Sunday, December 5, 2010

One Word

Due to a strong case of writer's block, I am signed up for Reverb's "Reflect and Manifest" project for December.  They provide a writing prompt every day during the month for bloggers to write about.  I am starting this 5 days late.

December 1 - One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?


This may be laughable to those who know me well, but 2010 was a year of Maturity for me.  For the first time in my life I made conscious decisions with the future in mind, AND followed up with the appropriate actions.  For a long time I have been somewhat split between the idea of succeeding within society and the contrary view of completely leaving that society.  I would often bounce between the ideas of moving my career forward and just selling all my shit and walking across China (or something similar).

I think a significant contributing factor to my decision to make financially-sound choices is witnessing friends and family who are struggling later on in life, and seeing just how limiting the lack of money can be.  Fear not, I am not developing a "Greed is Good" Wall Street mentality.  I still have inexpensive tastes and consider myself anti-materialistic.  As money never really mattered much to me, it was easy for me to spend it.  Buying rounds of drinks for friends, eating out whenever I was too lazy to cook, and other wasteful purchases kept me merely breaking even, even as my income went up.  This year I began contributing to my retirement savings again, saved up a solid emergency fund, and started an account for a down payment on a home.  If things continue as they are, I will be completely debt-free at the end of the 1st quarter 2011.

This has made a huge difference in my stress levels.  If something needs to be repaired on my car, I can just go do it instead of hoping things dont get worse while I save up the money.  Better yet, I can get it fixed properly rather doing whatever is cheapest (and most likely to cause more problems).

I believe I have matured in my personal relationships as well.  I have always been a selfish person in past relationships. My interests, goals and plans were priority #1, and it was usually time and attention to friends/ family/significant other that would suffer for it.  Really thinking about what I want out of life has helped me focus more on the people in my life, and my relationships are stronger for that.  It has allowed me to start a relationship with an incredible woman who challenges me and helps me grow, and I am not shooting myself in the foot by ignoring her for boxing practice or personal reading or whatever else.  My interests and fitness are all major priorities for me, but it is good to have a proper perspective about it.

2011 promises to be a pivotal year.  I have started my own company, a sales and marketing consultation business for overseas manufacturers, and it will require a tremendous amount of time and energy.  It would be very easy to become a workaholic and neglect the people and personal interests in my life.  Because of this, I hope that my word for 2011 is Balance.  There were a lot of times in 2010 when I felt that I did not have enough going on.  That is no longer the case, and I want to give myself wholly to my family, my friends, my girlfriend, my business, my health.  Maybe 2012 will be the year of Sleep.


Barnes said...

Anyone willing to take the time could go through your posts this year and literally pull your development as a man right off the pages.
This was a good post.

Anonymous said...

Hot Damn! You did learn something.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mr. Schatz. I do love to sell you short, and while I'm not 100% in agreeance with all aspects of your one word summary, I am glad you feel that you've grown and set good priorities. I'm happy for you :) And you'll have to tell me more about this new business?!! I wish you the very best :)

Riley said...

Great post! Honestly, great lesson too. Finances and greed are things I ned to come to terms with. Living the poor bohemian traveling life isn't a good thing.

k.c. said...

awesome post! i'm going back a year for more inspiration now! direction and devotion are pretty amazing things to come by :) lucky guy, and sounds like a lucky girl too!

i always find the most development when i challenge myself, so maybe that will be my 2011 word, although that sounds scary and daunting. btw....i am def stealing this concept for a post soon!