Heading into 2018, a lot has been on my mind.
This past year beat the hell out of me. Diagnosed with sleep apnea, on top of diabetes, high blood pressure & high coloesterol does not make Phil a fun guy. To make matters a little worse, I can’t sleep with a CPAP machine. I gave it my best effort, but it didn’t work for me. The good news is, I have sort of minimized the problem using Breathe Right strips.
Of course my stress level from work has been pretty high. For those of you who don’t know, in November I was told by my employer that my particular division of the company was being shut down, no real reason given. I was told I could stay on as a dealer rep, which I’ve accepted under duress simply because I didn’t have an exit strategy, and feeding my family is pretty important. In June of 2015, I moved from dealer sales at Best Tile to A&D specifications with them. 9 months later, I was offered the same position with my current employer, and told that they’d spare no expense to get this new division off the ground. Interestingly enough, though I’ve gotten several jobs specified (including 2 LARGE projects in A.C & Philadelphia), the company (or someone in it) has decided to “shut it down”. I say that in quotes, because I recently saw an ad my company placed for a similar position out on the West Coast.
So much for sparing no expense to get A&D to take off, huh…..
So the stress isn’t coming from having to do what I’ve done for many years (I worked in tile & stone dealer sales for decades), it’s from wanting to embark on what I felt was a new career challenge, and based on my level of success, I did a great job, and that’s been taken away from me. As I said, I’m doing this at the moment because I have to, but no one chooses my career path but me, so I’m sure 2018 will present new challenges & opportunities. I look forward to them & putting this in my rear view mirror.
On the home front, things are good. Lis is recovering from a recent surgery. Maddie will be taking another drivers license test soon (she failed the first one for a couple of small issues). Drew’s football team went undefeated this season. Mad has been accepted at virtually every college she’s applied to, now we have to sort through what will work best for her financially, and for her future career. Some of you know that my daughter Erica recently married & has moved to Brazil, and I miss the hell out of her. It’s funny, we would get together here in NJ only a few times a year, but it didn’t matter, since I always knew she was close. It’s not like that anymore, and haven’t made the adjustment yet.
My thoughts on 2017:
- A lot of people who were important to me passed away this year. I suppose it has a lot to do with aging in general, but friends & people who influenced my life growing up are at least as old (or older) as I am, and death is something we get closer to each year. I might be on borrowed time, but I’m working hard to hang around as long as possible.
- I hate waking up every morning knowing that Donald Trump is our president.
- I see more bullying today than ever. I don’t like bullies, and my confrontations both online and in real life became more frequent this past year. I’ve written blogs about this in the past, and I have to tell you it isn’t likely to change in 2018. Come at me, bro….
- We adopted Wrigley (our Pit/Boxer mix) this year. There is a serious dog issue in the US (Read THIS article). If you don’t own a dog, adopt one. It’s hard work, but the rewards are incredible.
- There are 9 million kids in the US that need a happy New Year. Legislators need to renew CHIP
- Recy Taylor, an Alabama African-American woman whose 1944 abduction and rape sparked national headlines, died in her sleep just a few days ahead of her 98th birthday. As a white man, this is significant for me, because I don’t want to be the white man who names Rosa Parks like she’s the only great woman in civil rights history. Back in 2016, I made it a point of finding great black Americans during Black History Month, and posting about them on Facebook. My promise to me is to learn more about the black history that I thought I knew.
- I’m really tired of seeing “resolutions” made all over social media as we head into each new year. Every day is an opportunity to change, take advantage of that.
- Social media is full of people who are extremists, and some of them bleed over into real life. I’ve always felt like the radical (those I consider to be extremists on each side of the political/social spectrum) were necessary, but I think we’ve come to a point where no one is listening anymore. I really feel like a return to actual discussion of the issues without the name calling is needed, and those who can exercise reason have to lead those discussions if America is going to survive.
- There’s a hashtag that says “StopMakingStupidPeopleFamous”, but I prefer that we just stop making stupid people. That would mean the end of reality TV, but so what?
- I haven’t written/blogged much in 2017. I’d like that to change.
I wish you all a great 2018!