Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Musings: End of Year Review

If you know me you know that this is my favorite time of the year. I look forward to Christmas and New Year's even more than I look forward to my birthday. Between the gift giving and the reflection and the anticipation of the upcoming year, there is almost nothing that can bring me down during this part of the year. Now that Christmas is over (I must have been a bad boy since I didn't get what I wanted from Santa) I can look back at my year. This year was definitely a roller coaster ride for me and I would like to say that I have come out of it better than I went into it. Didn't accomplish everything I wanted to do, but at the same time I also did some things I never thought I would do. Below you will see my list of 13 things that have influenced my 2013 (in alphabetical order).

1. The Affordable Care Act
When the Affordable Care Act went into effect a lot of people were impacted, including myself. Unlike most people, the Affordable Care Act's impact on me was professional. When it was first discussed, my job was in jeopardy as the act would eliminate the need for the primary function of my job. Fortunately, my company choose to allow us to get certified as application counselors which will allow us a little cushion and keep us employed at least through April. What happens after that is still up in the air. Stay tuned.

2. Blogger Meet-Up
When I first started blogging, meeting the people behind the blogs was the big thing. Within a few years I had met my share of bloggers in New York, Boston and Baltimore. Most of which I am still cool with now. That being said, there were still 3 bloggers that I still wanted to meet. This year I was fortunate enough to meet one of them. And as fate would have it, we work for the same company, just in different offices approximately 20 miles apart.

3. Friendships
My friends always amaze me. Sometimes for good reasons, other times for bad reasons. This year was no exception. The old Maya Angelo quote comes to mind, "when people show you who they are, believe them.". The lessons I learned this year are ones that will allow me to be a better person in the future whether those people who taught me those lessons continue to be in my life or not.

4. Galaxy 4S
So this year I purchased my first smart phone without a keyboard. I wasn't sure how I felt about a full touch screen phone, but as I type this post on it I can say the transition wasn't so bad. I still miss the keyboard every so often, but will move forward and keep up with the times.

5. Man of the Year
In October, my church awarded me with it's "Man of the Year" award. I very humbling moment for me as I don't do what I do to win awards, I do them from the heart. Being recognized is nice, but the reactions of the people that benefit from what I do are the rewards that I cherish the most.

6. NYC Mayoral Election
Aside from the 2008 Presidential election, this is the political campaign that I have been the most personally involved in and interested in. Even so much so that I attended forums and met several of the candidates personally. In the end, the initial candidate I was interested in did not win, but I do think that the city is in capable hands.

7. Reconnecting With Good Friends
People come and go in your life for various reasons. Sometimes you understand, some times you don't. Some people you miss, some you dont. Some even come back. This year I was fortunate enough to reconnect with 4 people who I can truly say that I missed.

8. Scandal
Say what you want to about the quality of the show, the one-liners and social media interaction makes this must see tv. Thursdays at 10 will never be the same.

9. Spending Time With Family
They say you have two families; the one you are born into and the one you choose. After years of not spending time with the family I was born into, I tried to spend more time with them this year. It lead to some interesting moments, but I don't know if I will repeat that experiment again.

10. Twitter
I was reluctant to join, but once I did, I definitely went in the deep end of the pool. It's an interesting place to say the least. Perfect for a scattered mind like mine.

11. Visiting My Grandmother
I have one living grandparent. Back in April I visited her in North Carolina for the first time in over 10 years. Considering her current medical condition the trip was bittersweet, but it's one that I am glad I made and one I will make every year as long as she is here.

12. Working With A Relative
For the last 3 years my cousin and I have worked for the same company. For the last 19 months we have worked in the same office. It has been an interesting experience. People around us say it seems like we are getting closer. Ask me and the situation is making me resent the sight of her. Either way, it has definitely had an impact on my this year.

13. 52 Week Savings Challenge
This year I participated in the 52 week savings challenge. If you don't know, it works like this. The first week you save 1 dollar. The second week you save 2 dollars. The pattern continues until you the last week in which you save 52 dollars. If you are successful, you will have over $1300 saved up. If it worked for me, it can work for you.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Back To Reality

I usually post early in the morning from the confines of my desk, but for the better part of the last five and a half weeks I haven't been able to do that. For the last five and a half weeks my job reassigned me to Manhattan to work on a special project. I appreciated the opportunity and learned a lot in the process, but it is certainly good to be "home". Especially on a day like this as I watch the snow fall and am very happy I am not dealing with the 2 hour commute to Manhattan today. By the looks of it, it is going to be a slow day today so I will catch up on blogs, do some virtual shopping and see what I have missed around the office.