Looking at the Past Year

So this is my obligatory retrospective of the past year. I considered doing a resolution post but I generally try to avoid making resolutions (though I do sometimes post goals). Instead I am doing a post-Christmas letter. Here goes:

This last year was filled with ups and downs. Sparky went full time at Lowe’s and was raking in the pennies. He decided in the last months of the year to look for a different job. He succeeded in finding 2 jobs. He is currently still employed at Lowe’s (part-time now) as well as working for the County library as a resource person for the computer lab, 3-D printing lab, and as a reference assistant (sort of the reference librarian without the title or pay) also part-time. He managed to score a job working at Indiana University – South Bend as a lecturer for the business computing classes. He will be working as an adjunct teaching the same classes he taught before. He is one busy guy in his retirement!

I settled down in my role as a Team Lead. I’m not going to lie and say it is a fun job. Being a Team Lead is exhausting and frustrating. I have managed to endure 3 inspections with minimal findings. Most safety and regulatory inspectors want to find something – anything! So far one inspection found a ladder missing an inspection date (fixed instantly). Another found an expired fire extinguisher (which turned out wasn’t expired at all). And the last one was a patch of chipped paint. We knew about the paint but the wall had been sealed with clear silicone caulk pending a repainting in the summer… I’ve been hugged and praised by graduate students, a post-doc told me she loved me. I saved another’s bacon (no details will be given), comforted another in tears, assisted still another on the verge of an emotional breakdown. But for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction… I’m seriously toying with the idea of retiring too! That however won’t entail working 3 jobs. I was considering going to work for the devil (Wal-mart hires in at $12/hr). It just might be a cushy job or at least one that would allow my OCD a little exercise.

Our sons are doing well. Son#1 is climbing (slowly) into a management position. He celebrated a 7 year work anniversary this last August. He had to buy a new-to-him car after a collision that totaled his car (my car on semi-permanent loan to him). He bought a new refrigerator. He had a little panic when his water softener died and he was thinking he’d need a new one AND his dryer went on the fritz. We came to the rescue – as soon as we turned off the water softener and unplugged it the breaker stayed on and the dryer worked!! He was very happy.

Son#2 graduated from IUSB with a degree in music – viola performance just last week. He is still working in the meat department part-time (10 year anniversary) and is taking after his father. Besides the job in the grocery, he is giving violin and viola lessons at a local music store. This summer he auditioned for the Elkhart Symphony and is now playing with them. He seems to really enjoy it. He won’t be able to give up any of his other jobs but he is having fun! When he has a free moment he is also still playing with the Silver Strings Quartet. They’ve done the Bridal Expo and had lots of weddings this last spring and summer.

The bigger picture is that we are thankful (in the words of Sparky just before Christmas) that we “have running water that we can turn on and off and have it hot or cold nearly instantly.” We are surrounded by friends that are like family and family that we’d choose as friends. Although we have experienced some medical issues (mostly in those we love) that have been resolved with wonderful outcomes, we still feel fortunate to have good health. Sixty is the new thirty right? I am looking forward to the new year and new experiences and perhaps some travels and adventures. What do you see in your future??

21 thoughts on “Looking at the Past Year

  1. Sparky is absolutely right. Wishing you all a Happy New Year. May it be filled with peace, love, joy, prosperity and good health. Oh, and sixty is so the new thirty 🙂


    1. Hehe! I don’t think of myself as old. When I was young 60 was ancient and most of the women I knew who were 60 were walking with canes and generally “feeble”. Now being 60 just means you’ve got more time to do what you want before you get old at 80!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 I absolutely agree. I have an uncle who at 80 was still going to the gym and working part time (just enough not to interfere with his pension).


  2. All in all, sounds like a blessed year for a blessed family. But I’d rethink Walmart as a retirement gig–standing on your feet for 8 hours will necessitate a standing appointment with the podiatrist (pun intended ðŸĪŠ) Here’s to a fab 2019, Muri!


    1. Thanks Susan! I doubt that Wal-Mart is where I’d go for my retirement job. I may end up doing some substitute teaching or maybe see if one of the “upscale” department stores like Macy’s is hiring… I’m on my feet a lot in my current position so I don’t think that would be a big issue as long as I don’t have to stand in one place.


  3. I’m hoping to take a class at Grace College/Seminary. Just found out I can register as a Sr. Scholar and take classes for $25. each class. No credit, but I don’t care. Less stress that way. Other than that, I’m hoping 2019 will be as good as 2018 was. Sparky’s right. Running hot and cold water is a blessing that we often fail to appreciate. Wishing you and your family a blessed New Year.


    1. Merry Christmas Gracia! Taking a class at the college sounds exciting. I worry that I may need to find new ways to keep my brain muscles supple. I’ll have to look into that option!


  4. Wishing you and yours continued health and happiness.

    what I see the following year is always a search for a ride to Dr. appt’s for both of us. I am hoping my balance settles down so I can drive again and maybe get Wil to give up his keys. Right now I need him and as his navigator it can be stressful. I don’t need stress.


    1. Do you have Uber or Lyft? They are like taxis but instead are individuals – they are cheaper than the regular cabs. Sparky was an Uber driver for about 9 months. He didn’t make a lot of money but he enjoyed it. The cost savings is worth it if you only use those services – no gas, insurance, car payments or repair costs. Plus you don’t have to drive or navigate!!


    1. We were very blessed this last year. I’m hoping 2019 continues and improves on last year. I’m managing to get through each work day by taking them one at a time. Sometimes that’s all you can do. I hope this next year is better for you and Stephen job-wise and financially too! You are both in my prayers.


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