2014 Year In Review

Finally finding some time to sit down and write this post; of course I’m squeezing it in after work, and before my wife and son come home, so there’s no telling how far I’ll get. This post is probably best treated as a stream of consciousness effort, rather than my usual agonizing over every word. 2014 was a mixed bag of a year; lots of good stuff, and lots of not-so-good stuff; I’ll try to start with the good:

2014 Professional Highs

As I’ve mentioned before, I was promoted to management in my day job a few years ago; in October of 2014, my kingdom expanded. Instead of managing a team of SQL Server DBA’s, my department was consolidated with another small group, and I now manage the IT infrastructure for our Product Group. It’s not a huge jump, but it is an opportunity for me to get involved with more than just SQL Server and databases; I’m now managing a team of sysadmins as well, so I’m getting a crash course on virtualization, server administration, and networking. It’s been fun, but a bit challenging.

I haven’t neglected my SQL Server roots, however; I presented to over a dozen user groups & SQL Saturdays last year (which is a lot for full-time desk jockey). I ultimately delivered two killer presentations at Summit in November, which boosted my confidence tremendously after 2013’s less-than-stellar performance. Blogging was steady for me (23 posts on my blog), but I did have a chance to write a piece on Pinal Dave’s blog (Journey to SQL Authority); that was a great opportunity, and one I hope to explore more. In addition to blogging and community activity, I also finally passed the second test in the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 series (Administration; 70-462). I’m studying for the last test (Data Warehouse; 70-463), and then I need to start getting some virtualization certs under my belt.

Finally, a big professional step forward for me was that I became a Linchpin (part-time); I’ve had a great deal of respect for this team of SQL Server professionals over the years, and I was very blessed to be able to step in and help on a few projects this year. I’m hoping for more. It’s a great way to test the waters, even if I’m not ready to dive into full-time consulting yet.

2014 Professional Lows

I got nominated for Microsoft MVP (twice); I didn’t get it (twice).

 

2014 Personal Highs

Big year for travel for my wife and I; we went to Jamaica and Vancouver, as well as Nashville, Chattanooga, St. Louis, Charlotte, Seattle, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Ponte Vedra. We saw two killer shows: George Strait and Fleetwood Mac; I also got to see one of my favorite bands, The Old 97’s. Our son turned a year old, and it’s been a lot of fun watching him grown and discover new things. 2014 was a year of joy in a lot of ways….

2014 Personal Lows

2014 was also a year of sorrow for me; if you follow me on Facebook, you know how proud I am of my son. What became less well-known is that I have two teenage daughters from my previous marriage; they turned 17 and 15 this year. In September of 2013, my daughters decided that they didn’t want to spend as much time with me and their stepmother. Over the last year, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my daughters aren’t planning on changing that any time soon, and they have no desire to have a relationship with their brother. That’s a pain that I’ll never get over; I love all of my children, and all I can do is pray that someday things will change. The only reason I feel compelled to mention it publically is that I don’t want them to become invisible; I have three children, even if I don’t get to see two of them very often. I also feel like I’ve reached a turning point; I was VERY depressed last year because of this situation, and I’m ready to move forward in 2015.

 

Summary

2014 was more good than bad, but I’m looking forward to 2015. I’ve always believed that you should play the hand you’re dealt, and make the most of it. Life is good, and it’s only getting better.

 

 

 

January 8, 2015 · stuart · No Comments
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