It might seem like an odd time to do a “year in review” sort of post, but bear with me. This past weekend, I rode 200+ miles through the mountains around Copper for the 2013 Courage Classic, a charity bike ride for Children’s Hospital Colorado. This was my ninth year riding the event. For the last 4 years or so, the team that I captain has been made up of the same people; 15+/- friends and family, some from as close as my own house and some from as far away as Long Island. We raise money and ride up the passes (along with 2,500 other cyclists) in support of the hospital.
Some of these people I see just about every day, but others I only see once a year, and I don’t talk to them much more frequently than that either. As someone walked through the door of our condo, the first question out of his mouth was “How was Dubai?” I struggled for a minute. After all, my trip to Dubai was in October of last year. It finally occurred to me that the only impressions he had of my trip were the random images that appeared on Facebook while I was there and after I came home. Time had essentially stood still for him. The last time I saw him, I was just about to leave on my trip. To him, it was as if I had just gotten back. We spent the next hour talking about the project that took me there, my impressions of the country and the region, and whether or not I had any desire to return.
I returned to the office on Wednesday morning to some unsettling news about a project I am currently working on, and I was struck by how much can change over the course of a 4 day office absence. These recent, light speed project developments juxtaposed against my recent conversations with people about what I had been up to over the last year has me contemplating all that can happen over the course of 4 days, or the course of a year.
In the last year, I have completed documentation and construction of a Cafeteria at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. I have worked through a demanding schedule for the conceptual design of an initial master plan and then a modern Souk in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (hence the trip to Dubai). I have worked through the initial concept design and programming phases for some substantial work for Western Union. Lately, I have worked through the initial programming, concept design, schematic design, and now design development for a headquarters expansion for First Bank. In addition to projects, I have taught over 100 people in 6 in-person ARE classes and 3 webinars. I attended AIA Grassroots in DC, attended and presented at both the State Practice and Design Conference and the National Convention, and participated in numerous other activates through my involvement with the AIA Denver Board. I have also cycled almost 4000 miles, ran somewhere around 650, and completed countless meters in the pool. I built a dining table… I am sure if I really thought about it, this is just the beginning of the list.
In short, it’s nice to have the reminder every now and then to take the time and reflect on all that has been accomplished. Examine your activities; both the successes and the failures and analyze how that have shaped you both personally and professionally. Today, I am telling myself that I am going to do my level best to do this type of reflection more frequently. I’ll let you know how successful the effort was after the charity ride in 2014.