Happy New Year

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2018. Here are some random thoughts regarding the year past and the one to come.

In 2017 I accomplished something I’ve wanted to do for years (and should have done years ago) – I read the entire bible. I used the Classic Reading Plan from BibleStudyTools.com to receive three passages each day. I only missed a couple of days due to the internet being out during hurricane Irma, and caught up once we had power again. What a blessed sense of accomplishment to reading the entire Bible. Thank you Lord! I am looking forward to doing it again this year.

One thing that helped was making that reading a daily habit. Each morning I would open my email, delete the new junk that had accumulated over night, and begin reading. After that I would start my other year long accomplishment – deleting part of the twelve years of email in my gmail account as I mentioned here. I am happy to say that I am down to around 400 total emails, almost all that I want to save for some reason or another along with a few that will be deleted once their usefulness has passed.

Now, about Irma. The storm came to Florida on September 10th leaving us without power for a few days. We were uncomfortable, but safe. Our property, however, did see some significant damage. Behind the house we lost two trees, and a lot of other branches. The trees fell away from the house and cars, praise God. The other good news about the trees is that we have talked about taking them down anyway. Now they are (mostly) down, although I still have quite a bit of cleanup yet to do. The damage to the house was a front bedroom that was originally a porch. The shingles blew off letting in the rain. That soaked the Sheetrock on the ceiling which collapsed on the floor ruining the carpeting. So far I have pulled up the carpet, put new plywood, felt, and shingles on the roof (well, almost done). Next up will be finishing the roof and then putting up new ceiling. The floor, not carpet, will be next and then the room will have to be partially repainted.

Another milestone in 2017 was my 62nd birthday. What makes that significant is that the government says that is the earliest that I can start drawing my Social Security check, although my “normal” retirement date would be February of 2021. With that in mind I have been transitioning from full to part-time at work. Instead of a 40ish hour work week I will be working about five days per two week pay period. I am thrilled that one of my first new schedules has me off for six straight days!

Of course retirement (or even semi-retirement) does not equal leisure. There are quite a few projects around here that will take up a good part of my time. In addition to the bedroom repairs and finishing taking down the rest of those darn trees I am looking forward to starting a nice garden. Then there are the normal repairs, upgrades, and remodels you have with any home. Hopefully I’ll still have some time for more leisurely pursuits like leveling up some Alts on WoW and, who knows, writing more here.

Finally, I pray that your new year will be filled with peace, joy, happiness and accomplishment. Here’s to a great 2018.

In With The New

new-years-eve-1004535_1280Well 2015 is now in the rear view mirror. Welcome to 2016! My hope is that you all made it safely through the craziness of the New Year’s Eve celebrations, however you chose to celebrate. Party animal that I am, I dozed off sometime before midnight watching the Mythbusters Marathon. My 11 year old woke me up at 12:01 to say he had just watched the ball drop in Time Square. Party On!

First and foremost this means that at noon today there will be 385 days until Obama is out of office. That countdown can’t progress quickly enough. Until then we have debates, caucuses (cauci?), primaries, conventions, ads, and desperate emails from desperate candidates to look forward to. In January we have two Republican debates (on the 14th and 28th) and a Democrat debate on Sunday the 17th – sure to cut in to the viewership numbers for the NFL Divisional Playoffs. Then in February things kick in to high gear, starting with the Iowa Caucuses on February 1st. That will be followed by three more Republican debates, another Democrat debate, the New Hampshire primary, Nevada Caucuses, and South Carolina primaries. By the time I get to vote in the Florida primary on March 15th the GOP field should be somewhat thinner.

But enough about politics, this is supposed to be a happy day of celebration.

I’ve never been big on making New Year’s Resolutions, and when I have my record on keeping them has been pretty dismal. Instead, I try to renew my commitment to living by a philosophy I’ve mentioned several times in the past – Always be content, never be satisfied. Too often I observe others (and myself) living the opposite. To explain, being content means that I am happy and peaceful no matter what circumstances I find myself in. Being content in those circumstances does not mean that I have to be satisfied by them. Being satisfied means (as I define it here) not striving for more, not improving, not moving forward.

The difference is subtle to be sure, and the balance is difficult to achieve, but it has been and continues to be my goal.

My hope for you is that 2016 is a great year. So, full speed ahead. Make it so.

Out With The Old

I have always been fascinated by New Year’s Eve and the beginning of a new year. A new year cynic might say that going from December 31st to January 1st is no different than going from (in this case) from any Thursday to Friday. But I’ve always thought of it as so much more.

The ending of one year is always an invitation to look back. Without a doubt there have been things happen this year that I wish had never happened. There are even more things that didn’t occur that I hoped would – for instance that life changing windfall the Nigerian prince promised me.

In the balance this has been a pretty good year. While I spent a few months this year (again) being unemployed, I am back working for a company that I really like doing a job I enjoy with more potential than I’ve known for a long time. The possibilities and promise on the job front are an exciting part of looking back at 2015.

It was also a year of getting a few old debts paid off. It’s hard not to get excited about that. My take is that paying off old obligations is like giving yourself a raise.

It’s also good to be writing again. I’m never going to be the most consistent blogger. I’m easily easily distracted and chronically lazy, not a great combination for a blogger. That’s OK. I enjoy the…what was I saying?

As I write this New Zealand has already rung in the New Year. When this posts the US east coast will have 12 more hours until 2016. I hope that as you look back on the year ending that you’ll be able to see more good than bad and more hope for a great new year. I’ll add my thoughts about looking ahead tonight.