Advent : A personal post saying farewell to things, preparing for the new


I have been intending to write this for a number of weeks. But procrastination and a busy transition of roles at work knocked that back.

However I had the opportunity to attend an advent spiral ceremony with my son. His class were asked to invite a parent to attend with the child. Advent is a ceremony that while recognized as a Christian ceremony, the spiral aspect occurs in all cultures going back possibly as long as humanity has had consciousness. It’s associated with the cycle of rebirth, time and seasons and the spiritual journey.


It was a good ceremony, a time to spend with my son, and a time to reflect on things and a way to let things go, and a look towards the future.  And it was a wonderful ceremony ( well as wonderful as it can be with kids who can get bored quick 🙂 )

Its been a heavy year, a personally difficult one, as well as professionally. So this ceremony was a good marker at the right time that helped me put things in perspective. For those that don’t know, Due to a corporate re-org, I am no longer running the Dell EMC Elect Program. Instead I have taken up a role with the Dell EMC Design Science and Enterprise Analytics Team. It’s a transition from marketing to a Sales support role.  It’s a steep learning curve, with Business objects and tools like Sales Force and Tableau. Which makes it interesting. What’s also interesting is getting to know the sales side of things at Dell EMC and the community of Sales folks. And it involves working with data scientists 🙂 I admit I’m enjoying it despite feeling out of my depth and comfort zone.

That said it’s been a bitter sweet transition that was preceded the death of a friend, a terrible storm.  Its not been easy stepping away from the Dell EMC Elect community, but as I did, I was clearly told by the members of that community that I could never truly leave, that the community was always going to be there. And that means an awful lot.

Having said all that, the advent spiral ceremony, where I walked with my 7 year old son along the spiral as he carried his candle, was the perfect journey of reflection.  Once at the centre of the spiral, the candle is lit (by the school principal) and my son carries his candle back through the spiral and places the candle down in the greenery on the way out, adding to other candles that incremented as per the photo above to beautifully light the spiral.

I have to say that helped me mark out the whole transition of this year. And while it’s been tough, its not without its achievements. After all I did graduate with my MSc in September, and reaching my 13th year in Dell EMC.  It also helped me finally let go of my friend, Satish Singh. As I was unable to attend his funeral, the advent spiral was a way to say goodbye in my own way. And it helped me let go of the trusteeship of the Dell EMC Elect and accept my new role. I also said good bye to a lot of personal stuff in my life and renew my commitment to improving myself.

2018 is going to be a different year. I’ll not be attending conferences anymore, well at least in the capacity of attending s part of my job. Which I’m actually looking forward to, as in not having to travel. It also means I commute to the office, which is an hour and half each way. While a little inconvenient compared to my previous commute, walking upstairs to my home office, I have taken advantage of listening to podcasts on the drive. And I do enjoy it. Overall, this next year is looking good, very different, but good, challenging, uncertain, overwhelming. All positive things for me. It’s a great challenge and oppurtunity, which I’m already knocking out of the park and will continue to do so in 2018.

And finally, I will wish you dear reader, and all those in my community a very Happy Christmas, and a brilliant healthy and prosperous New Year. I hope you mark of this year in your own way, and get perspective and a way forward. I’ll see you in the New Year, no doubt talking analytics, data science, math (mind you, I’m no mathematician:) ) and tech.  Until then enjoy the holidays and see you in the New Year.

And as it is the season, here’s the irish language version of the classic seasonal Silent Night:

And the retelling of my favourite Christmas story, “The Gift of the Magi”

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