Looking Back: 2012…What a disappointment.

With only days left in 2012, I’m in the midst of an honest assessment of what transpired for me this year, where my life is versus where I hoped it would be — you know, the whole “standing in my truth” thing?

I do two assessments annually.  One at the end of the year.  Another around my birthday.  I’ve been doing this for so many years, I can’t even remember when it started.  My slightly Type A and OCD personality probably has something to do with this very stressful and highly anxiety-ridden activity.

So, what do I pick apart?

  1. Personal Life
  2. Family (and Friends)
  3. Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Health
  4. Career, Job and Employment
  5. Financial Well-Being

The biggest blows were numbers 3, 4 and 5.  But, for the focus of this post, 4 and 5 are the most worrisome, and therefore got me typing.

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This has been the absolute worst year in my adult life in my career at my employer.  And yes, I know for those who are unemployed, I should thank my lucky stars that I have a job.  Of course, I am thankful.  However, employed or not, you will wonder if all the aggravation and unhappiness is really worth it.  Why am I working here?  Why am I working with these people?  Why can’t I move forward?  Am I truly stuck here forever?  Am I becoming at my employer what I always looked at other co-workers and said I would never be: A lifer?

I’m like a broken record, but I’ll say it again.  I know this whole marketing thing is really suited for me.  I didn’t choose the wrong career.  It’s not like I’m a marketing professional but I’ve secretly wanted to be a proctologist or a supermodel.  The skills I have really are simpatico with being a marketing professional.  The creativity, mixing it up in strategy sessions coupled with being in the right environment — seriously, I have visions of myself soaring in my career.  This year — like so many other years — I’d hoped to have been settled elsewhere and well on my way to being in love with what I’m doing and excited about going to work and engaging with extraordinary professionals.  Obviously, I’m delusional.

I’ve tried a career coach (within the past three years), and I’m ready to try again.  I’ve gotten myself a mentor — again.  In a second go-around, I’ll be serving on the board of directors of one of my professional associations, which will afford opportunities to “give back” and broaden my Rolodex.  I’ve attended networking events.  I’ve done professional self-improvement courses.  I’ve read countless articles.  I’ve even read the freaking book, The Secret.  I’ve been to church and prayed on it.  I’ve meditated.  I’ve been doing hypnosis for months.  I have done everything except burned incense and called Iyanla to fix my life (although I have watched countless Life Classes on OWN).  But, nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

Even with all those things, I wait eagerly for another year because I think one day something positive will happen and things will begin to change for the better.  (Seriously, I must be delusional.)

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2012 was The Great Economic Disaster.   I spent, I spent, I spent.  And I paid for it.  I can be quite the bargain-hunter and penny-pincher and proud of it, but this year, I went gang-busters in the entertainment, food and nonsense department.  I couldn’t resist.  Living Social and Groupon were my friends.  They were also the enemy in the food department.  A good 3- or 4-course meal deal multiplied several times over lead me to the poor house — full in the stomach, but broke.  I also did what most New Yorkers don’t do:  Patronize Broadway.  No wonder The Great White Way depends on tourists.  They’re the only ones with disposable income!  They’ve been planning and prepping for their visit to The Big Apple, saving spending money for things like Broadway shows.  Incredibly, I spent hundreds of dollars at the box office and I had to question my behavior.

After the train wreck of 2012, it’s back to a strict budget across all line items —  including food.  In 2013, no more obsessive ‘foodie’ adventures — no sir…no ma’am.  Any Living Social coupons and Groupons already in my possession will be used, but none will be purchased without careful scrutiny and perhaps a voice of reason from an outside source like Momma Rockstar a.k.a. the BFF.  Somehow, I lost my mind (and my way) and forgot that we were still in a major economic downturn and my employment is not secure.  Why I thought I could be doing dinners and lunches regularly is beyond me.  (No, I won’t stop going to food trucks.  Those have some of the most amazing kitchens on wheels and are often great value for the money.)  Why I thought I could afford major, unplanned expenses, like multiple Broadway performances, is also beyond comprehension.  When I finally came to my senses, I was weeks away from the holidays of Thanksgiving and Chrismakwanzika.  There are just no words to explain away irresponsibility.

