Happy New Year from Jason
If you are receiving this message, it is because you have somehow played a role in my life, whether major or minor, family or friend … in the present, past, and hopefully future. Let me first just say that I hope you are doing well (as well as you’d like to be doing that is!) over these holidays and into the new year.
For many reasons, I’m feeling a little more grateful than usual as this new year comes along. Of course the symbolism of a ‘new start’ summons new hope and energy, and that is something to appreciate and take advantage of. But right now I’m recognizing the accomplishments of the past as much as I am the new possibilities. And not necessarily my own specific checkmarks on life’s list of to-do’s, but accomplishments of the spirit – the meaningful progress of life involving the people that are shaping it … this means you! I seem to have been blessed with an abundance of “meaningful progress” with all kinds of special people.
We don’t always stop to appreciate each other enough – so here is my attempt to communicate such a personal message in such an impersonal format. Thanks for your contribution to “me” … I appreciate the role that you have chosen, or have been chosen, to play in my life. Its my wish that you continue to pass on this appreciation to others who have played a role in your life as well (no this isn’t a chain letter – you won’t be cursed if you don’t pass it on to 10 people in the next 3 minutes!) in whatever way you see fit. Best wishes to you in 2004 (insert virtual clink of the glass here).
“Words do matter. And they are enough. We just need to say them, so speak them publicly to the ones we love, for everyone else to hear. That’s the way to give back love, and our chance to celebrate a person in life.” Sidney B. Simon
Ok, now is the part where I tell you some of the highlights of 2003. If I had it my way the year would have had twice as many weekends, but given that I only had 52, and 3 weeks of vacation, I managed to fit in some very good times as well as some productive projects.
Indie and I are getting along very well these days. She now seems to understand that chewing up couches and remote controls isn't the best way to ensure our long term compatibility, and has pretty much conformed to the “good dog” behavior model. Of course we are still working on things like being nice to the mailman, and getting me a beer out of the fridge, but I suppose there are limits to conforming to my will.
Climbing has again taken me on some memorable adventures – besides taking advantage of the fortunate coincidence that one of the best places on earth to climb is 3 hours away (Smith Rock), I also made it to Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas, Joshua Tree near Palm Springs, and multiple crags around Utah, including a fantastic place called Indian Creek that I hope to return to soon. For those who might be interested in climbing with me, or don’t understand why people do this… it's very close to unexplainable. It’s something that is a physical and intellectual challenge, a temporary escape, an excuse to travel, in some ways a model for the struggles (and successes) of life, but most importantly a way to bring people together! Awesome!!
“If you don’t scale the mountain, you can’t view the plain”
~ Chinese proverb
I’ve recently set a personal best by celebrating my 3 year anniversary at SRC - I’ve found something I’d really like to do for a while! I’m getting back into implementation consulting after 14 months in a project related position. Clients since June include Hyundai (smog/fossil fuels), Invitrogen (cloning), and Titan/Lockheed Martin (weapons of mass destruction). I'm a little worried about contributing to the downfall of our society, but so far it hasn't interrupted my sleeping patterns. Actually I feel very lucky to have found a job (er, career I guess) that I truly enjoy, with people who I enjoy hanging out with for 40+ hours per week. With the contentment I've felt here, its hard not to stay comfortable, letting the grass grow up around my feet, but I am currently considering where this is all heading and what kind of degrees or certifications I’ll need to get there.
The house project this year was to re-think my red living room. To summarize, I started with this:
…and went to this…
… and ended up with this:
Thanks much to Dad for the numerous trips down, lending me your tools, and for the quality bonding time. And thanks to everyone who talked me out of that red paint. I’m learning. As for my yard, lets just say it hasn’t been a priority among all the others things on life's list. My cousin told me something recently, that only gardeners should plant gardens. And I’m ok with the fact that I’m not a gardener. Matter of fact I’m barely a mower.
Those are the highlights. Again, I hope you are well… best wishes to you.
ps feel free to contact me if its been a while (or if it hasn't!) or feel free to visit my site from time to time: www.planetguppy.com