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??