Wrapping up the Year

I've decided to start a new tradition this year after almost three years of this "blog" thing (wow... I started this in 2005) I'm doing an end of the year wrap up and you'll see my nice "New Year's Resolutions" come morning.

This year has been incredible for me, even though I think none of my resolutions from last year really came to fruition. But I like to start at the beginning so let's see HOW I did on last years resolutions. I divided them into categories.

Personal - well didn't do too hot there. I did start going to the dentist, a nice infected wisdom tooth got me back in the swing of things, but I have yet to get my rear in to see a regular doctor, not a good thing when my depression and blood sugar have been flaking out on me. The addition of a dog to our house has made the walking daily thing a reality, or at least four days a week. I've lost all but the last 20-25 pounds of my baby fat which means I met more than half of my weight loss goal, always a good thing. I'm still not too hot on time organization or one-on-one time with the kids. However, I have improved most everything but housecleaning. I think I'll give up and hire someone to come in once a week for the heavy duty mop, dust, sweep stuff. I can keep the house picked up but cleaning is evil. Last but not least, thanks to a child who thinks that 6 am is happy wake up and play time, I get up on time now. I still need to work on a bedtime routine for the kids and myself.

Code and Work - well that didn't go so well either. Other than a real simple article and some podcasts I haven't been writing like I should. I did accomplish a lot in my autobuild system, but it still requires too much setup and monitoring at this point. On the positive side, I have been able to get some stuff done for php extensions and started up Forkr. Now I just need to punt some time into the project - when 5.3 is ready I want to be as well.

Projects - no blog redesign, no spring cleaning, I did get the bedroom done and some of my stuff on Ebay, still a lot more to go...

Final verdict? A mixed bag. I am happier, I think, and healthier, but I still don't clean as much as I should and my kids drive me up a wall many days. I think I need to tie trash cans to their backsides until they understand that the floor is NOT where you throw things. But just when I think I'm completely failing as a mother they do something fantastic - my baby girl learning to say "thank you" and being more polite than her brothers, my three year old learning his alphabet, my six year old learning to read, my fourth grader coming in second in the school-wide spelling bee (he was beat by a fifth grade girl). And then I found a writing assignment from school where my oldest was supposed to write down his "Christmas wish". I was expecting a plea for a new video game or a toy...but instead he wished that his aunt would have a healthy baby and come through delivery well so I must be doing something right. Moments in time remind me why I got into the "baby business" in the first place.

On a positive note, sometimes things happen that you completely don't expect. For me it has been helping out with phpwomen and my involvement in the php community. Although I've been doing stuff online for years, I'd never gotten involved socially. I did the college thing until my life went on a detour with babies and marriage, and then the single mother thing while I learned more about IT than I ever wanted to know, and then the mommy thing while life became stable and fun again, and each stage in my life PHP was a fun thing to do, either as part of my job or a hobby.

Finally with the last baby almost two years old and ten years after my first baby sent my life in a detour I'm back to where I wanted to be, a nice balance of career and family. I've met some fantastic people in the PHP community, taught myself C to the point where I'm fairly proficient (not guru yet but that day will come), found my niche (PHP on Windows is not an Oxymoron), went to conferences, learned new things, and now I'm moving on again in my job.

You know that corny saying "When god closes a door look for a window" - well I've found it to be entirely true in my life and although I may have taken a bumpy path, and a career that I didn't plan for, I'm happy with where I ended up. I want to thank everyone who has helped me find my wings, and especially to the people in the phpwomen and phpc communities for their friendship and advice.

See you next year with another set of resolutions!

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