As This Year Winds Down…

I sat and thought for while to find the right word or phrase to describe all of 2013. I thought change would be a good one, but its almost too generic to use. Something will always change each year. But alas, I think the right word is:

Reawakening

It just happened, and I think it was a delayed reaction to the meditation in which I participated in at one and half years ago. I started the year continuing the job that began in September of 2012, and somewhere deep inside my body started to tell me something wasn’t right. After a near nervous breakdown in May, I made a bold move to quit and take a break from work and not have an income. I just knew I had to do something different and simply stop what hasn’t been working. Ever since then, each and everything in my life that I thought I once knew, is now beginning all over again. I see my friends in a different light. I perceive my job and career as two completely separate things. And it hasn’t ended yet. Things have been uncomfortable because my body is learning to readjust to a familiar environment again. Who knows what will happen in 2014, but what I do know for sure is I am happy that in 2013 I chose to stop doing what didn’t make sense and finally wake up.

Good Bye 2012 – You Taught Me A Lot

January 1, 2013 – at this point in the day many people are still recovering from a long night of partying and drinking. But there are a handful of others that managed to avoid the craziness of NYE, and wake up early enough this morning to catch a decent brunch.

The fact that today is the first day of the new year doesn’t make it any different than December 31st of last year. Today simply has a different label than yesterday, and probably some extra sales at the local shopping mall. But it matters in the sense that it provides us with a mental way of measuring and starting “anew” by reflecting on the old and thinking of what to do today and here on.

The Good of 2012:
I started a new job later in the third quarter. I received a significantly higher salary, but that was far from the goal. I left my previous job of 6 years and 4 months that was filled with many good memories, but unfortunately I had to leave with rather bitter ones. Realistically I probably should have left 5 years into it, but I struggled with letting go of the past, which in turn led me to suffer longer than I would have preferred. But I only came to this realization after the last painful year and a half – that in itself made it more worthwhile. The reason being that it was a learning and self-reflection period. I eventually realized one of the many reasons that many of us choose to stay miserable is because of an attachment to the past. A good past makes us hopeful that current conditions are only temporary and things will improve soon enough, i.e go back to the way it was. For me, it was hardly the case. But there is a difference in leaving without thinking about this versus taking the time to understand why you did what you had to do, but at a deeper level. It helped me understand myself more and realize how my thought patterns manifest into the actions I take on a daily basis. In other words, I left my old world with more depth coming into the new world. If I left my old job after seeing something more superficial, such as not getting paid enough, I would not have learned as much as I should have. We should take action not for material reasons, but instead at times when we reach a deeper understanding about ourselves.

The Bad of 2012:
Compared to previous years, 2012 was almost a total 180 in that I hit many financial disasters. My investments hit a snag with longer than expected vacancies, maintenance costs, remodeling costs, and banks that couldn’t make up their mind with anything. Likewise, I was served with my first speeding ticket ever. The ticket fine was high, plus I needed to pay the county for the privilege to take traffic school, and pay the traffic school to take the course. At the end of the day, I basically donated money to the city because of a crooked cop that only gave out tickets to men and let the women go off easily.

The money problems only added salt to the wound because generally speaking I just had an off year (with the exception of finding the new job). Emotionally I wasn’t there most of the time. My heart didn’t have the drive and ambition to push the limits as I had in previous years. Fear crept through my mind more often than I would have liked. For the most part, I had played it safe this year. But it’s ok – we can’t be running all the time, sometimes a brisk walk is what we need in order to jump start the next run.

 

The Lessons of 2012:
When times are tough and things don’t find a way to work themselves out quicker than we are accustomed to, our only choice left is to find a positive way to handle more downs than ups. This essentially comes down to what works for the individual person. At first I usually found ways to take my mind off the matter – this meant exercising, hitting up the night life, and short get away trips. In the end, it didn’t work out so well because the issues were too overwhelming and few found a way to work itself out (sometimes when a problem stopped in one part of my life, a similar problem rose in another part of my life, hence it didn’t “work itself out” in my mind). I was left with only one option and that was to really deal with it. I had to mentally tell myself things would be ok, take deep breaths of meditation on a regular basis, and always keep my mind focused on what to do next to solve the problem. I had to understand that problems will come and go, but what’s most important is how we react and take action when it arises. There’s no way to prepare for anything that may happen to you at any given day, week, month, or year. But what we do have control over is what do I do now, and what do I do next.

Peace out everyone. My next post will be my plans for this upcoming year.