What a difference a year makes.
For example, last year the Red Sox finished the baseball season in last place. This year, they’re World Champs. (Yay!)
Last year, my upstairs neighbor was annoying me with her late-night vacuuming and hyperactive dog. This year, she’s moved out. (Yay again!)
Last year, on this very day, the President and Congress reached a deal on the fiscal cliff, ensuring that the long-term unemployed would continue to receive benefits. This year, not so much. (Boooo!)
A year ago, that last item had me nervous up until the ball dropped. This year, I’m relieved that the insensitivity of our elected officials no longer affects me (directly, anyway).
In short, 2013 is ending on a much better note than 2012 did, and I have good reason to move into 2014 happy, hopeful, optimistic, relaxed, and in a better, more positive frame of mind than I’ve been in for quite some time.
Of course, this wasn’t entirely a good year. Let’s just write off the first seven months, shall we? Between the bombing at the Boston Marathon, my shorter-than-expected re-employment thanks to the company laying off half the staff a month and a half after it hired us, and all the fallout from both those things, it took 2013 a bit longer than expected to get going for me. Life was put on hold (not by choice), “normal” was elusive, my mojo was depleted, and I didn’t have much of anything to be excited about.
When things finally turned around in August, I just wasn’t the same person I used to be.
If I’m being honest, I’m still not.
The past 18 months have taken a lot out of me: They’ve taught me that nothing’s stable, I can’t ever get too comfortable at work (or out of it), and I should always be prepared to lose professional and personal momentum again, at any time.
It’s true when they say the scars of a layoff take a long time to heal, if they ever do. As the calendar changes pages, even though I’m working again, in a better frame of mind, and much of my life is back to normal (a “new normal,” anyway) there’s still a bit of catching up to do.
So that’s why, in 2014, I’m going to — I need to — prioritize me, not my job search. I’m hoping I won’t have to look for work for a bit. And after all, I’ve done enough looking to last me a while. I’m going to spend the time I used to spend looking for work focusing on getting my personal life back in order. I’m going to make some travel plans, try to reconnect with friends I’ve lost, try to get back my blogging jones and my confidence overall, and basically, just make up for lost time.
2014 is going to be a big year — I’m turning 40! — so it’s time I started looking forward again, not back.
One important lesson I’ve learned over the past 18 months is that life is a series of peaks and valleys. In that spirit, I feel like I’m entering 2014 on an upswing. Hopefully this will be a really tall mountain, but regardless, I’m looking forward to the climb and seeing the view from the top when I get back up there.
Happy New Year, everybody!