"Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."

- Charles Dickens

A Year Changes You

A year ago I was helping run a startup, determining how we would sustain and grow our business in a competitive market. At the same time we were a happy, childless (yet expecting) couple enjoying complete freedom of schedule. Within twelve months our lives have dramatically changed.

We sold the company and I've change from a track of decreasing company size back up to a large company. I no longer have to worry about making payroll, taking out the trash, and maintaining server uptime. Fortunately this relaxing of responsibility coincided with the biggest gain of responsibility nearly anyone can have - a kid.

Sayge Green Blanket 13.jpg

Over the past 6 months we could not have asked for a better experience. Sayge is continually happy and laughing, a model of happy child. The stability and support of a well-established company have allowed me the flexibility to shift my schedules to be the attentive and caring father that I want to be.

Live's Lived

The year has also included unfortunate experiences. Corrie's grand-father finished his 96-year amazing journey. Who else have you met that was at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, earned a Law Degree, an MBA from Harvard, served in World War II, was a representative in government, and successfully ran his family business for 40 years.

A long-time friend passed away far too young from women's cancer. Rachel was an incredible attractor - able to easily bring and connect friends. She helped my sister get her first job at HHS and was a fearful Carcossonne player. I wish Sayge could have met her.

Living Forward

Perhaps the theme of the year should be "relative". The dichotomy of life and loss, of success with stress. Responsibility is just beginning. There is much to accomplish and improve for our and the next generations.

Next year I'm excited about even bigger dichotomies - solving large, important problems in technology and society while making sure to enjoy and live through the simple pleasures and new experience of life. If we commiserated or celebrated this year - thank you, it was wonderful to be with you. And for those of you that I have not yet met, I look forward to celebrating with you in 2013.


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About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.