By 4:30 AM we had both kids in bed with us saying they could not sleep. We had not really slept well ourselves. LouLou was trying to say it was because she didn’t feel well but Puck could not stop bouncing. So we got up way too early and went to see what Santa had brought us. I figured although it was early no one was going to get any more sleep so might as well
I have not been this excited for Christmas morning in a very long time. The kid’s excitement was so contagious and I could not wait to see my wife’s reaction to her present. In all the years we have been married something has always happened to make the season less bright. This year was different. Everything came together and while it was a simple holiday, it was a great one. The kids were so happy and excited and played all day with their new toys and each other and the amount of goodies consumed was ridiculous. We spent the rest of the day as a family and just had fun. All in all it was a great Christmas. The best one I have had in years. I guess there is more to Christmas now then me being a grumpy old man and I look forward to the years to come with my perfect little family.
Anyone that knows me knows that Christmas is not my favorite time of year for many reasons that I won’t go into now. But this year has been different for a few reasons.
One: I have two little kids that are so excited that I can help but be a little bit excited as well. And it is fun to get stuff for them. I am actually looking forward to Christmas day with them.
Two: For the first time in a few years I am not stressed about money, at least not totally stressed. Bills are paid and all be-it a simple Christmas it is done and all paid for and I still have $16 dollars in my pocket.
Three: The team of people I work with all pitched in what little we had to make Christmas possible for one of our own. Most of the people on my team are in the same boat. They don’t have a lot of money and need all they have to survive. But one among us had it worse then the rest. This person works hard and is doing the best he can for his family but Christmas was going to be sparse for his kids. So instead of doing a gift exchange for each other we pooled the money we would have spent on gifts and gave it to our teammate. It was not much but it will make the difference for his family and that’s what counts. It was so nice to see these people put aside their own wants and even needs to help out their fellow man.
Four: I manage a team of 6 people and I have three men that I report to. We work in the mortgage industry and all three of these men have seen their share of ups and down in this industry and are in about the same shape as my self. These three guys bust their butts day in and day out making sure the rest of us have jobs and are able to do our jobs. They go to bat for me and the rest of the staff all the time and put up with a ton of stress to make things better for everyone. I honestly think that without them this job would not be around. And it is because of this job for me right now that I am able to take care of my family and have a good Christmas. Now I know that they are not making a lot more than me and that they are rebuilding things for themselves right now as well, yet they are sharing what little they have with all the managers that work under them. I was touched. These three men do so much for the company and for me personally and then to receive a gift from them was almost more than I could bear. I am full of gratitude towards them. They are the best of men and I am so blessed to know them. They truly showed me what the true meaning of Christmas is. It is not about ones-self, but about those around us. I don’t know how to repay these men and all I can do is make sure I give my all every day I get to work for them.
Group projects are always a challenge. You never know what to expect and who in the group is going to drop the ball. In my Computer Science Class we were given a group project to complete. There was like seven people in the group and it seemed to me that it was the same three people doing the work. One or two others chimed in form time to time but for the most part everyone was late or did not do their part at all. I don’t get it, they paid just like I did for this class but aren’t doing the work. Makes no sense. I am glade we are being graded on our own part and not the completed project. Some times a group will get you great results and sometimes it’s a drag. In this case at least I can say I did my part.
Take a look…
This is a question that I would like an answer for myself. Being a full time husband and father as well as working full time and going to school time is a lot of “full time” responsibilities. There is a lot to do and a lot of people looking to you to make it all work. At times the stress of it all can be overwhelming. I knew going into this that adding school full time on top of the rest was going to have it stresses. I can deal with that because I have a reason that I am taking all of this onto myself. In case any of you where wondering I did not leave a job that I loved where I was raking in the cash. My family and I were struggling financial as well as emotionally. Financial stress coupled with not being happy in your work is not a fun place to be. I knew that a change had to be made and that my best way of finding a good paying job that I would also enjoy and that would have a sense of satisfaction was going to go out and get the skills necessary to make it happen for myself. I could not do any of this without the support of my wife and it is for my wife and kids that I am working so hard right now to create a better future for not only myself but for them as well. Taking care of them is what drives me.
