Well, here we are at the start of another year. Or, rather, here I am. I assume that most of the rest of you were more-or-less functional over the traditional days of reflection (those being December 31 and January 1). I was somewhat less than my usual self. Or at least I hope I was. If this is the new "usual", I'd just as soon one of you had the decency to have me put down.
All that aside, though, 2005 was not such a bad year. Sure, I spent most of it in a "foreign" city that I never quite got around to seeing, doing work that I found rather less than fulfilling, and topping it all off with a mental and physical breakdown. But in a real sense, that was the good part. It forced me to take a long, hard look at where I was and what I was doing, and when I did that, it was blindingly obvious that I was headed in the wrong direction.
2006 will be a little different. I have to take it easy for physical reasons, so I will have a bit of time away from the keyboard. I just might spend some of that free time interacting with humans for a change. That's something I've done far too little of for the last little while. And there's something to be said for the occasional moment of peaceful, quiet solitude. Not loneliness, Lord knows I've had more than enough of that to last me a long time, but time alone to reflect and digest. Maybe throw the occasional dab of paint onto a canvas*.
On the technical front, I've still got a couple of things to tidy up. One of the nice things about new, independantly produced software is that I can take the time to do things right. I'm not facing a promised delivery date or a bunch of investors who are wondering where their profits are, so I don't have to leave any code or architecture behind that is merely good enough for now. I hope that when it is released, those of you who are in a position to know the difference can tell that I've had the chance to refine my approaches.
Is the old dog going to learn any new tricks this year? Only if I have to. I don't know about you folks, but I've put a lot of time in over the years learning new technologies, techniques and environments. It's all been book learnin' and putterin', though. My day job has always been the same old same old -- formulas, LotusScript, 1.1.x-vintage Java when absolutely necessary (since one can't always count on the next Notes guy really knowing Java, we've had to limit it to things that really needed to use something like the java.net package). It's time to forget about learning new stuff and start using some of what I've already learned.
I'm ready to face the new year and the lessons and rewards it has to offer. And I wish you all a happy and rewarding 2006.
*I started a number of paintings last year, but they all became what we artists call "unfinished works". There is a limit to how long a painting can be left unworked before new paint stops adhering properly to old, and I'd hate to put anything out there, even as a gift, that's going to have to spend more time at the conservator's than on the wall.