Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Back On A Bipolar Year

2013 was an interesting year. It was a twelve month period of highs and lows that, fortunately, ended at the highest point on the calendar. We had our struggles but pushed through them all and came out stronger than before. And, most importantly, we took whatever time we had to appreciate what we have and looked forward to what could be rather than commiserating about what was the reality at the moment.

The year began in promising fashion as I added a day job with a financial services firm to immediately follow my night shift working the front desk of my apartment building. At the same time, I was slowly increasing my Rotary involvement and was beginning to line things up to join the local Masonic lodge. While all of this was going on, my wife was continuing to work in her chosen field and hating my hours at the same time.

As the first couple of months passed, I was struggling to establish myself in my new profession while trying to stay conscious after working all night and having to commute to Delaware daily. It was a struggle but it also helped me to figure out what my body and mind was capable of and has continued to help me throughout the year. It was also around this time that I began to increase my political involvement by voicing my opinions, showing my support for my party, and attending various events in the area.

By the beginning of April it was time to move on from my day job and really look for an opportunity in my chosen profession of public relations. It was a good thing that I did not give up my night job. By the end of the month, some significant changes had occurred as it was that by the end of the month I was no longer a man, I was a Mason. That seemed to be the turning point that served as the drive that was beginning to waver. It was with this new found self respect, confidence, and motivation that I entered May.

The month of May was one that saw many new endeavors and responsibilities. As you know, this was the month when this blog was created and, so far, has been a daily exercise to keep me writing and motivated. It was a month of fortuitous introductions as it was during this 31 day span when I made initial contact with the woman who would eventually become by boss. At some point I also officially accepted the honor of becoming president elect of my Rotary club come July and also the month when the miles began to add up as my wife and I started our Pennsylvania exploration (this travel was in addition to the New Jersey trip we took to support our friend as she received her doctorate).

The summer months all blended together as the blog posts began to rack up and the formation of the secondary Phillies related blog began. Additionally, I began doing some freelance writing for a Red Sox publication pulling together game recaps. Travel occupied much of our free time during this period as we traveled around much of the eastern part of the commonwealth. Many of the interviews, meetings, and events around this time tend to run together but I vividly remember a few of them as I was finally able to meet my current boss face to face, I was able to meet and talk to Governor Corbett, I was able to watch my niece graduate High School, attending my mom’s much deserved retirement party, and I slowly began taking additional steps in my Masonic journey. Of course, Rotary remained a grounding mainstay during the sweltering months. This was also a month of tremendous change as the level of our religious observance shifted not because of a faltering faith but because the faith and passion burning inside of us needed a way out that better fit us and our life.  

September was the month when much of the hard work from earlier in the year began to pay off. There were many great Rotary events and meetings, a professional turning point when I finally sat down for another interview (in a different location at a different company) with my boss, and I began taking on additional duties at lodge by assisting the Secretary which later turned into me accepting the honor and responsibility of stepping into that role at the end of the year. This was also a huge month for my wife as she started at a position in her field that was no longer a job but the beginning of a career. This month of holidays and reflection also served to reassure our previous decisions and confirmed that we were on the right path.

The past three months have been busy. I have been working hard at an amazing company, working with great people, doing the job I love (my only job as I was finally able to resign from the night position). While not as extensive as over the summer, my travel continued as I was able to see Arizona for the first time. During this time I have had to drastically cut back on my Rotary involvement because of the timing (I still graduated from RLI and attended the foundation grant training), my Masonic journey has been one of incredible growth and contained many moments that I will never forget from attending a meeting the Academy of Masonic Knowledge as well as the quarterly and annual communications, to my initiation as Secretary and receiving my 32nd degree through Scottish Rite.

Throughout much of the year this blog has remained a constant and will continue to be a daily log of my life so long as I am able. There are many things for which I am thankful as I look back on the year. There are also many things that didn’t quite come to fruition but that will be achieved in the coming year. Things are looking up for a change as the calendar turns and we all begin the annual routine of figuring out what we can do better with the next twelve months. While not everything was accomplished in 2013, I wouldn’t change a thing. While it had its rough spots, it was an amazing year overall and one that will have a positive impact on the rest of my life.