Archive for December of 2006

December 27, 2006
Between the Years

Shortly before Christmas, we finally completed the project in Hannover that I've been working on for the past three years. It was down to the wire, with hard-ball negotiations right up to the very end, and it was a huge relief when all sides agreed and we got a signature. It's been three years of driving back and forth between Hamburg and Hannover, three hours round trip, or living in a hotel, with little more than a mini-bar and a TV to fill my spare time. Four or five days a week (and weekends during the final stretch), three solid years of requirements workshops, technical specs, deadlines, test plans, acceptance procedures, change requests, and tough negotiations about what's in scope and what isn't; and now we finally have the burden off of our shoulders, just in time for the holidays.

Right now we're all in that No-Man's-Land of time that the Germans call "between the years", cold and dark days of suspended animation between the Christmas and New Year's holidays, with the presents unwrapped but the champagne bottles still corked, the old year essentially gone but the new year not yet arrived. I feel like I'm floating somewhere outside of the universe, with no worries or pressures waiting for me when I get back in. I had forgotten what that feels like.

Today I was walking down the Schulterblatt, just getting some shopping done, when it dawned on me that I was in a good mood. And it wasn't because some software I designed passed an acceptance test, or because I had gotten a bonus, or because I just had a stiff drink, or because some girl smiled at me, or because I had a good workout or had been to a good concert or had spent the day playing with my kids. I just felt good, for no particular reason at all. Just for the hell of it.

Today I didn't wear a watch for most of the day, and I didn't know what time it was. I still don't know what day of the week it is. And I don't care. My vision of paradise.