Monday, April 11, 2005

Annual reflections

Every year about this time I get reflective. I guess it’s the fact that another year has past and I sort of review my ‘status’.

Am I closer to or further from my goals?
Are my actions in line with my goals?
Have my goals changed?
What have I achieved since last year?
What do I want to do this year?

I’m giving myself mixed reviews again this year. Professionally, I’m at or near 100%, but personally I’m not where I wanted to be as a husband and partner to my wife.

I’m getting there, but I’m still not the understanding, supportive partner I want to be, all of the time. I love my wife… crazy about her actually. I can be happy just sitting quietly in the same room with her. We talk about everything and anything… but sometimes, especially if my mind is full of ‘other things’, like a project from work, a new application idea, or I’m just off lost in a cloud of random, unrelated thoughts… I can get annoyed if that thought process is interrupted.

The funny thing (to me) is, that generally I’m the only one who knows I’m off in thought-land… it’s not like I announce… “Major brain activity in progress… do not disturb” or anything… so I know the ‘intrusion’ is not intentional. I can’t seem to help becoming annoyed though!

I know I’ve gotten better at not ‘acting’ annoyed, but like any couple who are as close as she and I are, she *knows*… and feels that even if I try to hide it. I’d really planned on having this under control by now… its proved more difficult than I’d anticipated however!

I’ve achieved some big professional goals in the past 12 months. I got out of a job I should have gotten out of several years ago, in fact I should have never returned to it after I left in 1998. Money is a difficult lure to resist though… and despite my “Money doesn’t motivate me” position and pontificating… it obviously kept me hanging in there! I may make more money, I may make less now… but one thing I’m definitely doing is having fun again!! That was one of my goals for the change, get back to having fun, *and* make money!!

The business ideas I had last summer have not materialized, in fact they’re all pretty much on hold. I’ve been so busy on the past two contracts that there really hasn’t been time to move any of that process forward. In fact, if I landed a substantial development project at the moment, on top of what I’m doing now, I don’t know where I’d find the time (but then again I have a 20 year history of *finding* the time)… regardless… Moving the development company forward is still one of my goals.

Writing… some would say that starting this blog, and posting a daily, or near daily update… *is* writing. My goal however was more targeted, I started a book on Terrorism in Cyberspace shortly after 9/11… I got the story started… began developing characters… and had (what I thought) was a good premise for the story. I got a 100 or so pages in the can… and ran out of time, and motivation. I still want to finish that book… if only to prove to myself I can! Maybe I’ll start a blog for that… and begin adding to it daily… I just don’t know what I’ve got to do to get into that groove.

My auto-shop projects are all *way* behind schedule… I’d anticipated having my wife’s ’78 pickup completed by now, instead I’m about ¾’s of the way done with the disassembly! I do have all the parts though, and the weather is getting conducive to starting back in on it… I find myself stalled though… between the yard work that needs doing… the house repairs that need doing.. and the 11+ hour days on the contract I’m on… I don’t know where to fit it in!! (It sure seemed like a no-brainer when I had help around!)

So see… I’m still close to, but not 100% at, achieving my goals.

One thing is really true though… At times, I find myself looking around our house and I see all the work my wife and I put in to it. I can hear us complaining about the sore muscles, leaving the place long after dark only to ride back to the apartment. Arriving there still soaked in sweat, with about enough energy left to fall into the shower, and then into bed, just to get up the next day and do it all over again!

The laughs we had, the sense of accomplishment we both had when the carpet was finally in place... the day before we actually moved in… how *new* the place looked… and how proud of her I was for all the work she did!! Not the least of which was her ability to help me stay focused on my vision for the place, even when she wasn’t 100% sure what my vision was… she just had a way of not letting me get discouraged… and to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day after another… until one day we looked around and said: “It’s ready for us to move in!”

Yes there’s still work to be done… but it’s ours, we built it... sort of… we gutted it and put it back together… perfect or not… it’s ours (well ours and the bank's)… and going home to her, and *our* home is the best part of my day. I'm real pleased with that accomplishment!

Oh... one last thing for y'all to ponder... If vegetarians eat vegetables... what do humanitarians eat?


Ilene said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments. I often tell people in my work about that place that is not comfortable but all too famaliar. It is a hard place to rise up out of, but it is possible.

I loved your thoughts today. I have found myself in that place of being lost in thought and you are right it is a little annoying to be roused out of it. I too try to come out gently, but because it is a place of escape and peace and quiet! I am anxious to read your book. Get busy! (smile) Have you visited my website or checked out my book online?
Have a great day.

Bill said...

You're welcome Ilene, and thanks for yours!

I have been by, I have not (as yet) looked into your book online... I will!