So, I am finally back and lightly rested from the two big weeks of SQL learning this year (PASS Summit and MVP Summit) and like pretty much every year I am physically exhausted, feeling my age. So many sessions, so many miles put on my feet. But my brain recovers from the ordeal faster than my feet, and is like: "wow, I am going to need more hours in the week!" But I do want to set the expectation dial to around a 6, not 11, because from what I hear, there is more to life than SQL (and yes, I did chuckle to myself when I said it).
So here we go, my resolutions for the 2017 year:
1. Keep involved locally. My wife and I are leaving the Nashville area this year, moving to Cleveland, TN (south of Nashville, unlike that other more famous Cleveland!) So I will hopefully get involved in the Chattanooga group, but who knows what I will work out. I probably see a meeting or two in Nashville this year too.
2. Write more. Pretty much anything, but I want to keep writing books if I can. I have one coming out later this year, and one more early next year. One project I really hope to start on this year is upgrading the DMV book, starting with blogs on the DMVs that need to be added, and hopefully getting ideas from the community, and probably pick up a cowriter or two before it is all said and done.
On the blogging front, I will try to do my best to put out something every week (well, every other week or so, to be completely honest), even when I am working on a larger bit of material like a book. This will probably be the hardest resolution to keep, because I get pretty focused on one thing at a time and can’t find the mental energy to work on something else while another is waiting. I have tons of unwritten blogs waiting for me and I will try to complete at least some of them. Something I will do at least a few times is to try to participate in T-SQL Tuesday and other blogging challenges now and again.
3. Continue to speak, but do so "economically." I almost always foot my own bill to go speak at a conference, except for the PASS Summit which is part of my training budget each year. Part of our move from Nashville will be a reduction in family income, so I might slow down a little. Not that I plan to quit or anything, and have already put in for Nashville and Birmingham, and will certainly submit to Atlanta and Chattanooga, and probably an event or two more if I can split costs/travel with others.
I also plan to submit to the PASS conference this year, something I haven’t done in a few years. This year I plan to do it with a bit of a twist. More on that in a bit,
4. Start recording of my old presentations and put on (possibly) YouTube. I planned on doing this a while back, calling it “directors cut” presentations (the point being that I am not restrained to 1 exact hour, so I won’t cut any demos or commentary for time.) Then I had my surgeries and just never did. I was reminded of this when I was at the MVP Summit and talking to another person who used YouTube for a similar sort of use.
5. Upgrade my website to advertises my talents better. My current website kinda stinks, but is functional enough. But I would like to make it a showcase of my work, including more snippets, the aforementioned videos, and blogged articles. Expand some of the examples examples for my book and presentations for Azure SQL DB, and in some cases in-memory OLTP (naturally starting as blogs!)
6. Learn something new. There is a specific technology that I am thinking I want to learn very well, but I can't mention it yet. See #2 for what I will do once it has been released.
7. Continue to stay involved with the PASS Program Committee reviewing and commenting on abstracts for people before they submit them. Note that I had said I plan to submit to the PASS Summit. Last year I felt it was a bit of a conflict of interest as I reviewed 80+ abstracts, and easily could have stolen ideas (and a few sessions I saw seemed like they were stealing MY ideas, even if I had never told anyone.) To make sure that there isn’t a conflict of interest, I will post my abstracts to my blog before the call goes out, so no one could say I stole their idea (and I won't mind if people steal mine as attending PASS without speaking is kind of relaxing.)
In addition, I hope to use my abstracts as a screening test for people joining the Abstract Coaching team (with some real good righting to see what people seeen.) So I can get the benefit of the team's skills, just like several past team members have (and are highly recommended to do! It is usually a skilled person who knows that other skilled persons can make them better!)
8. Get more fit. At the PASS Summit this year I walked more than I ever have, for a total of 57215 steps (an average of 8173 steps a day, or approximately 3.5 miles a day based on what my Microsoft Band 2 tells me), though I did use my cane quite a bit. I even attended more of the parties than normal, and only used an Uber once to get to somewhere other than the airport. It still knocked the heck out of me, but I am getting there. I doubt I ever can write resolutions without saying get more fit, but hopefully I can always say I did improve in the follow up.
9. Keep stretching my comfort zone. This year I wore a kilt, and it was not exactly easy for me. But I got through it, and it didn't kill me. With the PASS Summit in 2017 starting on Halloween, if #sqlcostume becomes a thing, I have a costume idea that will be fun, and will again stretch my comfort zone in a way that will not be scary, or cause anyone nightmares either.
10. Start working on following through on my secret resolution from last year. Because I ended up working on an extra book and having knee surgery, I never did the leg work (ba boom ching). My idea is to start a conference at a higher level, particularly so speakers can go and learn stuff, along with the people who don't feel like they are getting anything out of conferences. If you steal my idea, you have to let me attend for at least half price… Or free.
11. If I am not having fun, disregard any of the previous items except #8 (because that one is truly important). I enjoy this stuff most of the time, but sometimes it wears me the heck out. I occasionally just want to turn on the television and watch a football game. While I am writing this there is a game on my hotel TV as I head out of town. I had to check the TV to see who was winning. Seattle. Seattle is winning. (As I edit myself, I will note that Seattle won, and now I am watching Carolina up. Football is great TV to write while you watch.)
So there you have it. I am going to try to follow through with these resolutions, but who knows. Life is full of surprises, exciting (like getting a new book to write), not exciting (like having your hip break), or really sad (like a younger acquaintance of ours passing away suddenly). You don't have a clue what is going to happen, and you are never in control of what is going to happen. Obviously we can only influence the future, but never are you in control.
Finally, I ask myself why write resolutions. I remember something Scott Adams had written about a long time ago about writing down goals (I can't find the reference I remember anymore). Writing them down, and transmitting them to your web browser helped me make them real last year. Will it work this year as well as last? See you in early October next year for the followup and you will see.