Archive for the ‘The Beginning’ Category

Really, What’s the Next Step?

Posted: December 23, 2015 in The Beginning

As the year 2015 comes to a close, and the consumer rage of the Christmas season roars deep within our American souls, many of us take time to reflect the events that transpired. For the lot of you, I hope that you saw some positive changes. But I suspect, like myself, the year was a bit of a mixed bag. I made no over-arching changes, but I did make some minor ones.

As a recap, let’s take a look at some of the major events:

1)  I moved back in with my parents.

Wait, what? I make a decent living, I have no drug dependencies, and I’m married to a woman that makes even more than I do. So why would we move back in with my parents?! A complex situation involving a sister with two kids who is not truly capable of even taking care of of herself, two retired parents with now fixed incomes, and the emotional incapability to look away. Not to mention a laundry list of things we want to accomplish that our current economics would simply not allow if we continued owning our own home.

2)  We remodeled the master bedroom and bathroom of my parents’ house.

One of the things we (my wife and I) have always dreamed of was a luxurious bathroom. Our previous home did not have the space, nor did the investment make sense, to accommodate an upscale bathroom. Don’t feel sorry for us about living with my parents. Their house is very large, and easily accommodates the amount of people living here (there are seven people living here, all with their own bedrooms). And now, the master bathroom is worthy of a world-class hotel room.

3)  I started writing seriously for the first time in my life.

I’m not to the point where I can claim to be a writer, or a blogger, or a novelist. But I did start writing, I did start blogging, and I have started a fantasy novel. It feels absolutely fantastic to finally drain my brain of all the thoughts and ideas and get them out somewhere. I don’t even care that nobody reads this blog. I hope that, someday, it will have some relevance to my life. For now, though, just doing this on the semi-regular basis has been a catalyst to starting a novel.

4)  I helped finish a year long project at work.

This had been a daunting project involving global label printing for hundreds of users across the globe. I spoke with people of different backgrounds from around the world (and various levels of English). It’s an experience that – while absolutely soul draining at times – was also a confidence booster. I know that I can shape the infrastructure for an enterprise-level application and hack my way through all of the problems that are encountered. I owe a lot of it to a good team, but have to maintain some credit for the work performed.

So what are the next steps?  If I look back and see room for improvement (and trust me, there is room for improvement), then it is necessary to plan ahead.  This time I’m going to plan based on the things I think make up the quality of life.

Family and Friends

In 2016 I want to make sure I’m emotionally available to all of my friends, something I don’t necessarily feel was always true this past year.  I was often late to responding to texts, or voicemails, or hangout sessions.  I needed more time alone this year, primarily because I was struggling individually with the decision to move in with my parents.  I felt slightly ashamed, largely embarrassed, and definitely insecure.

But you know what?  Most of the people have commended my decision, and absolutely no one has ridiculed me.  Sure, there’s been some worry from my In-Laws, but it’s honestly been the best decision I’ve ever made.  I’ll never have to wonder if I couldn’t do more, and I’m the type of person who would much rather help someone who is real, tangible, and of my blood, than to help some unknown figure struggling across the world.  Heartless?  I think not, and I can see the result of my work, rather than worry about whether someone was simply laundering my money for themselves.

Health

Ah, yes, the day-to-day struggle of eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep.  This year I want to set some real goals that have a direct correlation with fitness.  They are detailed below:

  • Bench press 250 lbs
  • Curl 75 lbs
  • Run a 7-minute mile

A fine bonus would be to actually see myself with a six-pack again.

Career

This year I’m determined to get a promotion.  I’ve spent three years at my current level and I’m ready to move on.  I want to get certified in Microsoft SQL server and and help others complete their projects, while slowly integrating myself into the SAP Basis team as well.

As a side project, I’d like to have my fantasy novel published.

Finance

Pretty simple on this one, I’d like to – as a couple – have $10,000 saved up and pay off the rest of my wife’s student loans.  I aim to get a 5-8% raise to accompany my promotion, and I will utilize my FSA to get a monthly massage.

Personal Interests

I’m aiming for my 30’s to be a major decade of transition.  First and foremost, I want to have as much of a working knowledge of cars as I can possibly acquire.  This year, in particular, I will be doing a lot of body repair work on my own vehicle to improve its overall appearance and get replace all of the rusted parts.

Secondly, I want to create a habit of bringing my camera to document any events I might attend.  I’d like to improve my photography skills whenever and wherever possible.

Thirdly, I will continue to work on writing as much as I can muster.  With my novel, every time I sit down to write the words simply spill forth, but at the same time I seem to have trouble with initial engagement.  I will make it a habit to start writing before the beginning of the night, rather than starting in the middle of it.

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That about sums it up.  I don’t think this list is overly optimistic, all of these are fairly attainable, track-able goals that have both a beginning and an end.

There is one last goal I have in mind.  From here on out, the general feel of this blog is going to completely change.  The original concept for Man.Vicarious. was meant for me to live and act like I was the career-man of the subject I wanted to be at the time.

When I start posting, I’m going to dive deep into the mindset of what I feel that such a person would be thinking and doing.  This has a few purposes:

  • It allows me to unabashedly assume the role of what I’m trying to portray
  • I think there’s going to be some really funny moments where I fail miserably at what I’m attempting to accomplish
  • It gives me the creative opportunity to study the people who are the best in the business

Live freely and with wonder, my friends.

Man. Vicarious.