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We wait in great anticipation for the new year.  Even if it’s all in our heads, a new year gives us an opportunity to start fresh, to make things right, and hope is abundant. You shake off bad habits on December 31st, and January 1st you take your first, new step, guilt free.

Unfortunately, there is this thing called Life.  What’s the saying?  “The road is paved with all good intentions”?  We seek accomplishments or change but our human self gets distracted and off-track.  Not bad if you consider them little things, but if you’re looking at five big things that are essential for all that is good, right and healthy in you life that makes you feel like you are successful, then Houston, there is a problem, and you’d better snap out of it and regain focus.  Because, before you know it, it’s December 31st again, and you’re left thinking:  “What a disappointment.”

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4 thoughts on “Looking Back: 2012…What a disappointment.

  1. so you went over the Fiscal Cliff last year? Me too. Mainly because when I changed positions (no weekend/night money anymore) I didn’t change my budget. BUT I’ve noted the problem, and WILL change this year.
    But keep seraching for that new job. I complain so much about mine that I HAD to start looking. I generally love the work I do, but I’m getting burned out. And no one wants to deal with a burned out labor and delivery nurse! So I’m applying for other positions. I figure, if I don’t at least try, I can’t complain.

    • So true. So true. Glad you’re looking too. You don’t try. You can’t complain.

      I keep trying while complaining. LOL. Although I used to do it a lot more, but no-one likes to hear constant complaints from a person. So, most of the time, I keep the irritations to myself, but there are days when it just has to come out. Everyone wants to feel a sense of purpose, feel respected and valued. Everyone. If you don’t feel it, you complain. Human nature. I’ve been trying for so long to find what I’m looking for — problem is, I don’t know what that something is, I just know it’s not where I am. Keep hearing U2 in my head: “…but I still haven’t found, what I’m looking for…”

      And, you’re right…no-one wants a burned out labor and delivery nurse!

  2. Couple of points I was make here only because I’ve been in these places in my life.

    1. The job…have you been looking for a job? Have you gotten your name out there that you’re interested? The job market is difficult but there are still opening for qualified hungry people who want to succeed.

    2. Financial – do you currently track your expenses…I mean every single expense that you have down to a pack of gum? IF so great, if not there is no single better way of getting ahead financially than knowing where your money is going. Tracking your expenses is the sure fire way to do this. I’ve been tracking my expenses religiously since ’08. Read more about this here…http://chopperpapa.com/2011/08/the-one-where-i-give-financial-advice/

    • Thanks, Kyle.

      The Job Hunt: Well, I won’t even admit how long I’ve been on the hunt, done interviews, met with recruiters, etc., etc. They are looking for “qualified” people but the ridiculousness of employers are: They want someone that ticks every, single box. If one box is missing, forget it. This very issue has been talked about numerous times during the downturn about the employers who are not willing to bend and consequently are missing worthwhile candidates. Then they whine and and try to say they have openings and no-one to fill them. What will it take to train people? What will it take for someone like myself who may not have the last box ticked to be transitioned? The jobs out there are not rocket science. The excuses being given by employers — no-one is buying them anymore. You have jobs. There are candidates. You just don’t want to be bothered to either train or transition an individual. And, separately, for those who are unemployed, they don’t wish to hire them — especially if they’ve been unemployed for an extended period of time. Why? I have no idea. What difference does it make? If it’s so hard for me to get another job, I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who has been out of work for a year or more.

      As for Budgets and budgeting — I’ve lived by monthly budgets since my teens. Everything is laid out. All line items are noted. No, I don’t track everything I buy, but I don’t need to because my budgets are based on groups — supermarket, lunch, utilities, clothes, medical, transportation, travel/vacations, miscellaneous, etc. If I need a packet of gum and there’s no more money budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, then it doesn’t get bought. It’s that simple, and I’ve operated that way since my teens when I first started working. I’m very strict about budgets. Somehow, this year, there’s no excuse. I just wanted to live spontaneously. It cost me dearly.

      Until we all know what’s happening with this “Fiscal Cliff”, I think we may have to hold off on budget plans, at least, that’s what I’m doing. If no deal is done, we’re all be in trouble and we’ll feel it very quickly whether you’re working or not.

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