With the dawn of 2011, many people are making resolutions, as they always do. I believe in looking forward, but not forgetting to check behind occasionally, and having just completed an employment-based self review it seemed fitting to perform one on a more personal level. Am I happy with my life? If not, why not, and either way, how can I make it better – or at least not get worse? What significant things have I achieved in the last 365 days? What do I hope to succeed in doing in the next 52 weeks? Anything? Nothing? I tried (albeit briefly) to find a form to follow, but couldn’t find anything suitable, so I’m making it up. Seems to be something I’m not bad at..
Goals I had for 2010:
- Find a permanent, full time job.
- Between February and June I had a full-time temporary position working as a Testing Analyst for Rosetta Stone, in their test lab. Working many hours of overtime had it’s ups and downs, and in August I was offered a permanent, part-time position doing the same thing on the night shift working core hours of 5pm to midnight.
- Pay off debts.
- While this was only partially achieved, we are well on track to paying off several debts to zero. The initial goal was to utilize overtime money while working as a temporary employee to pay off debt, however there were several other events that required our attention. The car needed some work done on it, in addition to Crash needing veterinary visits. We were able to pay large amounts on one of Kelly’s student loans, which has brought our monthly outgoing amount down somewhat.
- Purchase a second vehicle.
- This was achieved late in the game. In September a second car was procured, which meets it’s requirements and it’s desirements. A ’97 Outback, it is a year older than the car we had, it’s a stick shift (so I’m happy!) and it seems to run well. It does have some work needing to be done, which will hopefully not be major.
Goals for 2011:
- Find a way to full time, dayshift employment, ideally within Rosetta Stone, and ideally within the IT department.
- Pay off more loans and other debt.
- Move out of Kelly’s parents house.
- Spend more time with friends in various formats. EG continuing/restarting “Thursday Night Office/30 Rock/etc,” game nights (board game and video game), day or (maybe?) weekend trips to nearby places, etc.
- Find a church that Kelly and I can both agree with and attend regularly. Become involved where possible.
This year has been a good year. A vast improvement over 2009 in terms of finance especially, we have been able to take a much-needed trip over 300 miles away (which we have just returned from) and have no fear regarding the ongoing payment of bills. Additionally, we have a basic plan laid out for paying off several loans in the next 3 to 4 months, to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
I am also realizing the impact that working in the evenings, combined with living in Broadway, is having on my social life and thus my overall happiness. I had forgotten how much of a social creature I am, and while introversion may be a part of my personality I am finding it difficult surviving without people. An important feature in any house we look at, for me at least, is that it be in or very close to Harrisonburg. The actual rent may be higher (although I doubt it would be by a whole lot), but being closer (or more central) to an increased number of friends would make up for it. That is certainly not to say that friends in Broadway/Timberville are less important, simply that there are less of you and it has to be factored in.
This coming year holds several challenges that are not listed as goals. To name just a few, there is another USCIS related cost coming up, as my green card expires in July and will require some more forms completed and some more money paid 90 days before that happens. Secondly we have a wedding to attend (one of Kelly’s old school friends, Sarah) is getting married in May, around the same time as our anniversary. This will involve a drive to Mississippi, with a side-trip to New Orleans (since we’ll be so close!).
A high priority on my list is a trip to visit New Zealand. This year will mark 3 years since I left, and a third year of wishing I could visit and see the many friends and family members I left behind to miss me. While the inability to return is entirely related to our financial situation and said financial situation is finally improving, I have minimal hope that the situation will be sufficiently rectified any time soon, unless both Kelly and I have significant pay increases. Chances are also good that to receive the pay increases needed will require us both to find new positions – mine may or may not be within RS, Kelly’s most certainly won’t be with the day care.
I have high hopes for 2011. Expectations are lagging slightly behind, but also high. I believe my goals are reasonable and achievable, while still being challenging. I wish everyone else the best with their goals for the coming year, and a happy new year to all.