I'm 35 today!
It probably doesn't mean much to many people when they turn 35 or any other age really for that matter, but for me this year feels different and that's in a good way. Let's wind the clock back a few years first though.
When I turned 30 I was pondering on my career and what I wanted to achieve. I hadn't produced anything that I would call art (well in my case as a developer, a web application of some kind), and so I started thinking about what I wanted to achieve in my career in the next five years. I had thoughts and ideas, but no plan. Five years later I still haven't produced anything that I could put out there and say "Yip, I made that".
After a couple of years, I lost track of my ideas. I carried on with my job as a developer for a small consulting firm and tried to keep my development skills up to speed by playing with some programming languages in my spare time. I even produced a small mind mapping blog for a couple of years that let me practice some writing for a while.
Fast forward to today and I still haven't produced anything career wise that I would call mine, but it's not something that I am going to lose any sleep over.
Which brings me back to today. So why do I feel like everything is in the right place?
Well at the start of the year, my wife and I found out that we were going to be parents again. We already have a five year old son, so it's great news that he will have a younger brother or sister in August when the baby is due.
At home, we're also kicking off a project to convert our garage into a multi-purpose room. Mainly it will be sitting room, but I'm also claiming a section of the room as a more practical place to do more sideline work. I don't have what you would call a great area for working when I am at home, so it's good to know that in the future there will be a better place for turning some ideas into reality.
My career is in a good place at the moment. I'm using my preferred tools and languages on a daily basis and I'm also gaining more experience in working in agile software development teams. It's not long term though, no job ever is, but it's good being in place where I am learning new things everyday.
So what's different from today than the same day five years ago?
Well I'm more grounded in plans and expectations for the future. I know that I can't do it all, but instead I'm focusing on things that are close to my heart and really interest me.
I'm also a bit more realistic about my strengths and weaknesses. I know I've got skills in programming and I enjoy writing. Okay my strength in writing might be me being biased, but I do enjoy it and that's what counts. On the weakness side, I do find it difficult to maintain my focus on one thing. I've not seen my projects through from start to completion but I'm hoping to change that this year.
So what does the next five years hold?
Who knows. I certainly know that on the home front, I'm as content as a I'll ever be. I can't wait for the new addition to our family to arrive in August. Our son will be so pleased to have a younger brother or sister who could share in his love of golf!
On the career front though that's a different thing. I've started work on a small micro-product that I am hoping to launch in the spring. It's a helper for those who like keeping a plain text journal. The idea for the journalling product came after I wanted to continue writing everyday but on a smaller volume than doing my three pages of writing every day. Also I wanted a plain text archive that was in the easiest format to slice and dice as I needed. I've tried many note-taking applications in the past, but none offered the simplicity of plain text. More on that later though.
After that I have my eyes set on a second product that I hope will help people make with their decision making. These might never take off, who knows.
At least I know that I will have tried.