Only a year ago I was sitting home on leave after telling some bigwigs at the company exactly what I thought of them and of the way they were running things. Bit like this, with about as much drama, just as true, less funny though. And I had been working in the company - a retailer based in Belgium - for 18+ years.
A year later I have published a book @O'Reilly, am running my own consultancy company, am working as consultant for two big companies and have taught a course of NetKernel at a third.
I have chinos and shirts in my cupboard now and some of these actually do have a colour/color other than black. I don't tuck the shirts in yet, but as the belly I got from the good life is receding, that will soon become an option. I now own a pair of decent looking shoes too.
Most of the time I work from a shared office located across from my son's school. Occasionally I have to go see my customers and mentors though, so I spent time in Minneapolis, Brussels, London and even Chipping Sodbury over the past year.
Professionally I've learned to do whole infrastructure setups with Amazon Web Services, am ever more proficient at Resource Oriented Computing and NetKernel and I am learning very quickly about linked data.
It wasn't all roses the past year.
Resistance to change is big, even when the change is the right thing to do, even when you can prove that the change is the right thing to do. That brings frustration and I don't have the I don't care but I will take your money attitude that I see many other employees/consultants/freelancers have. Nor will I ever have it.
Planes are a shitty (if unavoidable) way to travel. Actually jetlag doesn't really bother me, but when I get off my ears are only one step away from bleeding and it takes a lot of paracetamol to clear the killer headache. My legs take about two days to un-cramp. Very weird, the general population gets wider and taller, the allotted space on planes goes the other way. I was so wasted on one of these trips that I had myself talked into taking a BMW X5 as a rental car rather than a standard model. Didn't make a lot of money on that trip (I paid for that expense myself, like I said, I do care).
Also, I underwrite the following (do not click this link if you are easily offended) manifesto. Although with Resource Oriented Computing that should be developing rather than programming. Process (in whatever form) is a means, not an end in itself. If you think (or act) otherwise, you are on a collision course with me. I don't stick up companies (even if they don't care) for more time than I need to deliver the goods.
All in all I agree with Peter Rodgers when he says that it has not been a bad year. Not at all. Although I was raised in an environment where a 10+/10 was considered barely enough and might get some remarks if the teacher had too obviously been a bit lax in the marking job. There is always a lot of room for improvement. But not a bad year, not bad at all.
For the next year I have the good intention to start blogging about my ROC-adventures on a weekly basis again and continue changing the world (which seems to have survived the Mayan equivalent of the year 2000) one bit at a time.