Year in Review 2018 – The Year of Making a Difference – Up to 50


Rough Year, But 50 Kids, Can’t Beat That!

Last year was a pretty rough year personally.  I totaled two cars, not my fault big trucks like to make turns into little cars, a crisis with a friend, and a mental health crisis still ongoing from June.  But I’ve stuck out my two core values “Make a Difference” and “Perseverance.”  I’ve persevered through all the things life could throw my way and came out a stronger person I hope while still making a difference on some fronts.

In the SQL community, I covered a few milestones I presented at 17 SQLSaturdays, Data Relay, and Summit this included a stretched of 7 presentations across 8 days in 3 countries thanks to Andrew Pruksi‘s (yes he always wears that shirt in his pictures on his Twitter profile, you know you have to click on the link now to check what I’m talking about) arm twisting and good planning. I presented at 4 local user groups (would have been 5 if the venue had opened, but I got a free dinner instead) and presented 5 webinars including doing 1 webinar at noon and driving 4 hours to a user group to present and driving home on the same day.  I’m a bit nuts I know.  But I enjoy what I’m doing.  Hopefully, everyone else enjoys what I’m doing.

But those aren’t the numbers that matter the most when making a difference.  I recently joined the PAIMI NC Advisory Council to be a mental health advocate.  Why would I do this?  Well, I have bipolar, and after needing a hospital stay in August in a horrible hospital, it’s time to make sure other people with mental health disabilities like me stand a chance in the world.  No one should have to go through the experience I went through and be treated the way I was under any circumstances.  When I’m in a better place to talk about this I’ll blog about this, some in the community know about the situation.

But on to happier news.  The number for the year I’m most impressed with is I’ve advocated for 8 foster kids, putting me to 50 kids total in 15 years through the NC Guardian ad Litem program.  That 50 is a big number.  When I started doing this when I was 25 years old I didn’t dream I would be doing this 15 years later let alone have spent some much time on it.  Each case is supposed to take 10 hours a month, but over this year I was spending 20 hours a month on just 1 of my 3 cases while doing almost 2 SQLSaturdays a month.

I don’t have any predefined goals for the next year or next 15 besides keep making a difference and preserve through life. I’ll continue presenting, slow down a little to write a book and save money, but stay involved I love being out there too much.  Making a difference is what keeps me sane and happy.

Yes, I did develop a hobby for a couple of you out, check my Twitter feed I posted some origami sea creatures I spent 2 hours on last night.  I’ll bring my books and paper to some SQLSaturdays and maybe keep some speaker rooms lighten up.

Here is another year of making a difference in all areas of life and maybe another 50 kids in 15 years, stay posted to find out!