Is this the year of change? It most certainly has been out there in the world, with the rise of Trump and the collective mind losing of everybody on the left. But how about closer to home? Well, there have been a lot of changes going on here too, and potentially more on the way. Could be one of those transformative years?
First on the change front – we got a new refrigerator a few weeks ago! We bought our old one when we moved into our house 17 years ago. That’s a long time for a refrigerator. Think about it. The refrigerator is the one place you go to multiple times a day, every day. The same design and views for years and years. Changing that makes quite a difference to your home world. And that’s what we did. A different design and color. French doors and a bottom freezer instead of a side by side. New sounds and views. It’s so nice and new and different – and a good kickoff to a fresh start in this new year.
Exercising and staying fit is a challenge as you get older, and part of the challenge is keeping it fresh and convenient. We are members of a gym and go frequently. I go during lunch three days a week and my wife goes to classes after work a few times a week. We keep track of our steps and activity and try to meet our goals each day. The one area that I have a hard time keeping up with is cardio. I don’t run enough and a lot of days don’t get enough steps in. Either the weather is bad or I’m too busy and tired to go to the gym. So we bought a treadmill! We got a nice heavy duty one and set it up right in our living room. We were originally going to put it up in our loft, but started thinking about keeping it downstairs once we saw how heavy it was. My theory was it would get more use if it was in our face all the time and not hidden upstairs – and it’s worked. Since getting it I have been running a lot and getting in extra walks. I am on a 17 day streak of completing my rings on my apple watch. I used to rarely complete all three in the same day. A new healthy change in the year of changes.
Are new jobs in the future? My wife has been a teacher for a long time and she is rather burned out. She had been telling me recently how she would love to have a position where she could teach teachers how to incorporate writing into their classes more. Even though she teaches social studies, she has always made writing a big part of her class. She feels that the kids should be taught and given chances to practice writing in all their classes and that she would be able to help other teachers do this. She then found out that her school system actually has a similar position in the schools that does this with reading and writing – and that they are hiring! So she got her resume together and applied. Now the waiting to see if she gets an interview. I’ve also been concerned about my future in my job. I’ve gotten quite bored and have been thinking about whether it’s time to make a change. I’ve been at my company for a long time and am comfortable, but I sometimes feel I need a challenge. I could probably make a lot more money, but would have to trade off a lot of benefits I get now. There have even been a few opportunities that have come by recently that I didn’t chase because I didn’t have my resume ready and didn’t have a suit that fit. Well, I bought a suit a month or so ago. Now I just need to get the resume done. After that I need to make a decision whether to pull the trigger and start looking.
There are so many things that need to be changed in our house. One of them we are planning to tackle this summer. We are finally going to get our kitchen floor replaced. This would make a big difference in how our house looks. We have a really ugly vinyl floor now and want to put in ceramic tile. We may also get the carpet replaced in our den. These are changes that are long overdue and are stage one in our floor replacement plan. Well, maybe not stage one, because I put in tile floors in two of our bathrooms the past few years, but a start to replace the rest. We eventually want to put wood floors in our living/dining/piano rooms and foyer hallway and get the carpet replaced in our master bedroom. A new kitchen floor would fit in nice with our new refrigerator and give that part of the house a whole new look.
Finally, we are getting back into traveling this year. We have trips planned for New Orleans in the spring and Chicago in the summer. We are also going to go see U2 in concert in Philadelphia in June and hang out at our family cottage in Ocean City, NJ in the late summer. We have been taking it easy on the big travel the past few years – doing road trips and staying at our family’s place on the Jersey Shore. The one exception has been Disney World, where we drove down a couple times a few years ago and flew for a great trip last October. The big change this year is we’re not going to Disney World at all for the first time since our daughter was real little. Instead we are going to fit in the two trips above and try to save some money. We’ve been to Disney so many times over the years and it’s time for a break. Plus, we are thinking about a Disney Cruise in 2018. And, the trip to New Orleans is kinda like a Disney trip for us. You see, most of the time we have gone to Disney World we have stayed at Port Orleans French Quarter. We would tell our daughter every year – wait till you’re old enough for us to take you to the real New Orleans so you can eat real beignets and real muffulettas, see the real buildings and streets. The Princess and the Frog made her even more interested in going, along with our two visits to Disneyland and seeing their New Orleans Square. So she is real excited about going and can’t wait for the food and the ghost and voodoo tours. It’s going to be a great time.
Well, hopefully, if there are any other changes in store for us this year, they are good changes. But you never know, right?