The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Looking ahead to 2008

Posted in General by Jeff Graves on January 2, 2008

It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone, but such is life.  Although I’ve never been a big believer in resolutions per se, I do try to take a few moments and try to reassess where things are, and where I’d like them to go in the New Year.  The combination of the New Year, and my rapidly approaching birthday (42 this year), make it as good a time as any to figure out where I want to focus for the next year or so.  I’m thinking about general themes and areas to be aware of and focus on, rather than specific targets, so here we go….

Social Interactions

I’ve never been really good at staying in touch with people, or expanding my circle of friends, colleagues, etc.  Part of it is probably due to some innate shyness, but I think it’s mostly due just to my really not bothering to spend a lot of time on socializing.  This year, I need to spend more time staying connected to my existing friends and family, via emails, and more regular phone calls.  I also need to get out and visit family more, including some of my extended family who I really only see at funerals, it seems.  I also need to expand my circle of professional contacts, in the finance, technology and fire service circles.


I’ve made some good strides over the past year in managing my Crohn’s, though better diet, particularly by focusing on ensuring that I drink at least 60 ounces of water a day.  However, I’m still woefully out of shape, something I’m reminded of everytime I go out on a call with the Fire Dept and actually have to do physical work.  Right now, walking a mile and a half each day to the office and back is about all the exercise I get, and that needs to change, starting this month.

Knowledge and Skills

Discovering blogs and Google Reader has been invaluable as a way to get exposed to new technology, news and ideas.  However, I have done little to build actual skills, like creating Web software, creating a marketing plan, or establish a new business.  To start, I need to define a couple of specific skills to work on this year, and then get working on them.


For the last 15 years, I’ve pretty much relied on opportunities to come to me, and for some reason, they actually have.  Every couple of years, as I start to feel a little stale, something new has come up and taken my career in a new direction.  This year, after 2 years in the same role, I need to be more proactive in figuring out what’s next, and then taking specific steps to get there.  For the 1st quarter, I need to identify a few potential roles I could play next, and identify a plan to evaluate and move in that direction.


After spending the last week and a half with the family for the holidays, I’m really struck about how quickly the kids are growing up.  I really need to make sure that we don’t squander these years.  We’ve done a good job over the last several months, I think, by taking the kids to movies more regularly, and finding new fun things to do as a family as well as “one-off” times like lunch out somewhere.  However, there’s always room for improvement.  In particular, I want to get them a laptop…it’s really amazing to see even 4 year old Billy play games on mine, and I really think they need the exposure.  Our trip to Disney World in April is also going to be a big event, because it will be the first real trip that we’ve all taken together.  I want to be sure that we spend some time in the next few months spending time as a family to figure out what we want to do on the trip, so that everyone has something to look forward to.


Here’s another area that we’ve made some strides in over the last year, but have room for improvement.  We spent New Year’s Eve with a couple of families in the neighborhood, which was a ton of fun.  We need to find more opportunities to hang out with families around town, as well as time out with more couples.  We’ve done sporadic dinners with some of the guys at the Fire Dept and their wives, but we need to try to make those happen more often, as well as dinners with some of “the gang”. 

Well, that’s a start anyhow…what gets written down gets measured, what gets measured gets done. 

Happy 2008, all!!!!


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