Why I Haven't Updated Jenville in Over a Year
I've always been a hard worker, but I've never worked like I worked this year. This year, I worked at the expense of just about everything I love: cooking, listening to music, socializing, personal projects, and last but not least, updating my sites. It has been exhausting, but I do have a few things to show for it:
Arlo is a happy, growing, smart, comical, thriving little boy. I say "little boy" because it's starting to feel wrong to refer to him as "baby" now that he is on the brink of 2 years old. He's charming, entertaining, and at times really frustrating. When it comes to rationing my time and energy, Arlo always comes first. Everything else, from professional work to house cleaning to personal hygiene, has to sqeeze into daycare hours and whatever few minutes I manage to steal after bedtime. To view this work in progress, see my Flickr page. I try to keep it updated with Arlo pics.
This year, Jeff and I took on the most challenging site design of our careers. The site is for the Fearless Living Institute, founded by Rhonda Britten, one of the life coaches on the daytime reality series, Starting Over. If you make a list of every possible feature that a web site might have, this site has about 95% of them. Because most of the magic is in the programming, Jeff is carrying most of the responsibility for this one, but for the whole summer, I was working as fast as I could every day to get the design done and the content in place for launch. It was tough work, but in the end, very rewarding. Go see it at www.fearlessliving.org.
Web Design in a Nutshell, Third Edition
This project nearly did me in. I began preparing for it in January, writing bits and pieces in March, then writing as fast as I could in May, only to find out that everything I had written was so out of date that it was unusable. I had the wind knocked out of me. Feeling defeated, at that point I had to put the book down anyway to devote my full attention to Fearless Living. But I was back on the horse in September and writing as fast as I could, 7 days a week, for over 3 months until it was finally all done in early December. The pace was grueling and didn't leave time or energy for anything else (except Arlo, of course), but I am pleased to say that I am thrilled with the results. I think it's the best and most useful book I've ever written (order your copy here). I'm just happy that it is all behind me.
Jeff called this year "a smear", and I have to agree. I felt like the world was passing me by while I was hunkered down in the trenches just barely meeting deadline after deadline. I'm hoping 2006 will be different. I'll always have lots of projects (and Arlo is always my first priority), but I'm hoping to strike a better balance. At the very least, I hope to find the time to keep Jenville.com fresh and fun.