… because I might change my mind.

New Year’s Fortnight

I have resisted the trite New Year’s resolution post. There’s a part of me that hates going along with what is expected. I also think I’m still recovering from November’s post-a-day marathon. Then December was a month-long workday. After working long hours day after day, it’s hard to muster any energy to write something remotely coherent. As January opened, my December hangover lingered. I am just now wiping away the cobwebs and ready to start writing again.

But what am I going to write?

Rather than look forward, I am going to pause to look back. Not that I can do anything about what happened in 2007, but I think there are some lessons to learn in the review.

In the fall of 2007, I took part in a men’s group at church. I plan to continue the second half of that course this spring. What I learned by participating was not really anything new. It was a reminder that men need to be with other men for accountability. A reminder that I am flawed. (Jen will be surprised to read that I am flawed. She thinks I’m perfect in every way.) And encouragement that my crazy background is matched by a lot of the backgrounds of other men — many of whom I would never think shared life experiences with me. In 2008, I want to be even more transparent — and I think I was fairly transparent in the small group I am in. I also want to be more intentional about acting on some of the things I learn/realize/experience in this group. That’s not the easiest thing for me. I am cognitive. I enjoy the mental exercise. Which also means I can overthink things into inaction. I don’t want to do that with this group. If that’s all I do, I will have wasted this opportunity.

In 2007, I did a decent job of making time for Jen and Keegan. But as you might assume, “decent” signals much room for improvement. I need to be more intentional about being present when I have time with Jen and K-Man. I can’t waste those opportunities.

In 2007, I was unsuccessful in reaching some goals at work. I am an attorney, and I work in a firm. What that means, is that my life is ruled by the billable hour. The firm places expectations for billable hours on attorneys like me. We have to bill a minimum of hours each year. We are encouraged to bill more than the minimum by the firm’s bonus structure. When 2007 started, I set some goals for myself in terms of billable hours. I did not meet those goals. (I hate even admitting that!) But what did I learn from 2007? That sometimes, I need to worry about me and my family more than I worry about what is best for my reputation. Huh? Suffice it to say that I left some money on the table in 2007. Money that my family could have used in any number of ways. So for 2008, I intend to do what I have to do to ensure I am in a position to earn what I can for the family. Now that doesn’t mean that I need to work more hours necessarily. What it means is that I need to make every opportunity I have count. If my workload slips, I need to secure more work. I don’t want to waste this opportunity.

2007 was a good year. Here’s to a solid 2008. Here’s to a 2008 that balances life and family and friends and faith and work. In the first fortnight of the year, things seem to be on course.


6 responses

  1. Keegan would have NEVER remembered what you bought him with those dollars that you missed out on.But he will ALWAYS remember you being around when he was little.

    January 10, 2008 at 12:23 am

  2. Men have a hard gig, many hats.

    January 15, 2008 at 10:13 am

  3. ha, thanks bill. i’m over the hair. there’s more to life, right?i can’t wait to hang out with keegan! just tell me the date and time!

    January 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm

  4. wow. I just read the Keegan story. You had me all choked up….

    January 26, 2008 at 2:07 am

  5. Bill -I’m starting to wonder if you’re still in the blogosphere. You must be doing excellent at the “spending time with family and capitalizing on work opportunities.” For that, I say “great.” For our blog-loss, I say “boo.”

    January 30, 2008 at 11:51 pm

  6. ditto to seantk…

    January 31, 2008 at 8:04 pm

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