Full Disclosure: I was only 49 in this photo.

As I mentioned yesterday, today is my 50th birthday.  It seems like a day that I should spend reflecting on my life so far, and planning what to do with the next 50 years.  And eating cake.

It’s hard to believe, but a good chunk of my adult life has been spent doing what I do every day – teaching about codes, learning about codes, trying to improve codes, and explaining how codes affect doors and hardware and how code-compliant openings help to keep building occupants safe.  Although this was not part of my original life-plan, I have been immersed in this since way before iDigHardware was born.

Some days I ask myself…is my work making a difference?  Are people listening, or am I talking to myself?  Am I helping to make the world a better place, or at least making someone’s job a little easier?  Will I leave behind something more valuable than my antique lock collection and my Adon Brownell books when I reach retirement age?  Am I doing what I was born to do, or is there something else I should be moving toward?

The truth is…I DON’T KNOW!  Most days, I love what I do, although there are moments when I want to just fill a backpack with necessities and run away from home (this may be partially due to motherhood).  So I need some help from you…

Every so often I hear some random feedback that gives me a jolt of happiness and pride.  Several years ago, the president of a manufacturer called me to say that he had traveled to Dubai and each customer he visited mentioned that they were readers of iDigHardware.  A few weeks ago I saw the online profile of an architect, and in the spot for favorite websites, he said his favorite work-related website is iDigHardware (SERIOUSLY???).  Almost 7 years ago, I mentioned in a post that I would be off-line the next day while my 4YO daughter had surgery, and was so touched to see a huge spike in the stats as people came to iDigHardware to see if I had posted any news.  It is very fulfilling for me to engage with people and to help.  If I can continue to do that, it will all be worthwhile.

So, here’s what I need from you.  Talk to me.  Tell me how iDigHardware has helped you in your work, or helped to solve a problem.  How did you find the site (and me)?  How do you use the information I post?  And most important, what else can I do to make iDigHardware a more valuable resource for you and your coworkers?  What’s missing?  What could be improved?  Should I expand to cover other topics?  Have you had enough Wordless Wednesday photos yet?

Let’s see if we can get to 50 comments, for 50 years!  I want to hear from you!

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