The Start of a New Year

Last modified on December 31st, 2006

Well, it’s nearly that time again — in less than 24 hours, 2006 will dissolve forever, and 2007 will be before us. It’s been a strange and challenging year for most people I know, myself included. I started the year with this incredible desire to travel, and ended the year feeling the need to hover closer to home. I saw quite a bit more of the world this year, and managed to visit San Francisco, San Jose, the Monterey Coast, Tokyo, Boston, New York City, Toronto, Calgary, the Rocky Mountains, and nearly made it to Huatulco, Mexico. That’s not bad for a guy who really hates to step onto an airplane.

Me, thirty some floors above Tokyo, April 2006

I’m not really sure how to properly send off 2006. Most people talk about all the changes they’d like to make in the upcoming year, and maybe that’s a good start. I’d like to drop a few pounds, make sure I hit the gym regularly, eat a bit better, get outside more, and most importantly, stop and enjoy life a bit more before I wake up one day and realize that it passed me by. I think I’ll switch from beer to wine, and from diet pop to water.

What did I learn in 2006? Well, I learned that it’s ok to leave a bar and not say anything to a group of drunk guys. That one event caused me a lot of turmoil in the last few months, both physically and emotionally. I’ve never really been in a situation where I felt my life was in immediate jeopardy, but lying in the hospital the night of November 4th with a morphine drip made me realize just how fragile life really is. And maybe that’s a good thing. It’s probably better to appreciate it now when I’m relatively young than to come to that realization when it’s too late to do any good.

I think in general most of us take our friends and family for granted. It’s sort of this hidden support structure that we rely on, but rarely acknowledge, like some concrete foundation deep in the basement of some city highrise. But this year, I’ve really come to appreciate my family and my friends all the more, and all the people in my life who make the effort and keep me grounded. Friends come and go as you move through life, but family is always there for you.

Some people question the amount of time I spend at work. It hasn’t been that bad lately, but I went through long periods of 60 to 80 hour work weeks last year, and it was pretty draining. But what most people don’t realize is that the group of people I work with aren’t just coworkers, they really are my second family. When I was lying in the hospital that night, the very first person to show up at around 6am was Mark, the CEO of our company. He spent that Sunday hanging out with my parents, and running around Vancouver trying to get a new charger for my cell phone so that I would have it next to me. The next person was Chris, a friend and a coworker. And before I knew it, I had a group of people there keeping my spirits up, many of them who hopped in the car from Chilliwack and came to be with me. My dad, mom, step-mom, step-dad, sister, brother in law, high school friends.. All came by to see what they could do. And that meant a lot to me.

This is my last year being a guy in his twenties. In April, I turn the big three-oh, and it’s sort of a scary thought at this point, but somehow fitting given the events of this last year. I can’t describe it, but I somehow feel like the last little bit of the twenties was knocked out of me in November. I’m not over the hill yet, but I also don’t feel like wasting any time these days.

I wasn’t really sure how to properly wrap up the year, but since I took a lot of photos, I thought maybe it’s best to make a simple slideshow highlighting 2006 from my eyes. If you’re interested, take a look here.

I hope everyone has a great New Year’s Eve — all the best in 2007!

One response to “The Start of a New Year”

  1. mel says:

    Wow, tuns of travel. 2006 was probably the worst travel year for me. Good co-workers is so huge. Infact, today over brunch I had a big long talk with my Dad about the same thing. He had his retirement dinner last night with about 5 co-workers who shared the same office for over 20 years. They lucked in and had a great dynamic and work was always pleasant for him. He tells me story after story about all the things they laughed about. It’s nice to have that!

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