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December 31, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

The Five Year Journey


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Today's song is Moondance, by Van Morrison, released in 1970.

This is my 700th page on this web site. I would never have guessed I would publish so much when I started this site. Each month about 60,000 page views are passed to my readers for their review. I am surprised to find the increased readership this year and that recognition inspires me to continue producing content. I thank all of you that stop by for whatever reason and for whatever length of time you stay.

Five years ago tonight, I walked away from my previous web site and thought I would take a year off from web publishing. As it turned out, my destiny was about to take a different path.

That path led me to start this web site and also to take advantage of the lessons learned from a deep personal introspection. In April, this site will be five years old. I think I'll wait to then to write about why this web site came into being and how it has transformed me over these last five years.

This year held a lot of changes for me. This is the day to reflect on some of those changes.

This was the year I became a grandfather. Being a grandfather is somewhat different than being a father. Many of my grandfather thoughts and feelings have their basis from the perspective of a parent, but with nuances that mark their appearance in more subtle ways. Let me try to explain what I mean in the next paragraph.

The protective reaction I endure when I hear my granddaughter is feeling sick is modified by the knowledge that my daughter is more than capable of taking care of her own daughter. In this way, my emotions wax and wane, as new experiences are encountered. I gave my daughter "space" as she grew to adulthood. It is harder to associate that same "space" with my granddaughter. It is a journey that is just beginning for me in that regard.

In this 2006 year, I spent less time with my community involvement. It turns out I needed more space this year from those previous commitments in prior years. This trend will continue in the new year as well.

Three of the Twin Oaks Toastmasters members I directly mentored, earned their Competent Communicator educational awards this year. A few others I indirectly assisted at times also earned that same achievement. It feels good to see all of them progress and evolve over time. Now some of them are themselves mentoring others.

I spent a lot of time this 2006 year thinking about my book that is in-progress [link since deleted]. I receive a lot of encouragement to write my book. As in everything I do in life, I want to make a difference with my book. I plan on finishing that book in 2007.

In speaking of making a difference, on Friday I saw the new movie, We Are Marshall. Do yourself a favor and go see this film. As you watch the screen, you'll experience emotions that tug on your heart and feel tears that roll down your face. I hope it wins an Academy Award next Spring.

In recent weeks, I am making new contacts with a few old friends from my childhood years in Chicago. It's a nice feeling to know that a span of 40 years or more can be bridged with a few exchanges of email messages sent from the heart.

I hope to find gainful employment in early 2007. Maybe some hiring manager reading this page will contact me for an interview. Nowadays the usual process of submitting a resume and online application is about as bad as sending that same information in by carrier-pigeon. Modern technologies seems to remove the human compassionate aspect of job hunting. As you may know, I believe people are more important than technology, but I may be in a very small minority that believes that way.

I licensed much more of my digital art this year. I gladly contributed without charge to help social causes where I could. From the analysis of my web logs and other ways of tracking readers of this site, I could see a rise in readers from the regional areas where my digital art was used for charitable events.

It goes to show that people can help others, even if indirectly using Internet technologies. Perhaps my mentioning that principle here will encourage some of you to reach out to the world, in you own way, to make a difference too.

I wish you all a safe and good transition from 2006 into 2007. Happy New Year everybody!

Don


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