New Year’s Eve is one of those fabulous events where we can reflect on the past, commit to ourselves not to repeat the things we regret the most, and improve on that which made us smile. I had a year where most of the events between January and December were mainly out of my control. Well, maybe not completely. I did have the ability to decide how I would deal with events that would change my life. I could not stop them from occurring, but I learned quickly that I did have choices when it came to the outcomes.
I work in the Oil & Gas Industry that ebbs and flows like the river. The highs are amazing, but when the river runs dry, it is not so much fun. I am fortunate enough to have seen the high of the industry when oil was over $100 a barrel and companies spent money faster than they could count it. Christmas parties were weekends in the mountains, CEOs would hire great Canadian musicians for private concerts to thank us for our hard work, and expense budgets seemed bottomless. What goes up, usually will come down, and in this case, it fell faster than most of us realized in the moment. The signs were all there and we all suspected something was happening, but none of us had the “connections” to the powers that be to confirm anything so we just relied on speculation and believed our guts. I was not far off. Assets were being sold and quickly. We all hung on as layoffs happened a few people at a time. When my time came I was disappointed but certainly not surprised. A colleague of mine was so convinced she was next, she jumped ship before layoffs were announced and so my job was again secure… for now. I realized I could hang on to a sinking ship for dear life hoping for the best, or I could take my career in my own hands and decided what company best suited my next career move. It was hard to say good-bye to an amazing company that gave me my start in the Industry, but that was all I knew so it was time to take on a new adventure and pad my resume with something a bit different. I thought I was well on my way towards my “planned” career path, but I now know that planning is an abstract term. I have short and long-term goals, but I have let go of what I think the path to get there needs to be. I have not lost sight of where I want to be in 5, 10 even 30 years, but I have not mapped out how I need to get there. I know I will achieve what I set out to do, I am just more spontaneous at accepting opportunities I didn’t even realize were possible. Am I where I thought I would be in my career at the end of 2010? Absolutely not. I am farther ahead and on a very different path than I thought possible.
Health issues plagued me this year. I am a healthy individual only having been hospitalized for fairly routine things like having my tonsils removed at 14 years old. I was at work just prior to the May Long Weekend and kept thinking to myself how nice it would be to swing an extra long weekend, however I was new to the company and my co-worker had already booked time off. My biggest lesson learned in 2010: be careful (and specific about) what you wish for! I felt awful that morning and decided I’d had enough and headed to the doctor. After an exam, an emergency ultrasound and a trip to the ER I found myself in the queue for an appendectomy. Well, I scored my extra long weekend! I had expected to return to work right after the weekend but felt worse and worse after my surgery. I headed to my surgeon’s office and he didn’t even have to examine me. One look and he was sending me back to the ER. A long week was spent in the hospital followed by a month at home on the couch. My desire for a few extra days off work ended up being a month! Thankfully my work team was incredibly understanding and supportive when I returned back to work as it took another few months to completely recover. Today I am healthy again but won’t soon forget to continue to trust my gut as it’s rarely steered me wrong.
I also contemplated changing my marital status from married to single this year. The thought has been there before, but I finally acted upon it knowing neither he nor I were particularly happy. I am still married and things have changed. What 2011 will bring on this front still remains to be seen.
As with most resolutions mine do include eating better (I’m contemplating becoming vegetarian), exercising more, spending more time with family and friends, finally cleaning out my storage room, and working harder. One thing I’ve always had on my resolution list is finally coming off: I promise myself every year to procrastinate less. I’m realizing this is who I am, and if I procrastinate less, or not at all, I would be out walking the dogs, or cleaning bathrooms, or folding laundry instead of writing this blog. The best thing I have done all year that I will improve in the new year is actually writing a blog people might enjoy reading! For now, I am happy just doing it for me.