NOT A WHINER
I’ve been really intrigued by a meme making the rounds of the blogsphere concerning goals for the coming year and picking a theme word, rather than the usual New Year’s resolution.
As with all memes, they start with a blogger picking the topic of discussion (in this case, Tara Hunt at HPC) and was picked up by my friend, Tom LaRock ( blog | twitter) in his blog post, Why I Don’t Like Kevin Kline and Never Tag Him in Memes.
As in all memes, one blogger starts it off and then others are tagged, spreading the chain outward. So Tom tagged several other good friends of mine, all of whom also chose to ignore me including: Brent Ozar (blog | twitter), Jeremiah Peschka (blog | twitter), Tim Ford (blog | twitter), and Jason Massie (blog | twitter) in their respective blog posts. So here’s the chain of the mem a couple levels deep:
- Brent’s goals and theme word blog post entitled “I’m Proud to Drink Zima With My Pinky Sticking Out“. Brent didn’t pass on the meme. Et tu, BrentO?
- Jeremiah’s goals and theme word blog post entitled “Those Raspberries on My Blog Page Are Hugely Symbolic…”
- Jeremiah tagged Matt Nowack, Rick Kierner, and Jeff Blankenburg whom I don’t know.
- Jorge Segarra (blog | twitter), whom I -DO- know, responded in his blog post called “There’s Going to be Some Bank Robbing in My Future“. Jorge in turn tagged: Ron Dameron (Blog | Twitter), Jonathan Gardner (Blog | Twitter), Tim & Lori Edwards (Blog | His Twitter – Her Twitter) whom I just had the pleasure of meeting at the last PASS Summit and, in a sacrilegious move sure to enrage the High Church for inviting a non-SQL person, his own wife, Jessica Segarra (Blog | Twitter). Actually, I really want Jorge to bring Jessica to a PASS or SQLSaturday event – WITH MANY OF HER INCREDIBLY YUMMY RECIPES READY FOR US TO EAT.
- Since I know only Lori Edwards out of this group of taggees, you can read her (and Tim’s) blog entry here. The Edwards, however, tagged no one else.
- Tim’s goals and theme word blog post entitled “I Rocked Her World With Nothing More than a 79' Chevette and a Rush Mix Tape“. Tim, in turn, tagged a few more friends.
- Andy Leonard (blog | twitter), close friend and fellow Nashvillian Joe Webb (blog | twitter). Neither of these picked up the meme.
- Possibly the coolest Canadian not sporting hair, Colin Stasiuk (blog | twitter) wrote his goals bloggery, “Comment Crazy and the Nasty Red Fonts of Doom“, and in turn tagged Andy Leonard (introduced earlier), Jorge Segarra (introduced earlier), and a new (but quite significant) blogger, Michelle Ufford (blog | twitter). Sadly, Michelle hasn’t blogged since last November. But there’s still time Michelle!
- Jason didn’t pick up the meme and, honestly, I can’t tease him since I don’t know him that well. However, I do hear he can wax poetic about bacon much the same way my Dutch friends get misty-eyed about certain strains of cheese.
Where’s the love, I ask?
THEME WORD, I HAZ IT.
I love it that so many of my friends are focusing not only on their technology skills and professional stature, but also on their family life and spiritual life. I’ve long believed that specialization was for insects, but we – as human beings – are multifaceted and have manifold skills and traits that need to be cultivated. There’s no reason an educated and urbane 21st century American can’t be physically fit, in tune with their family and significant other, able to write a cheesy line of verse, sing a few bars of a popular song, take a decent picture, repair a broken toaster, and do some on-line banking. As others have said before me, our parents and grandparents had one career and one employer. That’s not our lot in life.
So my theme word for 2010 is MULTIFARIOUS.
Pretty weird, eh?
