Most of the time when someone gets something wrong its a bad thing but since the Mayan calendar ended this year I’m actually kind of glad that they got it wrong. The world ending would have really put a damper on the year!
I know that its rather pointless to use an arbitrary date for reviewing your life or what has happened recently but the turning of the calendar year does give us an opportunity to reflect and in many cases it also gives us the time to reflect which can be hard with a busy schedule. Like most years I did pause a little to review the year that just passed in an effort to sum up what the hell just happened. This year was probably one of the busiest years in my life and overall it was a good one.
There are many good things that happen to us each and every day and we mostly just ignore them and I’ll be honest I typically did just that. This year I’m very grateful for all of those things that were good even if I didn’t notice them all the time. I remained healthy even though I insisted on attempting to sabotage this by working too much, smoking and drinking too much. I’m grateful that my daughter remained healthy, grew like a weed and was a very happy child.
I also learned a lot this year both from my mistakes and from good things that happened. I learned through practice that I really enjoy renovations and by that I mean actually doing the renovations myself. We renovated the bathroom at the cottage in the span of a week (just a little facelift), pretty much gutted our house and are in the process of refinishing it. This second renovation was huge and cost more than a luxury car and the best part about it is that I was involved not only in paying for all the work but did a lot of it myself. This is actually something that I am very proud of and happy that I got to learn as much as I did from my contractors. I am going to leverage this into finishing the renovations myself.
We (my wife and I) also bought a new house which was a huge shift for us because of how much of an undertaking it was. It was also a great investment even though it required a lot of work.
Another great thing that happened to me this year was I got promoted at work, it was almost a reward in recognition for all of the work I put int. Unfortunately this did come as a bit of a double edged sword because of all that work. I’ve realized because of this that I don’t need to keep moving my career forward to be happy. I can be happy doing less and making less to have more time because that is something that is very finite.
This year was also the year that a few bad things happened (ok that was an understatement there are always bad things that happen). We did have a few encounters with death this year in that a couple people close to us passed away (way before their time). This has really left an impact on me because it really put mortality into perspective and to really let me realize what is important.
The other bad things that happened this year are that we didn’t make much headway when it comes from a personal finance perspective. We’re still as much and actually a bit more in debt that we were before (thought the new house is an asset that balances all of this).
I also learned the power of details this year. Not necessarily in the best of ways because our renovations were well over budget and we weren’t as good at holding onto our money. But part of this is actually a good thing because it is something that has been staring me in the face for years and I kept ignoring it. Hold onto the details because they’re important – they do say the devil is in the details and in my case the path out of debt may be hiding there. Knowing which details to measure and track and when is the key.
It was a good year because I watched my daughter grow and be happy, my wife and I were happy together and moved forward with our lives. At the same time I didn’t do enough stuff for me this year, I focused too much on my job and not enough time on the things that are important to me but for once I can say that I really saw that.
Tomorrow I’ll post up some goals that I’ve got for this upcoming year one of which is actually re-focusing on tackling the financial aspect of our lives and we’ll take you along for the ride.