2008 has been a tumultuous year. It's been busier than most of the years in recent memory, both socially and work-wise. It's been filled with intense events - both positive and negative.
There has been way too much sickness this year. I've been sick a couple of times (coinciding with my birthday and Christmas, bleh), but that's nothing compared to the folks in my world that had serious medical issues. My friend Dave had a stroke this summer (he's 40) - thankfully it was caught right away and after some rehab he's doing *really* well now, slightly over six months later. My friend Adam (35) was suddenly struck with Gullain-Barre Syndrome and is currently in the hospital where he's been for over a month now - he's just regaining some small ability to move his hands and legs, but still can't talk (he's breathing through a tracheostomy) or move much. This is one of the healthiest people I know - WTF??? We know his road to recovery will be long but he'll get there. Still other friends lost relatives or dealt with their own illness, and the number of folks who caught the flu this fall/winter was outrageous.
Those of you who know me well know how much my cats Kaju and Kasha have meant to me over the last 8.5 years. When Kaju was diagnosed with lymphoma in March, I was devastated. She had almost 8 more months with us thanks to chemotherapy, but it wasn't nearly enough. We had to put her down the day of my 40th birthday party - oh my that was an odd day.
My tenure as WSO2's Director of Java Platforms is over (see Sanjiva's note). I'll still hopefully be doing some consulting work for WSO2, and I believe strongly in their mission. But for now, I'm sort of lazily looking around for my next gig - if you have any ideas or things I should consider, drop me a line! I'm focusing on consulting for now but would consider the right full-time opportunity if something awesome came up. In the meanwhile I'm hoping to stretch my brain a bit learning some new stuff (FaceBook and Android development).
And then there was the economy. 'Nuff said.
So, that's some of the unfortunate stuff. On the bright side - well, there's the obvious. :) Perhaps the most exciting political moment for the US in my lifetime, and I got to watch it happen while sitting with fabulous people in New Orleans at ApacheCon. Although things were intensely busy, so much of it was wonderful - four weddings in close succession over the summer, the birth of my fantastic nephew Jason, discovering Twitter and FaceBook, doing some great work with WSO2, and spending time with friends new and old. I threw April a fantastic 40th birthday party, and then she threw me one. :) Our relationship has been a focus this year as well, and we've both been growing with and around each other in some wonderful ways. I feel truly blessed to be a part of the community of brilliant, creative, and caring people that surround me.
2009 has the potential to be a pivotal, and very healing, year for us as individuals, as an overlapping set of communities, and as a nation. I hope we fulfill that promise, and I'm ready to do what I can to make it happen.
With an open and spacious hope for the future, I wish you all a very very happy new year. As Savas says, "Be happy, love, and smile!"