Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye - and Good Riddance - to 2015

And, so, we bid a not-so-fond farewell to the "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad" disappointing, frustrating, and mediocre mess of a year that was 2015.

OK, so it wasn't really terrible, horrible, or very bad. And, of course, there was plenty of good. Living in middle-class, suburban Colorado with a wonderful family, great colleagues, overall good health, safety, security, friendship, support, and opportunity, I can't and shouldn't complain about ... life. In comparison to the challenges faced by many people this year, and in acknowledgment of the serious tragedies that this year has wrought, I am satisfied and appreciative of my world.

That said, in reflection, this year threw some curveballs at us that have made things unpleasant at times. I've been tempted to reflect on this as the $100,000 year because there have been enough disruptions to put this middle class family in a rut. With record rains last spring, and really crappy soil in Colorado, my basement floor has heaved to the point of potentially catastrophic structural damage. After a trying and frustrating time dealing with the complicated world of construction contracting, we are looking at a new basement floor and sump-drain system, with the repairs probably topping out at just under $50,000. And that hurts, especially because when it comes to problems linked to "earth movement," State Farm has been anything but "a good neighbor." So, we have a pretty hefty bill to shoulder which has pretty much drained savings and required additional debt. And if that wasn't enough, the transmission dropped on our twelve-year-old beloved Pontiac Montana, necessitating the purchase of a new car. Not what the financial security doctor ordered for us that's for sure. And, as the kids get older and the spectre of college looms, it's been an uneasy year here at A Teacher's View.

Beyond that, the year 2015 was just not a successful version of my intent to "live the life I have imagined." Let's just say that while I love my job and am happy to be so fortunate, there are other things I want to do, and I just haven't been able to make them happen. Of course, the year wasn't a total loss. In fact, my plan to live one of my healthiest years yet showed a lot of promise. While struggling with a variety of issues during the year - and feeling like I couldn't commit to the sort of changes I'd like to see - I did have a successful experiment with my health when I went "Gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, alcohol-free, and caffeine-free" for one month. I never followed up on the blog, but it was a pretty nice run that allowed me to hit my goal weight and post my best 5K of my adult life. I wish I'd written more about it, and I probably should. But the failure to post about it is a reflection of how busy and stressful the work life became - especially because I've been less than successful about becoming a more focused and organized person. From the start of the school year, there has been a lot going on, and while I am pretty good at my job, I often feel like I'm just getting by, getting things done, rather than thriving. I know that's not really true - but perception matters.

So, rather than going on and on about this year, I'll simply finish by reflecting on a pretty mediocre year and pointing out that "I don't want no mediocre." See ya, 2015. Don't let the door hit you ... on the way out.

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