I started writing this end-of-year post in my head a few days ago, and I was thinking that there wouldn’t be much to post. However, when I flipped back through my social media feed for the year, I was reminded that it was quite a busy year, with lots of highs and some lows as well.
For better or worse, 2014 was the biggest travel year of my life. I spent time in 16 different states and traveled through four different countries, including an extended stay in Lisbon, Portugal for their SQL Saturday event. Though it was exciting to get to see new and exciting parts of the world (hello, New Jersey!), my travel schedule was taxing, especially on my wife and kids. I’m looking forward to a little more balance on my travel schedule in the upcoming year.
Professionally, 2014 was my most successful year yet. In my first full year as an independent consultant, I stayed fully booked thanks to a handful of awesome clients. Due to the amount of billable work I was doing (a good thing, of course), I didn’t make as much progress on some other career goals I had in mind – namely, a yet-to-be-named application that I’ve wanted to build for some time. I’m not going to wish for less work in 2015, but I am expecting to make better use of my free time to push forward on these other, non-client-related goals. Also, I received the Microsoft MVP award for SQL Server, the fifth consecutive year I’ve received this distinction. And just this month, we released the second edition of our SSIS Design Patterns book.
Personally, there were some sad times in 2014. In June, my paternal grandfather died unexpectedly. At 83 years old, he had lived a full life, but since he had not been acutely ill, none of us really had the opportunity to say goodbye. Though we did have our differences, I loved my grandfather and will miss him. Also, I lost a couple of high school friends this year. Early in 2014, my high school classmate Pam Smith passed away, lost too soon to cancer. More recently, my friend Janet Kohavi died just days before Christmas. She had battled health issues for most of her life, but handled these obstacles with bravery. Janet was one of the most genuine person I have ever known – she was happy to share her opinions, even if they were controversial, and had a way of disagreeing with folks while still remaining friendly with them. Janet and I stayed in close contact via social media, and I will miss chatting with her.
On the positive side, there were many enjoyable moments in 2014 as well. Early in the summer, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine to own a Corvette. I bought a gently used 1992 Corvette back in May, and have slowly made it my own. Also during the summer, Rachel and I took a road trip to Austin, Texas to see our favorite band, Rascal Flatts. We also bought season tickets for Six Flags, and made several trips with the kids. We found time to hit the road on several family road trips, including a camping excursion which we hope to repeat next year. We’ve also made new friends and reconnected with old ones. Oh, and I got my first tattoo as well.
I’ll remember 2014 as an eventful year. In spite of some sad times, on the whole it was an exceptional year. Now that we’re moving on, I’m very much looking forward to what 2015 will bring.