Thank you for your support in 2019Alex Fields
It has been quite a year for me, personally and professionally. A roller coaster, really.
Back in February my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, of the triple negative variety. So that’s been the biggest thing we have had to face together so far. Still not through it, but we have a lot of support, and we are on a holistic treatment plan, all natural. So a big Thank You to all of you who have showed up for us in various ways and been supportive during this difficult time. Especially my Mother-in-Law, Christine, who has pitched in so much of her time and energy.
And on the professional front, the blog has done very well, and I am happy to announce that I received the Microsoft MVP award in November (in the Office Apps and Services category). So a really different set of emotions there. Sort of surreal in some ways to have this juxtaposition.
I haven’t said much about either of these things publicly yet–it’s hard to know what to say, really. So I think that all I can really do is offer thanks for all the support.
I’ll be sending a separate thanks to some folks regarding the more personal stuff. But here I wanted to send a special shout out to my many friends and colleagues who helped me on the path toward MVP, and who continue to be of great encouragement.
SUCCESS Computer Consulting
SUCCESS is truly a great company to work for. Management and co-workers alike have been very accommodating of my erratic schedule this year, and on top of that, the management team has allowed me to pursue many various interests besides. Brent Morris, our Sales and Marketing VP, has been particularly supportive of my interests in public speaking, events, publishing and so forth. So thank you, Brent.
Brandon Nohr, our CTO and my longtime co-worker, gets a special shout-out here since he is the original ITProMentor. Brandon has taught me countless lessons over the years (most of them not even technical in nature), and offered me a lot of help and guidance as I was “growing up” in tech.
These are people who took time out of their busy lives to answer my questions, or who reached out to me to connect about ideas and share experiences, to encourage my application, offer nominations, etc. Especially: Susan Bradley, Amy Babinchak, Robert Crane, Dave Siebert, Andy Talbot, Daniel Santos and many others. What a great and diverse, global community we have–glad I can be part of it.
My readers and fans
Especially grateful to those who offer candid feedback. I think my #1 fan “at large” is probably David Wanderer, who has been cheering me on for a long time, and who introduced me to the same folks who ultimately nominated me for the MVP award (which was unexpected). So thanks, David. Judd Moore and/or Chris VanAnda share the other top spots in my “local” fan base–they also work with me at SUCCESS, and have been very enthusiastic and vocal supporters since the beginning.
I am always surprised to hear from people all over the globe, daily on my site. Some prefer to leave comments and others go to my contact page. I try to respond to every one of them but I know my replies have been slow this year. Sorry about that, and I really do appreciate the opportunity to communicate with people that I have inspired or helped in some way.
My wife Elizabeth
A lot of what I do as a community contributor is on top of my “day job” and that means it eats into family time, at least some of the time. I am sure those of you out there who share this other part time job with me understand what I’m talking about. She has been so supportive of my interests and pursuits, and besides that she is just the smartest and most compassionate human I know. I’m a super lucky guy.
Prior to this year I haven’t really been a person who talks to God. As a philosophy major in college I had a lot of interest in the “topic of God” — we spent a fair amount of time musing about God’s existence and in some cases, attempting to read the mind of God. That was sort of an abstract relationship.
But this year, for the first time, I felt the presence of God. And I realized in that same moment that the Presence has always been there–it was as though I had always known but somehow forgotten. Strange experience, indeed. Unfortunately waking up to this reality sometimes takes a crisis–like a cancer diagnoses.
And although I asked: No, I still don’t know why bad things are allowed to happen to good people–I suspect that might just be a poorly formed question. My “experience” gave me no indication one way or another, it was just like, “Here I am. Where I always was.” That was it.
In any case, I do feel compelled to say Thank You to this mysterious Being who, I believe, is the Source of all things. So I guess that makes me a believer.
Didn’t get here on my own
Basically, what I’m saying is that I have been extremely blessed this year (and in all the years leading up to this, really). So many people have been part of where I’m at today–and not everyone on Earth has had such an amazing “leg up”–I’m not blind to that, either. I live in an amazing era, in one of the World’s historically safest and most affluent places. I’m very grateful for the opportunities which have and continue to present themselves each day.
Think how lucky we all are to have work in this industry! Think about how amazing and ubiquitous technology is becoming, and how quickly it is all changing–sure this has its challenges too, but it’s also helping to expand the “opportunity sphere” all over the globe, and I’m glad to be part of that.
So Thank You, 2019, I will carry it forward, and here’s to 2020: Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays of all other varieties to my followers around the World. I can’t wait to see you all in the New Year!