Retrospective 2009

Look back to learn, not lament

Life is full of moments; some wonderful, some tragic. Sometimes, you can't assess the quality of the moment until long after it has passed. Not until you've had the opportunity to live in the shadow of the moment and realize the true impact.

I have, for many years, believed that our lives are not governed by the events that occur, but by our chosen responses to those events.

Our inability to accurately asses the quality of a moment, whilst simultaneously being required to chose a response that will certainly alter the course of our lives forever is a fearsome proposition. Yet, however fearsome, I choose this belief every day. I choose it over the notion that all is random and I am a mote of dust blowing in the winds of fate; without cause and without choice and without effect. I choose it over the notion that all is predetermined and I am merely following a foreseen path; without choice and without effect.

With this belief, I march forward. Looking back only to learn lessons that better equip me for my next decision. There is no purpose or value to lament the past. The decisions I make right now alter my future course. And as a result, I know that decisions in the past need affect only my past.

2009 Timeline

First Quarter
  • Working at The Samara Group (subsidiary of Wayne-Dalton)
    • Parent Company is suffering and is not committed to success of TSG
    • Work situation is extremely poor; low trust, no autonomy.
    • Suspect we are being shut down
    • Feel obliged to my co-workers and employees.
    • Concerned how "failure" will look to others.
  • Losing faith in my technical/leadership abilities.
  • Negligent of personal health
    • Running very little
    • Not lifting
    • Eating habits are poor
Second Quarter
  • TSG is Closed by Parent Company
    • Laid off
    • Self-esteem very low
  • Decide not to rush into next job
  • Need to figure out what makes me happy
  • Pick up side jobs
  • Focus on Ruby and Development
  • Start working with LeanDog and Pillar on job in Detroit
  • Get calls from ThoughtWorks and several others to interview
  • Join running club and Men's group
  • Re-building my self-esteem
  • Personal Health gets attention
    • Run daily
    • Lift daily
    • Eat right
Third Quarter
  • Start at ThoughtWorks
    • Planning to stay for six months at most
    • Discussing emergent opportunities in Cleveland with LeanDog
  • Move in with my brother Rick
    • Sleeping on air mattress in his home office
  • Side Jobs get no attention
  • Start Scheme Study Group
  • Personal Health good
    • Running almost exclusively
    • Some lifting
    • Experience mild back pain
    • Ease up on strict eating habits
  • Enjoying life, but miss my family
    • ThoughtWorks pays for flights home and back so I can see family (WOW)
Fourth Quarter
  • Decide to stay with ThoughtWorks for as long as they'll have me
    • Like so many things about the company
    • Feel "at home" for first time in over a decade
  • Get (much needed) help with side projects
  • Moved into Corporate Housing
  • Personal Health Suffering
    • Back Pain is chronic
    • Running limited
    • Lift very infrequently
    • Eating habits are poor

Starfish for 2010

Do More
  • Communicate with Family and Friends
  • Show Appreciation to Others
  • Active participation in family finances
  • Work Out - run, yoga, lift
  • Study / Learn / Teach
  • Blog Posts
  • Ruby and fun languages
  • Eat Well
Do Less
  • Java
  • Side Jobs
  • Consuming Alcohol
Start
  • Daily Journal
  • Help Wife with Career
  • Join 401k at work (saving)
Stop
  • Working long hours
  • Worrying about what others think
Continue
  • Involvement in Technical Community
  • Building Personal Brand
  • Working on relationship with Family

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