End of 2014

    As 2014 comes to a close, I am taking some time to reflect on things that have happened during the year. Overall, 2014 has been a good year for me, but there have been some disappointments as well.
  • Finances
    • I am in much better shape at the end of 2014 than I was at the end of 2013. This is the result of planning and discipline on my part. Without having a goal, and forcing myself to stick to it, I would not have cleared off all but one of my debts at this time. It has not been easy, it has often involved sacrifices and denial of my wants, but it has also proven to be worth it in the long run.
    • I still have one debt to clear, but that one has never been one that was in arrears. It is going to take a while to get this last debt erased, but I know now that I can do it if I apply myself. The key is to not allow myself to get into the bad habits that got me into trouble in the first place. My credit score has soared over the last year. Offers for all sorts of things have flooded my mailbox, and all have gone to the shredder until this month. I finally opened a new credit card for the express purpose of having a source of funds for an emergency only. The temptation to use the new card is virtually non-existent, and that is a great feeling to have.
  • Job
    •     This is the tricky part. I still love the job that I have, but I am also finding myself thinking more and more often that there has to be something better out there for me. For all intents and purposes, I work alone. My coworkers never come to the office because they take advantage (abuse) the company's telework policy. I no longer even notice when they are not here, i am actually more surprised when they actually ARE here. I have come to prefer this arrangement since it distinguishes me from them in a measurable way. The situation has been discussed with the team lead, but he is actually at corporate HQ 3000 miles away from us and doesn't seem to realize the potential risks associated with the continues absence of the coworkers. That is not my problem once it has been addressed to him.
  • Goals
    •     As mentioned above, I often find myself wondering about other possible opportunities that might be out there. I work with data all day long, and with the situation described earlier, there is often no human interaction at this job other than a telephone call. I find myself wondering if I could re-adjust to working with other people. I am passionate about politics and Social Justice, I try to write a blog, but something always seems to get in the way.
  • Plans
    •     I want to write more during 2015. That is my primary goal. Perhaps writing and sharing my thoughts more will lead me to one of the jobs that would break the routine that I am in. At the very least, it keeps me happy when I do take the time to write. I also want to get into better shape physically, and I will try to do that in 2015. I wonder if the lack of pressure and stress about finances will help me to achieve that goal?
  • Loss of a friend
    •     I cannot close out 2014 without mentioning the loss of a very dear friend. Don Beasley was someone I met while in the Navy years ago, so long ago that is often seems like a past life to me. Don was one of the handful of people that made the effort to maintain contact with me through the years. He and his wife, Nicola are a part of the family that Hal and I have created for ourselves. There has never been any judgement from Don or Nicola about Hal and myself. Don died in a motorcycle accident in November while on his way to work. He loved his motorcycle, and took advantage of a spectacular day in November to get in one last day of riding. Sadly, he was involved in the accident that day and died almost instantly. I remember falling to my knees when Nicola called me a few hours after the accident to tell me what had happened. I have not felt that sense of loss in a long time. Hal and I remain very close to Nicola and the kids, Brianna and Connor. We spend Thanksgiving and Xmas with them every year with the exception of this Thanksgiving, because there were still so many people at their house after the tragedy. Xmas with them was terrific, and everyone is slowly coming to terms with the loss of Don. He will never be forgotten, and Hal and I remain committed to helping Nicola and the kids in whatever way we can.

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