New year, new beginnings

by Carla Schroder

I'm not much for celebrating Christmas. It's a nice time to relax and visit friends and family, and ponder various deep subjects, and take stock of my life. Am I the kind of person I want to be, am I doing good work, is my life on course, etc blah blah. All the usual things one ponders when the days are short and the nights are long, and the eggnog has been spiked.

What I get excited about is the solstice- for me that's the turning point of the year. That whole rebirth-and-renewal thing. That's when the season turns the corner and the days start getting longer again. (At least for us northern-hemispheric-types.) That's the time to jettison all the old guilts and regrets and other useless baggage, and re-focus on moving forward.

One thing in particular becomes more clear as I get older (I'm not far from 50, and believe you me young whippersnappers, getting older is not for sissies,) and that is that relationships are everything. I've never been particularly skilled at relationships; I tend to be short-tempered, self-righteous, and self-centered. I'm a gosh-darned Leo, is not my natural superiority self-evident? The fact that I have actual friends is a testament to their patience and generosity.

Without good relationships, I would not be where I am. If a certain editor so long ago had not taken a chance on an unknown, I would not have a writing career. If other editors along the way had not opened doors, I would have lost great opportunities. If not for a wonderful clientele who recommend me to their friends, I would not have a client base of people I enjoy working with. Life is too short to work for sucky people. Being a freelance sysadmin/Jill-of-all-trades is not the path to riches, but the variety and challenges are endless.

Thank you to all the fine folks who have supported and encouraged me. Thank you to all the great people in the world who demonstrate class and graciousness in their daily conduct. Talk is cheap- deeds talk louder. And a special thank-you to all the gang at for building a community where women can hang out and talk geek, and not have to endure the usual rude garbage prevalent in so many tech communities.

Even though 'deeds talk louder,' allow me to indulge in my fave sermon: "You're never too old to try something new, and anyone can learn to do anything."

Have a great holiday and an even greater New Year!

what does this time of year mean to you?


2005-01-24 14:12:19
Cook Book
"You're never too old to try something new, and anyone can learn to do anything."

Yes, indeed, this old timer is grateful that you've written the Linux Cook Book. I'd be/was lost without it. I've only been using Linux for a year and the Cook Book has helped me to get a better grasp of the Linux operating system from start up scripts to configuring the X server.