Justin Tadlock

My 2008 Christmas

Since I had to come home a couple of months early from Korea this year, I got the opportunity to spend Christmas with my family. It was a bit of an odd experience opening gifts and such with everyone because it felt like I hadn’t done it in ages.

I received many great gifts and literally feasted on foods that I hadn’t eaten in two years. I’m fairly certain I put on an extra 5 or 6 pounds.

I feel blessed that I’ve been financially fortunate enough to actually buy a few gifts for the family this year. I bought my sister a Nintendo Wii (I’m fairly certain she got the best gift). Before, I was always in school and broke, so gift giving wasn’t at the top of my list. I know Christmas isn’t all about money and being able to afford great gifts, but I consider it a blessing because I’m finally standing on my own two feet, so to speak.

The support of family

A few months ago, I made the decision to work online. Thus far, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I enjoy the work I do and the people I interact with every day.

Anyone that has taken this plunge knows that getting your friends to support the decision is easy. Convincing your family that you’re not crazy is the tough part. I’ve been surprised at the support I’ve gained from my family since I embarked on this online journey. Of course, they still remind me about my financial responsibilities, but that’s a good thing.

I have my friends to tell me that I can do anything, convince me that I can soar above the stars, and give me all the motivational advice one might need in a lifetime. I have my family to wrangle me back somewhere near reality.

As I mentioned, I’ve been surprised at the level of support my family has given me, especially considering that I once thought my dad believed that the Internet was the root of all that is evil in the world. Maybe I’m being a tad over dramatic there. Plus, I still can’t convince my stepmother that a search engine and Web browser are two separate entities, that each exists separately from the other.

My dad and stepmother got me two books on building a Web design business for Christmas:

  • How to Start a Home-Based Web Design Business by Jim Smith
  • Talent Is Not Enough: Business Secrets For Designers by Shel Perkins

I can’t speak about the quality of the books as I haven’t read them yet. The point I’m really getting at is that it’s great for my family to be taking an interest in seeing me succeed in my field.

Enjoying Christmas

I was in need of a break. I’ve been going full speed since I got home from Korea in October and hadn’t taken a chance to sit back and relax. I didn’t even turn on a computer for three days. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

Part of me wishes I could’ve been back in Korea for our school’s Christmas party, which was awesome last year and possibly one of the coolest Christmas parties I’ve ever attended. I do miss my friends out there, and that was the only sad thing about this year.

Overall, it was a great holiday. I hope everyone else had a wonderful experience as well.