I’m not normally one to make New Year’s resolutions, though I do like to spend this time of the year to reflect on the past, present and future.
First, the past. Last year I did set some goals, so let’s see what became of those:
- E-detachment: Who? Seriously though, I do peek in from time to time out of idle curiosity (as I also do with EPL). Not much to say on this front other than I remain sad, in a detached “long-ago memory” way. The anger I once felt is now simply disappointment, and only when I choose to reflect back, which is pretty rare these days. I just hope G is doing well no matter what the situation is over there. That kid had some serious potential.
- Getting out of my head: Progress has been made, but I really haven’t been writing as much as I had intended. Regardless of writing, having a partner I feel completely free to express myself to has been a great help here!
- Playing violin: Big, fat FAIL on that one. I stuck with it for a couple of months, enough to get up to bowing, but she’s been relegated back to collecting dust in the basement. I still feel the tug from time-to-time however, so we shall see.
- Putting the house back in order: Big, fat WIN on this one, though I can’t take complete ‘self-motivated’ credit for that. With mom moving in, it was mostly an externally motivated move. Still, the end result remains the same. I tossed a ton of stuff away, cleaned up every room and re-painted the upstairs bedrooms. There’s still work to be done, but it’s come a long, long way from where it was.
- Get my finances in order: I wrapped-up my final 2011 debt just last week and I’m well on my way to clearing out the credit card debt. It’s quite a relief to not have that ominous cloud frequently hovering over my head!
- Get my driver’s license: Bingo! I attacked this one with unrestrained abandon, receiving my license this past summer. I didn’t stop there either, having taken the wheel at every opportunity in order to ensure I get maximum experience. This includes many hours behind the wheel driving to Michigan and Green Bay.
- Get a new job: FAIL! Still at the old job, still feel like a dinosaur, still feel unappreciated and still watching talented people walk out the front door like rats abandoning a sinking ship. Public service is NOT the place to be working in Wisconsin right now, especially not in my department. This has to be the only dark cloud following me around these days.
- Get healthy: Like I said, this was a bit of a “cheater goal” as I was well on my way there. I haven’t had a single recurrence of GI issues this year, and am confident that’s well behind me. BTW: I still smoke, but am down to 4 packs a week, so I guess this is really a partial fail.
- Working on me: Sometimes I have, sometimes I haven’t, but I can say with full confidence forward progress has been made. Taking on these goals has helped a great deal. Oh, and having a perfectly matched partner didn’t hurt, either. Speaking of which……
- Not screwing up things with the girlfriend: Yeah, we both had a good chuckle over this one the other day when she mentioned that blog post. We’re still together, stronger than ever with no end in sight. She’s been my muse, with I as her rock and that’s just one of the plethora of things that “just work” between us.
What can I say about the present? I mentioned to M recently that I’m still in a state of shock at how good my life is now. I’m healthy, happy (other than the job situation) and content with the path my life is on. Even from a gadget perspective, Mr. Gadgetman finds himself not pining for any more gadgets (well, four 2TB drives for my NAS would be nice, but there’s no pressing need there). My driving ability continues to evolve so I can say with confidence I’m remaining solidly within the “good driver” category. Finances have turned a corner, allowing me finally make some decent progress out of the debt hole I’ve dug myself into. Best of all I have a partner who I can depend on and turn to whenever things are good, bad or indifferent. Life is good!
Future? Here’s my shortlist of things I’ve got in sight now:
- Get a firmer grasp on my finances by developing a better plan for debt reduction. The final nail in my financial crisis of last year is cashing in my smaller 401k to pay off the taxes that will be incurred from LAST year’s cash-in as well as paying off the property taxes so I won’t be bothered with them (I usually do the 2-payment option). I’m still contemplating an escrow, though may just budget instead. Once I take care of my taxes, then it’s on to developing a budget to get rid of the outstanding credit card debt as soon as possible.
- Get more winter driving experience. Snow arrived a bit late this year, so I haven’t had much opportunity to experience what it’s like to drive on slippery roads. Since I’m a big fan of this climate, I have many years of snow ahead so it’s imperative that I know how to drive in it.
- Budget allowing, get a car. I’m not particularly excited about adding car/insurance payments and vehicle maintenance, having my vehicle would expand my options for finding a new job. My dream of owning a VW Beetle will be put on hold so I can focus more on obtaining a vehicle that fits within budget while still getting me around.
- Continue my education. Truth be told, I’m not super motivated for this goal, but admit it might be fun and certainly couldn’t hurt (finances allowing). Part of this would be to work with the Veteran’s Administration to see if I can get my OTO discharge upgraded so I can take advantage of my GI Bill. We’ll see.
- Finish cleaning up the house. I still few a couple of rooms that could use some clean-up and organizing. There’s also at least one more load of crap that needs to be offloaded.
- Improve the relationship with my violin. Yeah, I said that last year too. I still have the urge on occasion and just can’t seem to wipe the desire from my mind. Again, we’ll see.
- Continue having new and interesting adventures with M. This is pretty-much a given, so a bit of a cheater goal. Last year we tackled Galena, Green Bay, Michigan and Door County. There’s already been basic research for a trip to Mackinac Island this summer.
- Write more! Maybe this will be the year I actually stop whining about not writing enough. I enjoy it and my biggest fans (mom & M) enjoy reading it, so I really have no reason not to do it.
So that’s about it. Past, present and future. All done before the new year rolls around!