Review of 2009

Dear Diary, Family and Friends,

Whilst I had many thoughts this year and published many ideas and deep thought pieces, it is always a pleasure to sit down just before Christmas and have a yearly review. Just a review of things that happened, things that should have happened and dreams I had, and of course dreams that came through.

Let’s start with work, not because it was the most important part in 2009, but to get it covered πŸ™‚ The year started with a big pitch and lots of work, many long nights and a great learning experience. However, it ended with my work not managing to secure the business. We had to make people redundant too, including one of my staff. It was a sad time at work. Privately, the times got more and more exciting, looking forward to my wife giving birth to our son in June.

I started writing weekly reviews as of March, just after the “big London snow” in February. The weekly columns helps me to keep track and sometimes I go and read them again. Our male cat Hansel for instance got his balls chopped off in February and we went to a Baby Show. Thinking about it, I still remember every minute of it, particularly the Baby Show πŸ™‚ We also changed our mortgage, thinking that interest rates had hit rock bottom. They hadn’t but we are still happy we have done it. A crystal ball could have helped with a lot of decisions this year. Santa, please put one under the tree this year πŸ™‚

Also in March I went to a conference in Oslo and had a very busy schedule leading up to another big pitch. On the private side of things, leading up to mid April, we had another scan and went to concert of Kate Rusby. Two weeks later I found out that my work closed the London office and since I couldn’t relocate to York, I had to find a new job.

Between anticipation of the arrival of Colin Heinrich Ballueder on June 12th, I went for interviews and could secure a new job which I started as of July this year. I was glad to not have to wait around for too long to find a new position and was very excited about the opportunity. However, as you know, things didn’t work out at the end.

I had never thought how Colin would have changed my life. Not only did you see my 8 weeks review, there was another one later on. He is great and we cannot wait to have another one soon. But when would be a good time? It was a steep learning curve for me to have a boy, and my focus shifted only slowly from “this is my wife’s job” to “I want to get engaged with my son”. I don’t want you to misunderstand this, but I think for someone who is very focused on his job and work, it is not the easiest to adopt to a baby. But, particularly with my time off in December and the great support of my wife Jenny – and of course the cutest smiles and laughs as of month four – I absolutely enjoy fatherhood.

In October I decided to get myself a career coach which helped me a lot towards goal definitions and motivations for my job and private life. Thanks to him, personal contacts, a lot of networking and long ongoing discussions, I decided to start a new exciting job as of January 2010. I think that the next year, from a work perspective, will be the most challenging and most exciting yet. And, whilst being a little bit scared of it, I am very much looking forward to making things happen. I will be starting a new technology service company for display advertising in the UK. The company already exists in Germany and I know the founder for many years. I appreciate his trust and I trust in him and his team’s expertise to conquer and grow in the UK market. Updates will follow next year but I can tell you that I am very much looking forward to it.

So, before we knew it, Christmas is here. I cannot believe that the recession might be over, I changed jobs twice and that my wife gave me the greatest of all gifts: a healthy boy. And, that I was blessed with a lot of family time this year too. (PS: of course we will still feel the recession for years to come unfortunately, but things will get better!)

Below are two pictures we took in the recent snow. My parents have been over to visit recently, and we are looking forward to seeing my mother in law for Christmas and finishing the year with a reflective detox. With us maybe having the last ever Christmas turkey as we might go 100% vegetarian (or Pescetarianism) next year, this Christmas, and with it being Colin’s first Christmas, it will be a very special one.

Wherever you are, we hope you have a peaceful Christmas. This year, more than any year before, made me appreciate what I have, that I am healthy and how well we are doing.

We wish you love and kindness from our home in Kent, just outside London.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

With Love from Volker, Jenny & Colin