The end of another year. One behind, one forward. It is odd that at this point in time we all stop for a moment and reflect more on where we are going than where we have been. I am not against this as I am generally a “glass-half-full” kind of guy. As with many during this time of year, it is time to reflect and plan. This is the first post of that process for me.
So here we go. A brief look back. 2008 was probably the most stressful year of my life. Not the Marines, the kids or the layers of drama I have experienced in my life. No, 2008 was the high-point in that honor. It all seemed to be going so well.
Was rolling into my 9th year with the same company heading towards the 10th. Good work doing IT Service Management stuff globally. Happy family life. It was good. Strangely enough it all began to change with the decision to sell our home and move to a town we had been thinking about moving to for quite a while.
Shortly after the search we had decided on the next house, put in a bid, was accepted and then began to focus on putting our home on the market in lieu of the pending move. I was also planning on attending the Pink Elephant conference in Vegas for work which was a great opportunity to network and pick up new tips/tricks/advice on implementing various elements of ITSM.
Then it all fell apart. The morning of February 13th, a mere 5 days from my Vegas trip, I was called on the carpet and told that with the market conditions my services were no longer deemed essential to the business’ operations. I was delivered my bag, jacket, my card was taken and I was escorted out of the building never to see my desk, nor co-workers again. I vaguely remember standing outside of the building for what seemed like an eternity in a daze while every imaginable thought was rushing through my mind.
The house, the family, the future….. What would I do now? How would I tell the family? Did I fail? Then I hit panic mode and after arriving home immediately began flooding the market with my hastily updated resume. I needed to find work and quick. To hell with the severance, I needed to work.
Long story short, in a tight market, we were able to find a buyer for the house, closed on the new home and while out of work, I coordinated the move itself, enjoyed time at home with the kids and continued searching for work.
I would say that lasted a couple of months until we were settled in the new home and I began to get stirr crazy. No calls were coming in from companies looking to hire. As the days drug on, I began thinking about going it alone. Photography? Pro-Blogging? There had to be something that I could do to earn some income. I even did a few Mac support jobs for friends earning a tad bit of cash.
In the end it just wasn’t fulfilling. I suppose having worked a solid day since the age of 17, I needed to actually be in a position to “GO” to work. Begin home seemed somewhat strange to me. As if I couldnt’ take it seriously enough as work. After all I was at home with no where else to go but maybe the local coffee shop to feel as if I was working.
Then in August the call came in! A company was interested in ITSM (ITIL) and were looking for an Incident Manager. Sure the pay was less than what I had worked my way up to achieve, but on the up-side the company offices were ony 20 minutes drive from home and I wouldn’t have to do the hell-commute into Manhattan. I could wake up at a reasonable hour, get home at a reasonable hour and still have time to spend with the kids. I jumped at the chance. It has been a pleasure ever since my start of October 6th. Good work, good company, good people and great location!
So there you have it, my look back. I know now that there may just be a plan in life for all of us. I understand that in the daily grind we may not see what that is, but for me it seems to all have been a journey that has delivered me on a new path that has given me exactly what I wanted; a better quality of life.
Yes it was hard. No I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but as they say, that which does not kill you, will only make you stronger. I am focused now on the future. One which I will address in my next blog. For now, I will simmer on this one for a while and appreciate my hardships so that I may plan for a brighter tomorrow.
This begins the opposite installment of my end of year blogging adventure. I went on in my previous post about 2008 so I won’t go and re-hash any of that. No, this is about setting those bars and goals for the upcomg year. We all do it year after year. Maintaining the focus to stay committed to those goals is the hard part. I only hope to lay before me a reasonable path that is not one aimed directly up a mountain.
There is so much to do and so little time it seems an almost impossible task just to figure out where to start. I have decided to begin from the inside out and that means a more focused attempt at re-structuring my lifestyle to promote health. I realize that this is pretty much the foundation to anything else one chooses to tackle in the way of either self-improvement or personal achievements in life.
So that is where I will begin. I am toying around with the idea of dealing with the psychological effort in a way similar to that of anyone running a business; by creating a “contract” with myself. I was thinking of making it sort of a “living” document that is structured like a task list. I would of course start with the category of Health and then determine what the terms of achieving that goal are. Then for the year ahead I would target each goal and begin to pick them off.
Depending on how that goes, I may add a term of possibly personal growth or career growth. All of that would, of course, have to be balanced with family. Oh boy, here I go as my thoughts begin to roll the list begins to grow, which of course introduces stress and makes one begin to think about giving up because the mountain is too high.
That’s it, I’m stopping now. I don’t want this to get too out of control before I even figure out how to structure it so that it may be controlled. Good luck in your goals for 2009, I know I will need it.