Now as the year winds down, I reflect on how this year was unique, challenging, and do an inventory on myself. I also want to take the time to mention those who have made an impact on my life this year (for better or worse). Don’t be discouraged if you are the ones that have made my life more difficult–look at it as though you have made me better in a way. I will elaborate later in the post.
At this time, I didn’t think that I would still be doing work as a contractor for a major financial business. I thought that I would be somewhere in Japan or something, but DPuggie and company were where I felt I needed to be. From New Years I was busy. I was asked to train some marketing Microsoft employees on SharePoint, so I made a trip up to campus right after their horrendous ice storm and tasted Dixie’s BBQ and met "the man". A few days later I was off to Switzerland to participate in the first MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) Summit for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Asia). Got a tour from a great friend FSanchez, who took me to a Wine and Spice shoppe. DANKE! I learned the value of loyalty and friendship.
I was pissed the whole month because my favorite sports team, The Chicago Bears, lost the Superbowl to the frickin’ Indianapolis Colts. I will stop here because I will go into a rage. Suffice it to say–this month I learned to keep my tongue in check.
I was introduced to a company (Synergy) that is quite the remarkable enterprise. They flew me out to Hawaii to meet the CEO and wanted to know if I would pool my resources with theirs and form the LATAM branch. Everything seemed nice and I wanted to run some numbers. So I did and I agreed. I learned that the numbers aren’t always correct. And that I should divide in half whatever I think I have and double whatever I think the liabilities are.
My second triathlon. I beat my previous year’s time and moved up in the ranks. The swim seemed easier and the bike seemed effortless…it was the run that kicked my butt. I learned that I should train for twice the distance. Really. I also spoke at the MCT Summit for North America in Redmond, WA.
I was also invited to participate in a private gathering where a couple of Microsoft Senior Executives and Steve Ballmer answered questions in a panel setting. It was a virtual "Who’s Who" in the industry: Karen Forester, Mary Jo Foley, Mark Russinovich, Mark Minasi, Doug Barney, Jesper Johanssen, Jim McBee, et al. I was lucky enough to get the microphone to ask Bob Muglia a question. To my (and everyone else’s) surprise, he said, "You’ll have to ask my boss that question". When SteveB came in, it was obvious he had been briefed on the question posed to him and the FIRST thing Ballmer commented on was directed at me. I was an easy target…I was sitting smack dab in the middle of room about 20 feet away. I *was* going to say (in my best Al Sharpton voice) something to the effect of why there were no blacks in that room…but reason shook me back to reality.
While I was in Redmond, I also received a prelim interview with COfori of the SharePoint Enginering Team at Microsoft.
This month I overdid it. I tried to achieve and do too much and my stress level went WAY up. I achieved everything I set out to do, but it was too much and the assimilation hurt. Volunteer for half as much and do it twice as good. That’s what I learned.
Went to Brazil for the MCT Summit for LATAM. My evaluation scores were very high. On a 0-9 scale (9 being highest) I got several 10s. I was flattered. I learned that LATAM is much more formal in the workplace than in the US.
I officially drank the Kool-aid this month (joined Microsoft). I learned that I could have pushed my start date out, which would have been more to my advantage, so not being so anxious to start something and wait for the BEST things is the way to go.
Attended TechEd in Orlando. Started house hunting in this month. Got blown out of the water when I saw the prices!
Attended the MS Company party. Very nice. HUGE.
I start working on my first feature for a product. Lots of ramp up to do. I learned that putting the research work up front is WAY better than trying to do it as you go along.
My bank fails! They still owe me over $1000 and I’m pissed! I also attended my first Company Meeting which was Bill Gates’ last meeting as an employee. Steve Ballmer even shed tears at the occasion. Very surreal.
My aunt passes away almost a year (to the day) that her son (my cousin) passed away. It was a hard week. A "friend" that I had showed their true colors and it hurt me. I thought I had learned a lesson here, but I was mistaken. It wasn’t until the next month that I really learned it.
I spoke at two conferences this month; SharePoint Connections in Las Vegas, and IT Forum in Barcelona. Both were great! It was this month that I learned some hard emotional lessons. I will never forget them. I got slapped around by some dear friends for which I am very grateful. I thought November was a bad month, but in reality–it was an exercise is tough love and how to be the owner of my feelings.