When I first encountered the word multifarious, I thought of the word nefarious. Nefarious means “bad or evil”, so I thought multifarious meant “lotsa bad or evil”. In fact, they’re antonyms. Multifarious, in its Latin roots, means “many” plus “goodies” while nefarious means “negative or not” plus “goodies”.
So if you can think of another word that means “having many different parts, elements, or forms; numerous and varied; greatly diverse or manifold”, then I want to use that one. In the meantime, my theme word is multifarious because 2010 is my year of focusing on many elements, some long-neglected, in my life.
GOALS, HAZ DEM TOO.
Like many of the other folks I teased earlier, I have a variety of goals – some related to work (and therefore technology) and some not.
- Personal Goals: In 2010, I’m working on some entirely non-technology goals because I frankly feel a little too much dehumanized by technology. I want to put some humanity back into my life. So here are a few quick hit goals:
- Fresh berries are very expensive, but berry bushes are not. The strawberries are already in and blackberries are a goal this spring. There’s something very primal about digging in the dirt that reconnects us with the earth and our agrarian roots.
- I used to be a very accomplished Spanish guitarist – about 20 years ago. Twenty years of abstention puts the ol’ guitar skills at zero. I’m going to pick up the guitar and get at least three of those back.
- I intend to master at least a half-dozen knots. Knots? Yes, knots – the kind you make with laces, rope, or twine. Hey, I’ve got seven kids in the house and you never know when a half-hitch sheep-shank will come in handy to lash several of them to a chair, the stair rail, or in a moment of dire need, a toilet.
- I intend to spend at least one weekend of one-on-one time with each of my kids and step-kids. I don’t really believe in the concept of quality time, since as many learning moments come when dad bangs his thumb with a hammer as from any other so-called special time. But in this unusually large family with distractions nearly every waking moment, I still want to set aside a little time under the label “Just Dad and Me”.
- Zero consumer debt except for the mortgage. (Dave Ramsey is my hero!)
- Somehow – some way – I want to get a worm-eye-view photo of any man wearing a kilt at the PASS 2010 Summit. Strictly for blackmail purposes. (Grant and Steve, you’re on notice!)
- Diversification Goals: Here are a few goals for 2010 that relate to my livelihood, but are not part of my day job.
- At least one major new book for this year. I frequently gripe about the ROI of book writing these days. However, there are still a few powerful topics to address. So, with that in mind, I have one technology book ready to pitch and, believe it or not, one non-technology book.
- Improve my personal productivity – somehow, someway. Maybe more caffeine?
- Revamp my personal website. It’s visually rather dull at the moment.
- I developed a lot of new personal skills in 2009, like wiring and electronics. I’m continuing that because I’m also very close to filing my very first provisional patent (non-IT, believe it or not). I’ll blog about that whole process in much greater details when the time is right. But this is my biggest diversification goal for 2010.
- Retool my presentation style to be story-driven, rather than bulletpoint-driven. I felt like I’ve given some useful and informative presentations over the years. But I can do better and I know it. I’ve always been drawn to the old Southern tradition of story-telling and I’d like to bring that to life in my presentations. That goal starts immediately since I have presentations almost every week and, while it might get easier with time, it’ll never go away as a goal.
So that’s a wrap for me. I don’t have any specific goals about number of presentations, blogposts, or podcasts (though I want to do as much as I can). Sure, I want to continue to actively present, blog, write, tweet, digg, scribble, podcast, and otherwise excrete goodness into both print and the Internet.
Why, yes, there is one other thing. It’s a meme, right? So that means I need to tag a few others. First, I want to beseech those already tagged to go ahead and share with us – Joe, Andy, Jason, and Michelle. Please give us your wisdom!
Next, I’m going to tag a few friends in hopes of nudging them into another blog post, cause all of these folks are t’awesome but don’t blog enough:
- Andy Kelly (blog | twitter)
- Jonathan Kehayias (blog | twitter)
- Adam Machanic (blog | twitter)
- Simon Sabin (blog | twitter)
Ok, team, bring the thunder.