader and motivator, and a spirit of giving, a group of disparate people can make a difference, and find joy, fulfillment, and, yes, harmony, along the way.
It is with the knowledge that Deb is finally where she needs to be professionally, with the memories of the Harmony Project fresh in my mind, and with the understanding that good can not only happen, but triumph, that I present my list of ten goals for 2010. It is a new year, a new decade, and a new hope.
Some of these goals are prosaic and mundane, some are lofty. Some I know I will achieve, some I will have to try very hard to make happen. All are equally important.
To paraphrase, I choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard – and because they are necessary to return me, us, and our family, once again to the land of the living.
1 – I will be a much better communicator. I will reach out, re-connect, and stay connected with friends and associates. I will strive to at least say Hi regularly, even if there is nothing new to report.
2 – I will find significant employment. I will find myself in a challenging and rewarding position, one that allows me to do the things that I enjoy and that I am good at, and one that allows me to make a contribution, and a difference.
3 – I will return my own self to my roots. What I love best. I will find the time, and the resources, to once again build things, experiment, and educate myself. I will return to the “Mr. Wizard” I once was.
4 – I will write more. From the letters I am putting off, to my blog. I will make time to write. And I will write about the things that really interest me. I will NOT couch everything as an advertisement for my employment, or whine about our situation.
5 – I will find a way to continue creating and expanding my long abandoned web site. With a desire to inform, entertain and pass on knowledge about technology. It could, should, serve as my outlet, my voice, my little place in the internet world. I will strive to make that happen.
6 – I will better myself . I will find ways to pursue further education and certifications, and expand my knowledge and skill base, wherever possible, through any means available.
7 – I will once again put my personal life in the order I am most comfortable with by organizing, fixing, improving, and cleaning out my home and physical surroundings. I will find ways to continue and finish projects around my home even if the finances are not readily available. I will endeavor to reduce and simplfy my collection of 40 years worth of technical things by responsibly passing them on to those who can use them.
8 – I will find ways to allow Deb and I to return to the land of the living by once again doing things that we enjoy doing together. A movie, a restaurant, garage sales, time with friends, walking the dogs in a park, or a drive through the country side. All things we have forgone in the past two years because of a perception we cannot afford to do them. These are things we no longer can afford NOT to do.
9 – I will network more and better. I will seek out more ways to connect with people and I will not stand in the sidelines when I find them. I will actively pursue these people, connections and resources. I will expand my professional and entrepreneurial horizon and generate new opportunities. I will seek out many and diverse ways that I can be more productive both financially and personally. I will learn to give back more fully and to nurture those connections. I will strive to better be an asset, not an add-on.
10 – Conversely, I will strive to remember that although the search for employment is a very high priority, it is not the only thing that living is about. I will remember to make time for myself, for my wife, for my family and for our life. I will make time to pursue my interests, hobbies and ambitions. I will remember to make and to make use of “personal time” “family time” and “us time”. I will make the effort to smell the flowers on a regular basis, not just worry about how to pay for them.
Ten Goals. Ten things that I will do, must do, to move on. I have hope, I have conviction, I have a new enthusiasm for the new year. Our sun IS gonna shine in 2010. I just know it.
My wishes for your own wonderful New Year.