Turning 36

This past weekend I turned 36, not a huge milestone birthday by any means, but as always around my birthday I find myself in an introspective frame of mind, and have spent the past few days mulling over the past year, and reflecting on where I am verses where I’d like to be, so I thought I’d write down how I did on some of my goals for last year, to preserve it so next year I can look back, and do this again.

Last year around my birthday I made several goals for myself:

1.  To Learn more about SQL Server.   

I made some progress on this goal over the past year, I think I made just enough progress to learn exactly HOW very much there is to learn.  I’ve attended webinars, some local PASS Chapter meetings, read a million blog posts and gotten more involved with the professional community on Twitter.  That being said, I think I’m going to roll this goal over for another year.

To the end of learning more about SQL Server:

  • I’m going to complete at least one certification this year.
  • Attend the PASS Conference in Seattle this October (although I scheduled it during the prior year so it may not count towards next year’s goal).
  • Attend more local meetings and actually interact with other’s in the community.

Currently in my daily life I’m a SQL Developer / Database Architect, with Database Admin duties as well.  I’m extremely comfortable with T-SQL, Query Design, Table Design.  I’m learning more about Query Turning, Index design and SQL Server settings daily.

2.  To become a nicer person and improve people’s perception of me.

I’ve always viewed myself as a fairly nice guy, with a crunchy hard exterior.   For years my wife has told me that I need to be nicer to people when I first meet them, and to look at the world less through cynical eyes, and focus on good things instead of bad.   I’ve been somewhat resistant to this, as I have a hard time opening up, and talking to people that I don’t know, unless it’s in a meeting environment where we’re there to discuss a particular subject, project or goal.

Unfortunately my crunchy exterior shell is what most people see when they interact with me.   It doesn’t happen that often that people see the nice side of me, as I’m too busy hiding behind this nice comfy barrier.  Over the past year I’ve made an effort to smile more at people, greet them, and most importantly to try and become a better listener again.   I’ve been somewhat successful, but to be honest with myself, it takes time to overcome those life-long habits, and it’s something that I’ll continue to struggle with.

So it appears this goal will roll over until next year as well.

These were the two major goals I had for last year that I was at least somewhat successful with.   I had another goal that I failed at miserably, and truth be told it’s less of a goal and more of a fond desire / wish.

3. Move 

I was optimistic last year around my birthday that the next year would be the turn, and the economy would start to build again.  While it has to some extent leveled out, and not gotten worse, it hasn’t dramatically turned, nor has the housing market recovered.   The reasons for this are plentiful, and depending on what side of the debate you’re on you can argue whose fault this is.

Regardless, without a turn in the housing market, and being able to sell my house for at least what is owed, I’m stuck driving a hour and 15 minutes to work each day, no matter how much I hate it.

I’ll be tabling this goal, for another year, maybe this year, maybe the year after that.  At this point I’m not entirely sure, looking at the state of Georgia schools that my goal should be to stay in the state of Georgia.   My kids are so important to me, and giving them a chance in the world is very high on the priority list.   Will the public school system in Georgia be able to provide them with at least that level playing field that they need in order to compete?  I really just don’t know.

Overall I’d rate my 35th year as fairly successful.  I met most of my professional goals, I have a wife that I love very much, two brilliant and engaging children.  I am still a bit slim on the friend front, but I have a few that I care about, and am glad to have them.   My goals for this next year will be:

  • Learn more about SQL Server
  • Continue to work on my public persona.
  • Enjoy my family
  • Enjoy my friends
  • Get in better physical shape



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