Looking back at 2009


Looking back at 2009

I suppose I’ve left it a bit late to be commenting on the passing of 2009. All of the mainstream eulogies of the year had been done and dusted before the holidays kicked in, and bundled in with reviews of the decade in most cases. However, since I’m not keen on reviewing something until I’ve been from opening scene to closing credits, I’ll cut myself some slack.

In short, the first six months of 2009 would have to go down as one of the worst periods of my life. Really, looking back at my 37 years it’s hard to think of a time where I felt lower than I did back then.

However, just as things always have done when they look hopeless, it worked out in the end. The summer spent freelancing on some proper web development work for the first time in ages got my confidence back and reminded me how much I loved making web sites and applications. Then, getting the job with Curious, followed quickly by the the transition to Bourne after that, has been one of the pivotal events of my life that I’ll look back on in years to come with a satisfied nod of approval at my good fortune.

Four months on at Bourne, we’ve recently moved to new offices and, along with everyone I see around the studio there, it just feels right for me. I love it that I was there from the beginning with Bourne and I want to see it out for years to come, where ever it might take me. I’ve been around the block these past ten years or so and I know the comfort in finding a work situation that just feels right – I’ve been lucky enough to experience that more often than not.

So my career is back on track and, from the way 2009 started, that’s a turnaround that seemed highly unlikely at times. Before the warm weather kicked in I was lost as to how I could steer myself back on course during the midst of a recession. However, the way that the summer went was perfect in many ways. I extracted myself from an awful working situation and at the same time I put right the family circuimstances which had suffered as a result.

I was out of a job, writing a loosely outlined application in the hope of getting paid, but finally getting to spend loads of time with my daughter.

The first two parts of that had an element of stress, for sure, yet when I look back at the quality time I spent with Elisha I do wish I’d had the foresight to know that everything would be fine. She came on so much in 2009 and it was great to just be there and be her daddy so much more than I’d been able to before then.

Our bike rides along the riverbank, trips to the park, and early morning visits to Costa for a latte and a babyccino before nursery made for the special moments you hold so dear as a parent. We just had so much fun together over the summer of 2009, and I hope I can take some time off to do the same this year before she’s stuck in a class room until the mid-2020’s.

On the theme of getting out on the bike, it was great too that I reignited my passion for mountainbiking. I’d been out for a few rides in 2008, of course, but after having the knee operation early that year I was hesitant to push myself. 2009 saw me getting back within sight of form I had back in the late 90’s, and the rides I enjoyed at Carron Valley and Arrochar are events I definitely want to repeat and add to in 2010.

Even the unfortunate shoulder injury I picked up skateboarding didn’t hinder me on the bike. And, in the end it wasn’t such a bad thing, as the physiotherapy which followed highlighted a long-term issue that I can work to put right at last. Bonus!

The air show at RAF Leuchars in September turned out to be a fantastic, sunny day that formed the exclamation mark on a summer that hadn’t always brought the best of weather. And, as the summer wound down that month we had a good trip to see our friends in South Shields, York, and Liverpool that was a bit of a whirlwind weekend, but well worthwhile. Hopefully we can repeat that in 2010 but with a bit more time to spread around.

In November I attended the leaving drinks for the boss man during my time at Sony, and getting to see everyone again was great closure for me. It reminded me how much I value the friends I made there, and I’m certain I’ll get down again this year, too.

Ultimately, 2009 came to an end with the kind of positive experiences that have helped make it a year to be remembered with a smile rather than a frown. We spent good time with family and friends alike, and it’s that kind of balance that was lost during the first few months.

2010 is already underway, of course, and I hope to make it memorable for even more positive reasons than 2009 was. I’ve already been out on the bike (briefly in the freezing cold!) and we have holidays penciled in for May and July that give us something to look forward to.

With 2009 now consigned to the history books I’m looking forward to everything that 2010 brings my way. 🙂