The end of the year
Looking back at the end of the year of 2004 I find myself thinking a lot about many diverse things. On one level, this has been one of, perhaps the, best years of my life. For the first time in my life I have been in a relationship for an entire year, marking an important first for me, one that I treasure each and every day.
Business wise, while the beginning of the year was not particularly promising, the final quarter of the year was fairly decent, though I am still awaiting a major payment from one client, so that will make a big difference in the final reckoning for the year.
On another personal note, this year marked two of my best friends getting married, I made it to one wedding, but not to the other, so that is a minor note of sadness, but overall it was a great year and one that perhaps marks a new phase in my life and that of my friends. It is also notable that while in previous generations this might have meant our twenties, in this generation it means our thirties (all of my friends who have gotten married were over 33, I am 30, my girlfriend 34).
In the upcomming year I expect to have many complex challenges professionally, I hope that I will have a good year from a finacial perspective, but it is always a challenge as a small businessman to predict what my future will hold. In the upcomming year I hope to expand considerably my consulting business, to hold MeshForum successfully, and to, I hope, expand in a few other interesting ventures. On the non-financial front I hope that my contributions to various groups and organizations which I believe in will continue and expand, that each group I support will grow and further their mission, with my contributions help as much as I can.
On a personal front I hope that my relationship with Julia continues and strengthens, that no matter what the upcomming year may bring in our professional lives that we continue to grow closer to each other and get to know each other more deeply and in new ways. Her smile inspires me, her laughter helps me, I only hope that I can help her, that my quirks and idiocyncracies amuse her.
While we start out this year here in Chicago it is not impossible, indeed it is somewhat probable, that we may end the year in a new city (perhaps even a new country). While this is exciting, it is also a bit nervewracking, if I thought that small moves within Chicago were complicated, what might a move to another city (let alone to another country) entail. A challenge we will face when and if it comes.
My goals for the year, in no particular order and by no means a complete list are:
1. Clean and organize my home, especially my papers, placing the last decade into a bit more order.
2. Catch up on the pile of unread books, which means reading books at a higher rate than last year, probably 3-4 books a week which would be the pace I read at for most of my life, but not the past few years.
3. Expand my business, adding at least three, but ideally more like 6-10 new clients for JigZaw. Ideally by this time next year I would like to have 3-4 employees at JigZaw whom I am keeping busy on a nearly full time basis (i.e. nearly fully billable at a level that compensates them well and keeps JigZaw's clients very happy)
4. Continue this year's travels, perhaps even at a higher pace, with a visit potentially planned for Brazil, ideally with other visits to NYC, San Fran, LA, Santa Barbara, Washington DC, London, and who knows, perhaps other parts of the globe (a return to India would be great but may not be financially in the cards)
5. Write. Write. Write. Both here on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet, but ideally for publication in multiple places. I have a number of non-fiction topics I would like to expand upon and turn into articles. As well I hope see some of my fiction or poetry published somewhere and to try to finish at least one of my novels in progress.
6. Network. Attending a number of good conferences, as well as monthly local networking opportunities, as well as increase the number of new people I meet with each week. People I know have a goal of meeting with (in some form at least) 4-6 new people a day - not sure if I can match that, but I should make an attempt to do so - it can only be a good thing for me in the long run.
Above all, I should and will enjoy life - I am blessed by love of family, of Julia, of friends. In the upcomming year I should and will concentrate on returning that love, on remaining close to those whom I hold dear.