Year in Review: 2014

As I look through my blog from this year I see two themes. First, I recorded more of my family life than ever before. I imagine my Twitter feed would be even better. Second, I pushed a lot of other people’s stuff. Let me explain.

We all know the importance of family. I am so happy that I have pics published of my kids’ first day of kindergarten and 4K. I’m so glad I have pics of Hans Christian in his Elmo suit at Halloween climbing those big steps, trying his hardest to keep up with the big kids (he’ll run circles around them all in six years). Katie and I at Wine Harvest festival immediately brings me back to the streets of downtown Cedarburg. I captured a bunch but I still want to capture more. I want to be more consistent and I want to keep telling a better story.

What I’ve realized is that blogging about our family stuff keeps me better involved. I think ahead. I try to make it a little more fun. I try to be creative. I do it for me and I do it for others. I’m no better than any other dads, but I’ve certainly been inspired by some great ones. I think if dads can lead their families by creating and documenting great memories, our families will be very healthy.

I also spent a good portion of 2014 promoting other people’s stuff. What I mean by this is that I aligned myself with organizations, causes, even app developers and joined their stories. It feels really good to vouch for other people’s work – especially when it’s great work. That’s the theme. But upon further reflection, the lesson learned is this: great results require work, pruning, and reworking.

For example, I worked on the beta for Pressgram, a small iOS app that allowed a user to publish a picture right to his WordPress blog. I thought it was a fantastic app, so did many other people. But John Saddington, the developer, had to discontinue it to work on something greater. Personally, I think he either pulled the plug too early or was a few yeas ahead of his time, maybe both. Now that it’s gone, I really miss the simplicity of getting a photo to my blog. But I digress. Saddington pulled the plug because he needed all his resources to be focused on his full time job plus a project 10 years in the making: Desk.

When I take this lesson and apply it to my life, I see that certain projects, even certain jobs have lead me to where I am here at the end of 2014. I worked on a big website project last year that came to a sudden end. I worked at YMCA and learned some important lessons before was hired at Pinnacle. I figured out to transition from tree care to the health and fitness industry. Jobs, projects and responsibilities grew, developed, some died, others thrived, and the result is very satisfying to me. But only through my reflection process in the last seven days have I realized this, which highlights the importance of blogging, journaling, writing of some kind. The point of this blog post isn’t to review everything that happened, but instead realize that I grew things, cut things, added things, and can see my next pursuits in life. I also see that promoting other people’s successes, other people’s projects has inspired me to pursue my own great work. I have all the tools. I have the expertise. I’m doing a good job, but I can expand and do a great job. I can be at the top of my field. I realize this after watching and walking with other great workers in my life. I’m a sports guy. 2014 was the year I studied film and put together the game plan; 2015 will be game day.

 

Life is a series of adjustments. And if we can take the necessary time to capture moments, reflect on them, and make the necessary adjustments, we have the opportunity to set ourselves up for greatness. I believe that. Do you?