2009 In Review Overall

2009 has been a very weird year for me. In some ways it’s been one of the best years in recent memory, and in others, one of the worst.

This year saw a couple friends pass away from cancer. Both were far too young, and far too nice to have it happen. Cathy was in her mid forties and Lauren was only 30. Later in the year, a high school friend whom I hadn’t probably talked to in a decade died of a heart attack. He was 38. Also, a very good friend, co-worker, and mentor of mine had a stroke. He’s in his mid-fifties.

All of this death and sickness around me really led me to re-evaluate things, and in July I wrote my How Does Mortality Rate? post. Basically I came to conclusions that I need to not sweat the small stuff and live every moment to it’s fullest. Since then I’ve lost thirty pounds and let the stress go by the wayside. That doesn’t mean I don’t still have stressful times, by all means I do, but I no longer let it consume me. I also don’t worry about things that I personally cannot change. If I can’t affect the outcome of a situation, there is no need to worry about it. Just deal with it when it happens.

As simple as this sounds, that was a complete turning point for me. I made that decision to live my life that way, and ever since, I’ve been a much happier, healthier person. I’ve proven that you CAN do it IF you want to. It’s not that hard. Hopefully some of you reading this can apply the same to your life.

Shortly after my post, I was given a promotion to the IT Manager at work. I went from an almost strictly technical role to almost completely managerial. It’s been an interesting transition, and it’s really hard for me to give up the technology side, but I think I’ve done a fairly good job of handing the keys over to my staff. Luckily I have an incredible group of people working for me, so I know I can trust them to get the job done. It’s given me the opportunity to focus on the job I need to do. Overall, since I took the position officially (I was kind of already doing it for a couple months) I think we, as a group, accomplished a ton. And as I wrote out our plans for 2010, we have a lot left to go. Some huge projects are looming on the horizon, but I feel really comfortable in the fact that we can really knock these out of the park.

This year also saw the inaugural IAMLUG take place. It was after some of the soul searching I had done, so I went in with an awesome attitude and had an incredible conference. In addition to the all the great sessions, I made some new friendships that have turned out to be some of the best I’ve ever made in the community. One of the nights with the 632Crew will go down as one of the most memorable, favorite times I’ve ever had at any conference. I really hope to see an IAMLUG2010.

November marked my final article for Intranet Journal. For the past three and a half years I had been the monthly columnist covering Lotus Notes in your intranet. I LOVED the job and was really sad to see it go, but all good things come to an end. Since that article, I’ve not written much in the blog, simply because I wanted to recharge a bit. Well, the batteries are filling up, so expect to see a lot more posts here on the blog going into 2010. Especially this January as a certain conference kicks off.

In my personal life, things with my wife and kids have been great. I even took my first REAL vacation with them in quite some time. I passed my 14th wedding anniversary too. Pretty damn cool if I do say so myself. Even though the first half of this year and good part of the summer was really rough, my family could not have been more supportive. Thanks to them for helping me get through to the epiphany part of the year.

This year really saw Twitter and Facebook ramp up for me too. I surpassed 4000 tweets on Twitter just yesterday, and re-connected with TONS of people via Facebook. This lead to my 20th high school reunion being even better as I had a lot of great conversations leading up to the reunion. I had a complete blast (from what I can remember) and loved spending time with old friends. Still, being my 20th meant I really started feeling my age a bit. Just another reason to remind myself to get healthier so I can be around for my family and friends for a long, long time.

So that’s it, it’s been an incredible year of both ups and downs and personal discovery. All I know is that I’m looking forward to making 2010 a better year overall. Onward and Upwards!