Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Reflections and Hope

I can't say I am sorry to see the back of 2007. On one hand it was a terrific year. My immediate family is thriving and FirstRain is growing like gangbusters - no question this is the year for us on many levels: the thirst in hedge funds and executive teams for an information edge, the web as a source of meaningful research and our breakthrough models and algorithms.

But, all that said, on many levels it was challenging year.

In my small world in 2007 we lost a larger than life man, Dean Richard Newton, a year ago to cancer. He was a close friend and mentor who I loved and was loved by many, many people for his spirit, warmth and incredible wisdom. Sadly, he was not the last friend I was to lose last year, two more passed on in the first half of the year, and I spent the better part of the year just being there for a friend through an ugly breakdown.

On the world stage I have watched in horror as our values and ideals have been squandered by the current administration (great opinion in the NYT on this), as the crisis in Africa continues unchecked and then, in the final days of the year, as Benazir Bhutto was murdered. My grandfather gave a significant part of his life to the preparation and formation of Pakistan - he must be weeping in his grave at the chaos and uncertainty the Pakistani people are faced with.

This was the year of the wild swing between great and horrible days, needing to be strong and steady no matter what the world served up. Combine this with over 150,000 miles... it fits that we did not celebrate New Years Eve except with sleep.

But I don't spend much time looking back - it seems a waste of time - so I concentrate on today and how to make tomorrow better. This is the year I'll be focused on leading the incredible growth FirstRain is going through - definitely a fun time for a CEO; we'll be crazy busy with two kids in high school, Rambus is through the worst of cleaning up the past and we have an election coming up where we can elect responsible leadership. And, my New Year's resolution is to be physically strong so I can keep up with the demands - and for me that means training for and completing the Napa Vineman - yikes - that takes some visualization!

Happiness is about being in the moment - in the words of Storm Jameson: “The past is gone beyond prayer, and every minute you spend in the vain effort to anticipate the future is a moment lost. There is only one world, the world pressing upon you at this minute - here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle. Which is exactly what it is - a miracle and unrepeatable.”

Here's to the miracle of Jan 1, 2008.

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