The one thing that makes this sacrifice worth it is the outcome I hope to get and as long as I have that goal in site it makes it easier to put forth the extra effort. The hard part begins when uncertainty of the outcome becomes in question. I do not want to lose what I have trying to create something a better life for us all. At the end of the day if I lose my wife over this then it will all have been for not. Finding the balance of working, school and family, with maintaining and growing my relationship with my wife and taking time for myself is a hard thing to do, but it is absolutely vital. If any one area starts to fall behind you risk losing it. At times it seems to me that the areas that ends up sacrificing the most is myself. It is hard to take time for myself when there are so many other things that need my time and attention let alone the things that are not getting done at all. Sometimes I just don’t know how to do it all. I guess even Superman needs help from time to time.
So the challenge this week is finding the right balance in life and making sure you take some time for yourself to unwind and recharge the batteries.
Back when I was seven or eight I asked my dad for milk money. I was a brown bag kind of kid but some chocolate milk sounded good to go with lunch. My dad told me this story about the glass jar that was all he had to take milk straight from the cow to school to which we walked in the snow up hill both ways. It seems to me that every generation likes to tell the next generation how bad they had it.
I don’t know if one generation had it worse than another because they are all so different, but the one constant that I see with each passing generation is that the younger you are the more to take for granted. I went to collage when I was younger and got a degree in Business Management and now I am back in school to get a degree in Internet Marketing. Right now in school I am learning so much and really enjoying it, but I can remember the first go around in school and all I cared about was getting a good grade. It seems time has changed me for the better. I see some of my younger peers doing the same things as I did back then
It seems to me that the young always seem to take the world for granted and as times keep getting harder there is less opportunity for the younger generation. The young seem to truly embrace the “Eat Drink and be Merry “ concept–having fun now at the expense of the future. There are concerns are all over the web in the news and in blogs like The Economist in their post on November 7th 2011 titled “Those Silly Young People”
Talking about how the chose younger people are making are impacting their ability to find good jobs. I can’t help but feel that I have a huge advantage over my younger peers based on my experiences in the cold hard world and the choices I am making in school compared to them.
So last night my dad came over and wanted help with his new laptop and getting it set up. It is a decent machine for what he paid for it, but the big problem that I had with it is that it is not a Mac. I have not really used a PC in 5 years or so and last night reminded me of why. A Mac is just easier to use and do things on, at least for me.
One could say that I love all things Mac. In one of my assignments for school I had to make a video about my favorite brand story and of course I choose Apple. I hope you enjoy.
10. The Economy Sucks and daddy needs a new gig.
9. Thanks to Obama I am not going to have to pay back all this money for tuition.
8. Having a wife to do your homework.
7. You can blame the kids for “destroying” your assignments instead of the dog.
6. No co-eds or is that a negative.
5. Don’t getting carded as much to buy beer.
4. Don’t have to justify bad grade to mom and dad.
3. Having a wife to clean up after your mess.
2. Not getting pick on for being the smallest of the group anymore.
1. Finally being one of the smartest kids in the class.
School as an adult that has been on the ups and downs of life is much different than being in school just out of high school. Being older is just that–being old. I know 36 is not all that old but I don’t have the same ability to go days on end with not enough sleep. I will say being in school now as an adult does have more value. For one thing I actually want to learn and for another I see the value in what I am learning. It is more than just getting a good grade; it is more about gaining from the time spent and effort put forth.
One of my first classes in my Internet Marketing program was Creative Writing. Now, I have never fancied myself as a writer and to my surprise I did well in the class. However, the thing I struggled with was getting my grades for my assignment was not the grade, of which I got an A+: it was the lack of suggestion of how I could have done better. Come on lets be real, everyone has room to improve and I am no exception, so getting comments like “Great Job” just did not do it for me. I am in school to learn, to improve, and to grow. Not to have a teacher just say great job and nothing else. When I was younger I would have taken the A and run. Now I want more, I want to become the best I can be. It’s funny how things change.