But Greg... you can't post this stuff yet! Christmas isn't until, like, Wednesday!

Yeah, and Christmas is poised to invade Labor Day next year. Shut up.

About this time last year, I was just so ready for 2012 to end. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year, and 2013 was — I was sure — going to solve all of my problems. After all, what better cure for life's ills than an arbitrary marker of the passage of time?

Well, fair reader, it turns out it takes more than changing a number to make a profound impact on one's life. Thankfully, I had a plan B: make an effort towards real, substantive change. During the year there were of course highs and lows, but the lows felt like the deepest pit one could be cast into. At different times during the year I considered the reality of a complete career change, considered dropping completely off the radar, wondered if almost every decision I'd made in the last 7 years had been wrong. Having finally landed on my feet again, it's obvious to see that in order to build something shiny & new properly, the obstacles had to be completely cleared away; there was no hope in building one atop the other. Now that the painful work of rebuilding is done, I can see the journey's been well worth it and I know I've been made better for the experience, bruises, scars, and all.

I actually wrote the list below before I wrote the introduction above. The tone of the original draft's introduction was much darker, and the process of listing out everything that happened this year helped me realize that 2013 wasn't the disaster I had felt it was. No, 2013 was a fresh start, one that I'm very glad to have.

So without further adieu: my 2013, in handy-dandy list form:

  • Finally switched from the DC team of my company to the Northeast team (I live in NJ, not DC)
  • Got to start a project from scratch for the first time in a while
  • Got to do an all Office365 project
  • Was given my first Enforcer (deputy) management role at PAX East
  • Founded (with 3 partners) a new LLC to manage all my community events in the NYC metro area
  • Launched a brand new community event, SharePoint Saturday NJ
  • Spoke at several community events
  • Attended the SharePoint Conference
  • Between getting that project & now, worked 60 - 80 hour weeks pretty much every week. Weekends, nights, didn't matter.
  • Got fired (long story, buy me some hard liquor and I might tell you about it)
  • Went to PAX Prime anyway, managed some more Enforcers
  • Was told at Prime that I could handle the big theatre back East "no problem"
  • Had a September of Otherwise No Fun And No Money
  • Got a contract gig that started at the beginning of October
  • Got a verbal commitment to extend that contract through 2014 (yeah, I know - the client waits until nowish to sign new stuff)
  • Migrated the blog to what you're seeing now (yay minimalism)
  • Really stepped up the tweeting on my "other" account
  • Wondered if I should make the "other" account protected
  • Had my mother pass away (we didn't have that much of a relationship, so don't aww too hard on this one)
  • Was able to use inheritance money to finally — FINALLY — get out of debt. Mostly. Still a car and a mortgage to pay off
  • Formed a corporation, hired myself
  • Moved from calling myself "freelance" to calling myself "independent"
  • Recognized how lucky I am to have friends around the world, even if very few live near me
  • Wrote a big list summing up 2013, realized it wasn't so awful after all

There's still 2 weeks of 2013 left, but it's really just "garbage time", waiting out the clock for next year; the die on 2013 has already been cast.

Next year though? Going to be huge both personally & professionally. I can feel it, and I can't wait.