The lessons continued (and continue). I was diagnosed with bi-lateral pulmonary embolus; put me in the hospital for 3 days. Had to take 2 stomach injections of Lovenox a day plus Warfarin (rat poison) to keep the clots from forming in my lungs. I still am under therapy but I worked out for the first time since I left the hospital today and I feel GREAT!! Lesson I’m learning: moving on should mean moving UP. So far, so good. Looking forward to Berlin in a few weeks.
MY GOALS FOR 2007 as stated in DECEMBER 2006:
a) Hit 190 lbs. I went on a health kick in 2006 and it has yielded beautiful fruit. I would like to put myself into 2nd gear and hit 190 lbs with a BMI (body mass index) of 13%.
GRADE: A- I hit 189.5 but my BMI is 18%.
b) Buy a new laptop. The one I have currently is a HOSS (RAID controller; 4GB RAM, 17 inch screen…) but I need something that weighs less than 10 lbs (!)
GRADE: This was made under the assumption I was still an independent consultant. No grade.
c) Be nicer. This is one of those internal changes that will require effort each and every day for the rest of my life and probably can’t be measured except externally. By "nicer" I mean *less* mean, *less* sarcastic, *less* condescending, etc Yell less, speak softer more.
GRADE: D I am not a nicer person, and probably towards the end of this year got LESS nice. I need to work on this.
d) Be smarter. Another of those almost intangibles. I’m not necessarily talking about getting an advanced degree (no time) but I could read a good book or two (or three). I’ve decided to read one fiction, one non-fiction, and one political (right-leaning of course).
GRADE: C+ read fictional and political , but not non-fiction. I am smarter in other ways; hence the +.
e) The last (but no means least): Be more spiritual. Let the reader decide what I mean by that.
GRADE: F I failed miserably here by my own standard.
Some people say I am my hardest critic. And why shouldn’t I be? I’m the one judging me and I think I’m being fair. Harsh, yes; but fair. It shouldn’t be that much harder to be smarter, so I’ll keep that goal. My new goal for physical fitness will be to not just hit 15% BMI, but to do another triathlon or marathon this year. Being nicer will take an ENORMOUS amount of energy, but I should work toward it. The spiritual part…whew…does it make sense to make a goal if you are wondering if you will accomplish it?
2007 Shout Outs
The following people are the ones who have made a difference in my life. If it was for worse…you’ll know.
EJ (Lisa) Thanks. You know what for. Just slap me upside my head when I whine too much.
Johnson Har – You ROCK! We’ll find a way for the Kool-aid mix to get to you.
CRandall – .cafe means nothing without a difference of opinion to keep it exciting. More than a worthy opponent, you are my conscience sometimes; keeping me honest with myself. Here’s to another year of jousting.
DFrisk – Keep being harsh. I need it sometimes. You only do it cuz I bother you and you care. Thanks.
EDenekamp – Thanks for your comments and encouragement. They are appreciated.
Kimmeesook – You come and go, but when you come you leave poignant messages which keep me thinking. thank you.
KKinghorn – Your counsel is worth twice its weight in gold. Decisions will be made soon. I promise.
DPruett – Thanks for the jacket! I love it! I look forward to working with you a lot more this coming year. thanks for everything!
CSmith – Go for the MPH. You are definitely Mensa material. Keep it real. Look forward to the future!
RFournier – We both knew it was just a matter of time. Your friendship has been unconditional Both you and LA helped me buck up and move on. Thanks!
I was chided for "defaming" people; not true–but it was their opinion. I was simply exposing what other thought to the public to see if they saw what I did. I have changed my mind in calling them out. I will simply say this to them:
You have no place in my mind anymore. Too much energy was wasted on you and your thoughtless, careless and ungrateful dispositions. Ironically I need to thank you for making me stronger and helping me be more careful as to whom I trust or for whom I perform favors or help.
I think I will add one more goal for 2008: NO WHINING!! Too much energy is wasted in whining. I think I will replace the "Be Nicer" with "No whining". That way I don’t have to tolerate it from anyone else. Hmmm
So, just watch my "Where am I" web part and you’ll see that I will be traveling extensively in the first quarter. Suriname, then Berlin, then possibly Egypt and then to Brazil–in the first TWO months of the year!!
Looking forward to a prosperous and happy 2008! and wish the same for all of my friends and family. Take care!