Goodbye to 2009

Lifting fog

Fog lifting from the beach near Chinook Winds in Lincoln City, Oregon. It seemed like a good picture for the turn of the year.

This is the last journal post of 2009. It's been a hell of a year. While it was productive in places, and parts of it were extremely good, it was also even more stressful than 2008. I'm happy to see the end of it.

The year started with a serious illness in the family that cast a bit of a shadow over much of the year. I was also sick a couple of times, once rather miserably, and felt overly stressed for much of the year. Partly as a result, this was my worst year for reading and reviewing since I started, and I struggled with a few other personal goals.

Much of my work year was spent working on virtualization, which was ultimately successful but very frustrating along the way. Work also saw strange management prioritization decisions and a few rushed projects and ended with proposals for reorganization that were distracting and promised more hard overhead work to come that will take time away from projects. One major upgrade project is still looming.

But, that said, I'm still in the job I want to be in, doing the work that I want to be doing. I also got a lot of volunteer work done last year, particularly early in the year, with numerous Lintian releases and two Policy releases for Debian. The Shibboleth packages for Debian are in use and working. And the upcoming work reorganization, while it will drain energy in the beginning of the year, has some potential to give me more focus and let me shed some of the annoying work I don't want to do (such as more virtualization).

I've spent the last couple of weeks clearing my head and putting the year behind me, and I spent today doing a comprehensive review, cleaning out my to-do list, and starting to write down the things I want to accomplish and work on for next year. The combination of extended vacation and the feeling of list-making and time change in the air always makes that process easier. Right now, I'm feeling quite positive towards 2010, and know I will be in even better shape once I get over a few early hurdles in the year.

I won't be posting any lists of new-year resolutions or goals. I think goals are better managed privately, to avoid creating artificial constraints and pressure against rethinking and reconsidering them. I only have one that I want to mention publicly: In this next year, I want to waste less energy on meaningless arguments. Before entering an argument, I want to think carefully about whether the argument will serve any purpose: a decision that matters, a useful exchange of views, a broadening of my understanding or thoughts. If it won't, I don't need to participate. I'll waste energy entering the argument, and I'll waste even more energy and emotional calm trying to exit the argument. It's okay to sit on messages for a while until I can decide whether I really want to send them, and it's okay to let meaningless arguments slide away without a reply.

I hope everyone who reads this has a very good new year, and if you also do mental brush-clearing and realignment this time of year, I hope you've reached a thorough and rewarding ordering of your thoughts.

See you in 2010!

Posted: 2009-12-31 23:43 — Why no comments?

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04