2008 is the year of...

January 10, 2008

Posted in Personal.

2008 is the year of…

…being proactive. Most of the work emergencies I face are simply a lack of planning and preparation. In 2007, one of our developers had to work crazy hours to put together a series of pages for Holy Week, right before Easter. Why did this take us by surprise? As I’ve grown fond of saying, Easter has been scheduled for 2,000 years!
…positivity. I think a lot of my stress (and probably blood pressure) is related to my own negativity. I’m cynical and pessimistic about everything. I argue for the sake of arguing. But since returning to the office in 2008, I’ve worked hard to keep a positive outlook. When I catch myself starting to argue, I ask myself if I really disagree. If I have reason to disagree, I pause to gather the reasons why and make a more effective case for my position.
…trying new things. Over the Christmas break, I got hooked on Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations.” One of the best parts of this show is the brutal fearlessness with which he goes into a new food experience. He strays from the popular path, into the dark alleys and remote villages of the places he visits. This has awakened in me a hunger for new things. I’m not quitting my job and traveling the world to eat sheep testicles, but I will stretch my usual life experiences into new ones. I’m starting small (trying new restaurants, ordering new dishes at the places I always go).
…philanthropy. I am blessed to have had the opportunities and experiences that I’ve had so far in life. Having spent quite a bit of time volunteering for Camp Fire USA, I am planning to give more of my time and money to charities. But I want to be more thoughtful in how I give, considering the impact and returns on these contributions. More than that, I want to be an example to my friends and family in hopes that they will do the same. As driven as we all are by our careers and hobbies, it is easy to forget our own humble beginnings and the great things that we can accomplish by giving back.

I always said that I hated New Year’s resolutions because they are arbitrary in nature. Why are you more likely to keep a resolution if you set it at the New Year, as opposed to say, March 3rd? What flipped a switch in me wasn’t the New Year—it was the long vacation at the end of the old year. I had nearly two weeks to reflect and consider my personal weaknesses, strengths, goals, and dreams. And this is where my resolutions come from—not the long-standing desire to lose weight or quit drinking at work, but one that will improve the quality of life for me and the people around me.