Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 - What a Year!!!

2013 - who would have thought that this year would be a year of both good things and sad things.  I won't use the word "bad".  Bad would connotate the loss of a loved one, or being told one had cancer.  So, I'll keep it at sad.  

Often you see on TV or movies the question asked "you want the bad news or the good news first?"  So, let's start with the bad or "sad" news.  2013 was tough in a few ways for me.  Justin, my stepson, lost his job at Westamerica in February.  At first it wasn't an issue, since I felt that his grandfather's wallpaper business would pick up and Justin could work in that.  But February turned into March, then April, and by June, Justin was not employed.  I found myself wanting him to work for two reasons: to get off his butt, and to make sure we had rent from him.  I had started to really bear down on him, and then finally, just before Thanksgiving, he got a job, but in Reno, where his uncle and family are.  This was the first year we didn't have Justin for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there is an emptiness in the house. 

My mom, who is 89, is in the advanced stages of dementia.  Thankfully she lives in a assisted living home with 24-hour care, but she's had 2 episodes of falling that were due to a urinary tract infection, and on the 2nd episode her memory was gone.  She didn't know who I was, and was belligerent to the staff at the hospital, even to the point of hitting and biting them (and me).  It's sad to see that not only is she physically falling apart, but mentally as well.  

But this year was full of good things to offset so much of the sad things.  In March I was moved from a production position at Westamerica Graphics to Business Development Coordinator.  This was a wonderful position that required me to research prospective companies and generate leads for our sales team.  It also involved blog writing and managing our social media content, both of which I found very fulfilling.  In July I celebrated 30 years with the company, and was given a very nice plaque and gift from the owners.  

During the summer I fulfilled a recent dream of directing a choir, and directed two pick-up choirs, one in July and one in August.  The first one was put together by my wife, and made up of singers who'd sung for a specific choir director.  I ended up directing that choir because I asked to, and we had enough singers that I wasn't needed as a singer.  It went over VERY well.  So much so that I put together another pick up choir and directed that in August.  Then in November our choir director took a Sunday off and gave me the opportunity to direct the choir for that Sunday.  I prepped the choir over a few rehearsals, and then directed them that Sunday.  Again, it was rewarding and well-received.  I have decided to form a permanent pick up choir in the coming year, with the goal to work on music that I have a passion for, and direct it once a month at a small church that has no choir.  

The biggest event for me this year was one of sadness, yet mixed with other emotions.  I was laid off from Westamerica Graphics after those wonderful 30 years.  It's been a rough year for the company, and I was let go, with much reluctance from the owners.  But in the few weeks since then I have had a few interviews and wonderful phone calls, all of which give me confidence that I won't be unemployed for long.  And, perhaps this will give me the chance to try other things, to expand my blog writing or social media management.  As the Christmas season starts to come to a close, I plan to blog for Lorrie's business, and maybe offer up my services to blog or do research on a contract basis for other companies.

So, here's to 2013, and here's to a promising 2014!

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