Year of the Phoenix: Q4 and Final Report

Austin Artist and Writer, David Borden, being hospitable at a swim meet as a member of the prestigious and highly selective Hospitality Committee.
"Can I get you some water?"
The Year of the Phoenix came to a close on June 20, 2016 (The summer solstice). What an amazing year of transformation.

The Fourth Quarter was dominated by the success of my new job at the college and work on my graphic novel, "And Yet We Rise," which is completed, scanned, and ready for submission to agents. The short description is here:

Sometimes meditative, sometimes humorous, but always raw, "And Yet We Rise," dares to enter the dark, haunting places to expose the beauty and heartbreak of parenting a special needs child. It reveals a journey that any of us may be called to undertake when we become the caretaker of a loved one.

My newest job with Austin Community College has gone well. You can read more about the project I direct, Career Accelerator, in a recent Austin American Statesman article: "ACC Ramps up Effort to Graduate Students with Work Experience in Hand."

Also, my program was also featured in a joint report of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and ACC: Progress Toward Excellence.

This new job has brought me less stress and more happiness. I'm grateful to ACC Administration: Mike Midgley, Dr. Cook, and Dr. Rhodes for giving me the opportunity to do something else. My former job as Executive Director of Adult Education was rewarding, but a bear, to say the least. I ran a division of over a hundred employees, a consortium of 22 partner agencies, and 6 sub-contractors. We served over 4000 students a year at 42 locations in basic skills, GED prep, ESL, and College Readiness.

On the home front, Tamara and I landscaped our backyard. This was a job we'd talked about for years, but finally rolled up our sleeves and did. Goodbye water hogging St. Augustine, Hello, drought tolerant natives!

Year of the Phoenix Final Report:


Graphic novel page written, drawn, and inked by David Borden, (c) 2016.
The inking stage of the graphic novel
The big things I achieved this year:

1. Made an effort to meet new people and make new friends
2. Took chances to try new things, such as performing live in a downtown venue during a comedy festival
3. Wrote, drew, and inked a 240 page graphic novel
4. Got off the career ladder in order to have more time for the things that make me happy. To that end, many friends and colleagues have commented on how much happier I am, and how much younger I look.
5. Started living life with the notion that my story doesn't end happily ever after, but continues happily.
6. Won the Grand Prize in a writing contest (with national and international entries) and read my short story for a packed Alamo Draft House audience attending a film festival.
7. I read poems and stories at a bookstore "open mic."
8. Resumed my career as an artist. Thank you to everyone who has believed in me, ordered art, or supported my dream.

I thought this was a good time to reprint a quote that I included in my Q1 report:

"Don't be defined by what you didn't know or didn't do. You are deciding your life right now."

To read Year of the Phoenix Quarterly Reports and posts, click the phoenix rising:

Drawing of a phoenix rising from the ashes by David Borden (c) 2015.
Year of the Phoenix

#pheonix #lifestyle #happiness #inspiration #worklifebalance

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