I have to say, 2008 was a strange year for me. Every year presents challenges and every year brings new joy and new lessons. As I have said many times, you learn much more from the difficulties you face. I believe this. It is this faith, this belief in grace, that gives me peace. It helps me get out of bed in the mornings.
Looking back, I grew a lot in 2008. With growth comes growing pains.
In January, I abandoned a bid to purchase the design company I helped create in 2005. Instead, I remained attached to it as General Manager and decided to look for other investments. In April, I found an interesting new venture that turned into a real adventure for me personally and professionally. Although it has been rough — and I have sunk a lot more money, emotion, and time into it than anticipated — 2009 could see that investment turn into profit. I hope and pray that it will for everyone involved.
In my own company, I have taken on more design work and I have developed a web hosting and design business that I plan to focus on in 2009. I hope to post some exciting info on this in the coming weeks.
In February, I had the worst anxiety/panic attack I have endured since the late 80s. It was foolish on my part because I learned that I was not taking good care of myself physically or spiritually. The two are connected. I didn’t write about this attack but, as I look back on it, I did learn my limits.
In August, the new owners of the company met with me to tell me that they were eliminating my salary but wanted me to continue to work for them on a contract basis. I agreed, for the time being, but I was still focused on other investments and upon growing my own company. As I stepped back from them, and I do wish them all well, I learned another thing about myself. I have always treated my clients as if they were my own company. I take an interest in their business, their products, and their lives. Many of the people I worked with over the years approached me to offer me work. It validated my work ethic, and I am thankful for that lesson. It took a few months, but God was again faithful in his promise to prosper me and not harm me. I am glad He is God instead of me.
After Thanksgiving, I took my family to Disney and we had a great time. I blogged about it earlier if you are interested. My son now shares my roller coaster addiction and I could not be more proud.
We had a great Christmas filled with fellowship and family. It was good to see everyone and I look forward to keeping up with friends and family a bit better in 2009.
I am not a big fan of new year’s resolutions. I believe that every day is a resolution. When you get up in the morning, you make a choice to stay on course or wander off course. No insincere, but well intentioned, statement on January 1 means anything if the discipline is not there every other day. However, there are a few things I hope to do in 2009 that are worthy of listing here.
• I hope to show my kids more of the world and more of the good in it.
• I hope to focus on helping others more than I have.
• I hope to get in better shape physically, financially, and mentally.
So, in short, I need to pray more, laugh more, exercise more, eat better, sleep better and take a deep breath and relax now and then. That’s it. No half-hearted resolutions. I do intend to write more, read more, and have more quiet time.
Don’t let the world determine who you are. It doesn’t matter who will be President, what the stock market thinks, or what you do to earn a living (as long as it is legal and doesn’t compromise your morals). Hope and change comes from you, not from catch phrases and sound bites. Be thankful for what you have been given. Choose not to participate in a bad economy or a negative environment in your personal life. With the faith of a mustard seed, as the parable goes.
As C. S. Lewis once said: “You do not have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.” You are here to grow and learn. Savor the good times and pay attention to the bad times. In short, BE GOOD.