Looking back…

It’s snowing on the final day of 2009 and I decided to take a vacation day. I had originally intended to head out to work, but the roads were terrible and so I thought, what better way to end the year than cozied up at home, reflecting about the past year? I am not planning to make any resolutions this year. They always seem to fall to the wayside and then I beat myself up for not having the will power to stick to them. But I think it is valuable to look back on what has happened over the past year and think about what may come for the year ahead.

It’s been an interesting year. Things were crazy on the work front. There have been ups and downs, but most importantly, I am learning. It’s my first real experience as a supervisor and I feel like I have come a long way. I had some difficult teachers to work with and I made some mistakes here and there, but I have tried to see it as a learning experience. I am definitely becoming less of a “nice guy.” While it is important to me to have a good relationship with the teachers I advise and to be sensitive to their needs, I am learning that I have to keep a professional distance. It’s a difficult role, but it’s important for what we are trying to accomplish with the children. I am also going to be taking classes this year and hope to begin a master’s program in the fall. It looks like 2010 is probably going to bring more responsibility for me and hopefully more pay and vacation time.

Financially, 2009 wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either and it definitely could have been a lot worse. Going through a divorce and getting laid off put a little bit of a damper on my year, but like I said, it could have been much worse. I did, unfortunately, add a little to my credit card debt and got zero back on my tax return as a result of my ex’s bad choices. On the plus side, I paid off my car loan and consolidated my credit card debt. This year, I will be working on bringing down my credit card debt, getting out from under the mortgage I still share with my ex, and saving whatever I can for whatever may come up.

On a personal note, 2009 was pretty great. My relationship with Michael has grown stronger. We traveled to Florida to visit some of his family and he seems to be integrating nicely into mine. The layoff from work was actually positive in so many ways. I was able to do NOTHING for about 2 1/2 months. I was forced to just let go of some situations that were stressing me out at work and for the first time since I was 16 years old, I didn’t have to work or go to school. It was strangely liberating to be free of obligations, if only for a little while. Everyone in the family seems to be doing well. Chelsea is preparing to go to nursing school, Luke is working on his teaching degree, Jessica seems to like her job and my nephews are growing like weeds. Mom and dad became empty nesters. Oh my! What will they do with themselves?!

I feel like I have come a long way after the divorce. 2008 was a very difficult year and it seems like 2009 was a year for healing. I suppose I still have some things to work on in that area, like anger and forgiveness, but I’m getting there. One of the biggest positives for 2009 is that I became pretty active in the church I am attending. I am teaching Sunday School and I joined a small group, which has turned out to truly be a gift from God. The women in my group are wonderful and I look forward to our meetings every week. A few of us have also started a book club, so I’ll definitely be reading more in 2010.

During most of 2009, I have been dissatisfied with my health and physical state. I am not really having any health problems, but I do want to try to eat healthier and get more exercise in 2010. I just need to do it and that is always a lot easier said than done, but it’s a goal I have for myself.

Well, I remember at this time last year, I was looking forward to starting a new one because 2008 couldn’t have been much worse than it was. This year, looking back on 2009, I feel truly blessed because so many positive things have happened and I have come such a long way. Now, looking at the year ahead, I am optimistic that any upcoming trials or triumphs will turn out just as they are supposed to and I am very much at peace about that.

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