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Charitable Musings, Minutiae

The people of 2008, the friends of 2009

It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to beI’ve already mentioned my important projects and how I mean to focus my attention – while I love a fresh new year, I don’t need the 1st of January to make me work on my ambitions; I work on my personal development every day – so you can check out my current projects and priorities if you like. It’s important to have mini-project plans in order to keep yourself on track; if you are making resolutions and intend to sort things out this year, don’t burn-out in the first month, rather, ensure you have enough milestones in the mid to long-term to give yourself something to aim for throughout the year.

But while I don’t mean to become nostalgic about 2008, I would like to look back in order to help you and me look forward. (Did any of you think I should have said “to help you and I”? Because it’s definitely “me” in this grammatical case, OK :)

In 2008 I demolished several of my personal / professional websites and brought kilobox communiqué into being. By providing fresh ideas and interacting with people on a personal basis, I’ve reached many more people that I could have with a 30 page static website. Twitter has helped a great deal in building relationships, far more than Facebook has.

My first Tweet:
I’m drunk in charge of Dreamweaver; never web design while under the influence!
2:22am 26th Oct 2006

I’m pleased to say that I’ve inspired three dear friends to start blogging, and you can now see more of @Julesxv at blog.originalerasers.co.uk where she talks about the obsessive world of eraser collecting, and the business details of being the biggest eraser emporium in the world. @kingnat has been ‘playing’ with WordPress for years but has been finally finding his voice over at notreallylistening.com and from today, you can meet my other half at chris.kilobox.net/blog/ where you’ll learn more about GigaPan photography and civil engineering (lots of holes and earth works).

Along the way I’ve had the privilege of making the online acquaintance of @kinchie, @onezenmom, @David_N_Wilson, @LitManLive, @abisignorelli, @FirstSigns, @michsineath, @jonbuscall, @annetteschwindt and several other talented web workers. Those people who spend a little time looking for nuggets of gold within my blogsite and sharing their knowledge and perspectives with us have really had an impact on me. (Forgive me if I’ve missed you, I’m writing this from memory while suffering from some kind of flu.)

Many thanks to those of you who have written guest articles on writing / communication for kilobox communiqué – your names (and your posts) are proudly displayed on the right-hand side for readers to see, in case they become tired of my voice.

In 2008 I spent plenty of time with myself, and I found that I had grown more equanimous, but less enthusiastic, about some things. It’s not that I’m less passionate about the important things in my life, it’s just that I have now re-prioritised certain projects above others. My values have shifted slightly. People are always saying ‘you should do more for other people’ but the fact is I always have. Even when I was desperately poor, I have always invested time and money into other people’s lives.

In 2008 I realised that my focus on other people’s well-being was dragging my health and happiness to dangerously low levels. I’m ill, every day, and I don’t spend any time on looking after myself (apart from moisturising of course! Have you seen how young my skin is looking!) so although the motto is “first, look after everyone else” I’m afraid I’ve been doing that since I got online in the early ’90s. Now, I need a while to myself. I still want to engage with and help / be helped by people, and I hope by being committed to my readers and writing frequently through the week I can do that.

But there’s one thing I’m taking a serious step back from, and that’s my charitable work. While increasing the amount I donate and invest in good causes / community businesses, I’m reducing the number of hours I work on the voluntary organisation I founded in 2002 (e.g. in 2006 I clocked up over 1000 hours of voluntary work) . Thanks to Jules, I can take a step back and allow Jules to manage and direct the organisation as she feels fit. For several months now, Jules has been taking responsibility for the operational side of FirstSigns / LifeSIGNS and I’m very proud of her commitment and quality of work – I know the organisation is safe in her hands. Me? I’ll just be taking a step back for a time; by providing Jules with support on set days throughout the year, I can better relax and look after my mental and physical health (I’ve not been well for, well, longer than I can put a date on.)

So, as I was saying, I’ve had an awesome time while using Twitter and my blog, here at kilobox communiqué; I’ve ‘met’ such interesting, warm and knowledgeable people. I’ve been inspired by @ChrisBrogan and supported by my real life friends like never before. In no way do I mean to be ‘quieter’ in 2009, so don’t worry about me, I’m just ensuring that I work on the things that are moist valuable to me as a human being.

Thank you to the people who know my name; thank you to the people who comment and tweet, thank you to the people who think of others, and those who think of me occasionally.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones through 2009.

[Wedge]

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.

6 thoughts on “The people of 2008, the friends of 2009

  • Wedge, there’s so much I would like to say to you, but I’m sure you’d tell me that less is more! So, I’ll try to keep it brief :)

    You’re absolutely fantastic to work with, you really are; but more importantly to me, you’re a dear and valued friend. I seriously worry about your health and I’m really glad you’re taking this time away for yourself. I’m honoured that you have such confidence in me that you feel able to allow me to run your organisation. You have inspired me in so very many ways and I feel enabled and confident in my abilities to run FirstSigns / LifeSIGNS for as long as you need.

    I thought at one time that I might miss working so closely and intensely with you, but actually I won’t, because I’m really looking forward to us just being great friends.

    I’ve lots of plans and ambitions of my own for 2009 too – not least of which is to write more guest posts here at kilobox communiqué – especially now my name’s so proudly displayed! :)

    Thank you

  • Wishing you all the best for 2009, Wedge.

    In my previous life as a university lecturer I burned out so recommend you pace yourself well. There was a moment when I wondered if my eighth floor window was the best way out, fed up with mentoring 250 undergrads a semester, before I thankfully turned to freelancing and basset hound-breeding instead.

    Step-by-step, I’ve found the slog of working for myself immensely rewarding, albeit financially more challenging some months.

    I hope 2009 brings you (and Chris) every success and more!

    Very best wishes from freeeeezing Sweden,
    Jon

  • Hello there Jon,

    yes, burn-out is a very real risk; I know I’ve become less creative and less dynamic over the last 18 months. I’ve been sluggish. It’s time for me to face facts and accept the position I’m in and work to improve myself – but slowly.

    It’s cold here too – freezing fog.

    Thanks for your support as always Jules.

  • All the best for you and all the ones you care about too! And just to let you know that the jade tree you sent in 2008 continues to grow. I hope our contact will do so too! :-)

    And get well again soon! Sending some good vibes your way,
    Annette

  • Good article Wedge.
    I agree that you need to make sure you’re spending the time you need to on yourself. This last month where I’ve been just relaxing (although sadly, I’ve not spent the time working out that I should have) has been extremely refreshing, and certainly led to an improvement of my well being.

    New year for me is not so much about resolutions and milestones as it is about reflection on the previous year in order, and taking away what lessons you can.

    For me, the big lesson remains that I am no more responsible for other people’s opinions than they are for mine.
    Also; don’t put up with bullshit.

  • You should know that if I hadn’t “met” you shortly after joining, I might not have bothered staying on Twitter. But you showed me the potential it had to help find and connect with interesting people.

    I’m so glad to have found your blog. And I look forward to reading and conversing more in 2009.

    Wishing you all the best in the new year!

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