Reflections of 2016

 · 
1 January 2017
 · 
4 min read

It's been a year with lots of ups and downs and ins and outs. I started a new job, moved to a new place, and spent a lot of time traveling.

The year started off with a bang (and not the good kind) when I got into a large car accident. Thankfully I am alive and well and no one was seriously injured except for my little car. I spent the first couple of months recovering from that as well as attempting to figure out what was my next step at GE.

I decided to take a new position at GE Aviation, which involved leaving the Leadership Program, transferring to a new business, and inheriting a lot more responsibility. My main goal into going into Aviation was to be in a customer-facing role where I'm quickly iterating and diving into a domain-specific field. I wanted to be stretched a little more and that's definitely what I got. In the 8 months since I've had this position, I've traveled literally around the world. I've met people, seen sights, and eaten things that I would have never had a chance to experience otherwise.

However, with all this travel also comes a healthy amount of chaos. Being home 3 weeks in about 3 months takes it's toll on one's body and mental capacity. I missed a lot of things that I wish I had been there for and lost a routine that is essential to my productivity.

Thus, the next year is focused on getting back "control" (for lack of a better term). Alongside a friend, we did a re-evaluation of my short-term and long-term states, goals, and concerns both personally and professionally. While I set pretty lofty goals last year (which I don't know how I thought were achievable), I'm putting into play certain planned events per month (planned out by week of course) that will help me regain a routine, stability, and productivity.

Thus, presenting my goals for 2017:

PERSONAL

  1. A trip for myself, by myself for at least a weekend.
  2. Mindfulness of my health.This means going to the doctor when I'm sick, working out, 10 minutes of attempted meditation in the morning, doing my dental hygiene routine every night, and a monthly massage or facial.
  3. Less devotion to tech. This means deactiviation of my Facebook until I feel more in control, ordering an analog clock so I don't look at my phone in the morning, checking my email and phone only 3 times a day
  4. Picking activities according to 4 categories.
    Intellectual Stimulation (philosophical discourses with friends, reading for 30 minutes every night, exploring with my camera, and writing)
    Craft / Flow (woodworking classes, editing my huge backlog of photos, general making projects I like to do)
    Culture (going to events such as the ballet or orchestra, meaningful meet-ups, volunteering)
    Fun* (trapeze lessons, ski-ing, boxing classes, archery lessons)

*side note: when I was talking about these activities before categorizing them, my friend had to redefine the word fun for me. #workaholic

PROFESSIONAL

  1. Mentor Hunt. I've been on the hunt for a mentor / sponsor in the last couple of months and while I've met some wonderful people I haven't decidedly asked anyone formally.
  2. Involvement in the design community. I'm currently helping a colleague with a conference he is running. I've created deeper relationships with that rather than trying to go to design meet-ups all the time. Thus, I'm going to attempt to either volunteer my time more for a specific meet-up / conference
  3. Interpersonal skills. I started Toastmasters a couple weeks ago but would like to continue more social activities in order to become a better speaker.
  4. GE-Specific Initiatives. Finding funding for a conference, etiquette courses, Crotonville, presentation courses.
  5. Portfolio. It's in shambles.

All of these initiatives come from three basic questions and two quotes by friends:

  1. How does one build up confidence again?
  2. How does one gain more satisfaction for the phase of life you're in in?
  3.  Are you trying to save the world or enjoy the world?
  4. "Positivity is the best advice I can share to you. The hard part is not getting triggered by those who aren't."
  5. "Go for simplicity. You want to test the limits of your emotional tools. You struggle to toughen yourself up."

THINGS I GAINED

More elegant investment-oriented furniture
Discounts on car rentals
Experiences in over 9 new cities
Lots of travel points for hotel and airlines
More married / engaged friends
Some experience cooking*
More photographs I have yet to edit
A slightly better understanding of what it means to "adult"*
A partner
Closer friendships (old and new)

THINGS I LOST

A beautiful ring
GE friends that have left
Patience to control my temper
A car
Any shame about my bowling skills (although I still suck)
The wifey as a wifey
Some amount of hair since started laser treatments*
Confidence
Clothes donated to Goodwill
Some amount of faith in God
Tolerance for staring at screens

*Debatable

Here's to a healthier and happier year!

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