It’s pretty common for people to talk about time flying and such.
But, seriously, where did 2014 go?
It seems like last week that I was settling in to my new job, turning the page on 2014 with a lot of hope and promise and some goals set on this blog.
Now, here we are, almost a full later and looking back on a year that I would consider a solid one. Was it perfect? Not by any stretch. But was it better than I have experience in several years? Without a doubt. In fact, I have a hard time looking back on this year and not smiling.
That being said, let’s remember where I had been the past three or so years — in a darker place with unemployment. And before that, I was stuck in a job where the company didn’t take care of its people too well (four weeks of unpaid furloughs was a norm), so I had gotten into a pretty deep tunnel where being happy was difficult.
Not so much anymore.
Though there are a lot of things I still want to work on and change in my world, I feel like I am starting to get back on my feet, both personally and financially. As noted, there’s still room to grow and I am excited for the future.
But the future comes soon enough, let’s take a peek back at 2014. And that needs to start with whether or not I reached my goals I set in a post last January.
Better my blog (push)
I didn’t quite reach the full potential of bettering my blog as I didn’t really change the asthetics at all, and I didn’t get to 275 posts. I did, however, tend to get more photo stuff up and I have been working on feature items. Alas, the giveaways didn’t happen as I had planned, but that happens. I kind of was in the middle on this one.
On one hand, this could be a fail. On the other a success. It all depends on how one looks at it. I did a lot with photos on Instagram and such, but I didn’t visit the state parks as planned, or get back into Flickr. Photography will be a goal for me, again, in 2015 and I plan on taking it much bigger.
I have to call this a fail. It’s not that I stopped — I didn’t. But I needed just 416 finds to reach my 4,000th find. That didn’t happen. I also didn’t place caches as planned. I did cache and had fun doing it, but I fell off a bit with it because of other things. I plan on getting back into it a little more in 2015.
Again, it’s a bit of a push on this one. I didn’t take any major trips this year, but with the Summer of Baseball, I traveled close to home to watch baseball, visit some cool places (like Ben and Jerry’s), visited some cool brew pubs and found some wonderful places to eat. There were trips I wanted to take — Montreal, for example — that didn’t happen. The Summer of Baseball, though, was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, most likely, so it was well worth it. I also got to go to Pittsburgh last January for the Royal Rumble, which turned out to be a fun two-day trip as well.
Disc golf (fail)
This is as big of a fail as possible. Take the foot issues, then the lack of a close course, and then the baseball summer and … well, I think I played two rounds of disc golf in 2014. During the year, I also shut down (well, it’s still there, but we’re not adding anything else) RattlingChains.com because it had become just too much and if the quality couldn’t continue, I wasn’t going to let it keep going. I hope to play a tad more in 2015, but it’s going to remain a casual and fun activity for me more than tournaments and competition.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some other aspects of 2014.
One thing I remember about the start of the year was how freakin’ cold it was. It never seemed like the warmer months were going to get here. Those months bring back a cruel reminder about what, likely, the worse part of 2014.
The foot saga.
I don’t want to re-hash it all in this post as I’ve discussed it in-depth in other spots. But it was such a major part of the year, I’d be remiss if it wasn’t mentioned at all.
Later in 2013, I stepped on a rusty nail. Being a diabetic, that didn’t work out well. I went through checks, and antibiotics, and trips to a podiatrist. As 2014 started, things seemed OK. But then the injury relapsed and I visited the podiatrist, who sent me to get an MRI on my foot. Later that day, I got a call from the hospital saying I needed to see this foot surgeon that Monday, first thing.
Take into account here that I had only been on my job for a couple of months. So taking this time off was tough for me … well, at least in my mind. The reality was I needed to do this because it was going to make things better in the long run.
What followed was a whirlwind of craziness. I was told I needed surgery, fought it a little before accepting, then on surgery day, I had an anxiety attack. For the next month, they did cardio stuff with me, which included a heart catheterization (turns out my heart is fine) and clearance for the surgery. Turns out I shattered some bone in my foot. So they had to remove those pieces, clean it all out and then I needed six weeks of home IV antibiotics.
Eventually, things were fine, but it was one heck of a crazy trip. And, for the record, thank goodness for insurance.
That situation all ended as the warm weather started to arrive, which was nice. The situation also made me realize — and come to terms — with being diabetic and that I needed to really start taking care of myself. I hit “rock bottom” at one point with blood levels at a high and crazy level. Since then, I’ve worked pretty hard to make things better and that has, ultimately, made me happier because I know I am doing better for my health.
The summer was fun with the weather, a lot of baseball, a crazy fun softball season, and just being able to be out and about. I’ll touch on a bunch of things more in-depth in part 2 of this post tomorrow.
One thing that was good was how much closer our family has become this year. Despite a speed bump (or a blip) in one aspect of it, the family is much calmer and easier with one another. My niece is going to graduate in 2015 and head to college. My nephew/Godson is now 1 and is a fast mover. My one brother always is beaming with pride with his wife (just over a year) his son and her two kids as well. My other brother seems more calm and relaxes than he has been in several years and as a whole, things are improved all around. I think my mother probably likes the lack of fighting among her kids, that’s for sure.
The best thing about 2014? I was happy.
I haven’t been able to say that in a long time. Whether it was going for a geocache, or playing softball, or getting together with old and new friends to play board games on a Saturday night, I smiled. Going to pro wrestling events, or playing disc golf, or checking out Quinnipiac hockey beat the defending national champions was that much better this year.
Much of that is because I am in a job I love, feel semi-secure in this world and have worked to better my health and personal standing in life. I don’t let things bother me as much as I used to (2.5+ years of unemployment gives you a new outlook) and I look forward to the future a bit more knowing I am working hard to stay happy.
I’m fully ready for 2015 and look back at 2014 with fondness.
There were some bumps in the road, but I continually worked to overcome said bumps and I think I’m a better person because of it. The year wasn’t full of roses and candy, but I did my best to turn any negative into a positive, despite it not being easy at times. Things were tough at times, such as when we had to put our cat, Molson down in October. That was one of the toughest parts of the year, but at the same time, it was hard to look back at the 16 years Molson was with us and not smile. I still miss her like crazy, but I also know what kind of joy she brought us for all those years.
Tune in Thursday (Jan. 1) as I look at a few things a little closer from 2014. I’ll have my look at my 2014 in blogging later this week, as well as a look ahead to 2015.
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