2005 Christmas Letter

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As is my tradition, it’s time for my 2005 recap. This year wasn’t as much of a pain as 2004, so I don’t expect this entry will be as long as last year’s. Let’s see. January began with the start of my MBA. I took two classes, one called “Leading Teams,” and the other “Project Management.” I particularly enjoyed the leadership class, much to my surprise. It sounded like it was going to be a touchy-feely class where we sat in a circle and sang.

However, in reality I learned a great deal about my own leadership strengths and weaknesses, and was able to use the classroom as a laboratory of self-examination. I know that sounds bizarre, but let me explain. I was thrust into my first supervisory experience when I was 22. During that time I managed as many as 45 people, and I thought I did ok. I always knew I was a bit of a control-freak, but I had trouble turning it off and chilling out. I never knew why.

The first week of this class, we were broken into teams, and I was fortunate enough to be put into a fabulous, hard-working, intelligent group. It was my first positive school team experience. As we laid out our personal goals for the semester, I asked the group to allow me to take a back seat and let others lead the team. I wanted to figure out what the problem was in a setting where I wouldn’t be held accountable if the team failed. As the semester continued, I began to realize that my problem wasn’t that I am a control-freak, it’s that I have fundamental problems with trusting other people to do what they say they’ll do. If I trust the people, I have no problem letting them do their thing.

It may not sound like much of an insight, but I can tell you it’s changed my entire leadership style. It’s helped coming into this new position in a new company at that same time, because I have been able to assemble my team from the ground up… no “hand-me-down” employees. Anyhoo, that was a lot on one silly class. I apologize. My other class was Project Management, which was mostly review for me, but it’s required, AND the professor for that class is my best candidate for advising me on my Ph.D. should I choose to continue after the MBA.

Ok, finally on to February. In February I started having sinus problems and at the same time, my gall bladder decided to start failing. This resulted in plenty of pain and unhappiness on my part.

Absolutely nothing interesting or important happened in March, so I’ll just skip it and go right to April.

In April, Jenna and I officially announced that we were an “online couple.” Dozens of other online personas sobbed uncontrollably as possibly the two most eligible singles on Diaryland were now spoken for. This was quickly negated when I dropped Diaryland and chose a host that actually works on a regular basis. Yes, in April I left D-Crap for greener pastures. This resulted in my having to learn a completely new script language, and finally learn how to write style sheets, but in the end it was worth it.

The summer months were filled with travel. I took a trip to Colorado where I met the Juddhole. Mere days after Jenna¬†arrived here, my classes started once again. I enrolled in “Leadership and Change” and “Enterprise Resource Planning Systems.” They may sound completely unrelated, and you’re right… they are. I have two emphases in my MBA, Leadership and Operations Management.

My sickness that had really technically started in February now was getting much worse. I ended up with a monster infection that wouldn’t die. I missed work, I missed school, I couldn’t function. I would get used to the fever at 103, and it would go up higher. There were a couple of times I wanted to call 911 (and was talked out of it for budgetary reasons). After missing as much school and work as I had, it was time to drop my classes and give myself a chance to recover. It sucked after the investment of time, but it was needed.

I went on to complete 3 rounds of Amoxicillin, 2 Z-packs, and finally 1 round of something they wouldn’t even tell me the name of… That knocked it out, but my immune system was shot. I continued to catch everything that came along.

Alright, so where are we? November? Uh… In November I took my web hosting & design hobby to the next level by becoming a hosting reseller. That sucks up a lot of free time now, and I’m a nerd so it’s lots of fun.

And that brings us to now… Christmas is right around the corner. We’ll be in Kansas for Christmas, and then we’re flying to Philly for New Year’s Eve. That brings us to the end of the year. Hopefully next year will bring continued success and happiness, and much less sickness. Oh, and some new garage door openers. Merry Christmas to all!