Evaluating the past year
Another new year is here and is customary by many at this time of year, I'm evaluating how things have changed from a year ago, what worked and what didn't.
Personally speaking, this turned out to be a fantastic year. My wife and I got to adopt again, this time from Kansas. We now have two healthy and happy boys and we couldn't be happier about it. I'd like to think we're done having kids but my wife still thinks we need to have a girl. Who knows then; maybe we'll adopt again in a couple years. For now, I'm happy.
Looking back at what I said last year, "I tend to be optimistic in my estimations." Honestly, that hasn't changed much. In fact, my overall work/family/sleep balance is off. I continue to work way too much. I enjoy what I do immensely but I manage to stay up until 3am almost every night (heck, it's 3am now as I write this).
I'd like to bring things more into balance and also spend more time excercising (beyond playing chase and other assorted horseplay with the kids).
Admittedly, this year hasn't always been roses. I'm still not the best when it comes to billing and sometimes clients arent't the fasttest at paying. Combine the two along with taking some time off for the adoption and it created a severe money crunch. Thankfully, it looks like I'm over that hump and back on track for this year.
I've flirted with the idea of going back into a full-time job working for somebody else. If the right offer came along, I suspect I could be convinced but for now, I'm happy continuing on with freelance.
I enjoy travelling and 2007 was a good year. I managed to go to Vancouver to be one of the official bloggers for Web Directions North, was in New York speaking at Future of Web Design, a quick day trip to Seattle (getting to meet Bill Gates), a nice trip to Dallas for the Webmaster Jam Session and of course Kansas (along with a short stay in Chicago getting a passport). Oh, and of course the now annual trip to Austin for SXSW.
This year should be about the same. Right off the bat, at the end of this month, I'll be back in Vancouver for Web Directions North, speaking this time around. After which, it'll be SXSW but not speaking. Our family is planning a Disney Carribean cruise in October, the day after which I'll be flying out to Chicago for An Event Apart. I don't have anything else officially scheduled but you never know when something might pop up.
This year saw two books I was involved with hit the shelves: The Art & Science of CSS and Accelerated DOM Scripting. I even got the opportunity to do the tech review for Aaron Walter's upcoming book, Building Findable Web Sites. I don't have any plans to write another full-length book but don't mind the idea of contributing in a smaller capacity, like just doing a chapter or two.
Make no mistake, writing a book is a lot of work. For Accelerated DOM Scripting, there was so much research involved, not only in testing the code but in making sure the approaches I took made sense or that any historical references were accurate. I learned so much just writing the book.
Ah yes, this blog. By the end of the year, I definitely wasn't writing as much as I would've liked. I had written a bunch of stuff but half the time, I scrapped it before posting it. Hopefully that'll change. Half the time, it's getting inspired enough to write anything at all. The other half, it's finding the time to just write. I'm not sure that I've got a plan specifically in place for that but I suppose we'll see where the year takes me.
Design-wise, I'm actually still happy with the current design. I have no plans to do a redesign, although I may tweak things here and there.
So, what do I expect from 2008? In many ways, I anticipate it to be much like 2007. There will be plenty of work, plenty of time spent with friends and getting to travel. However, I have this nagging feeling that I want a change and I'm just not sure what it means, yet...