Tomorrow, I turn 44. It’s a magical number only because it is a doubling number and so, I like to think it will herald a magical year. For the moment, on the eve of my 44th and the last evening of my 43rd – I’m going to do what I’ve done the past several years and look at my 43rd year in review before jumping into what I’d like for my 44th.
It’s been a good year – remarkably drama free in my personal, family, and work life – though the outside world has been boiling in chaos. Most of my year has been devoted to work, work, work – mostly in the form of buying dead people’s undervalued possessions and then selling them to people that value them a bit more. There were some live people’s things as well – we did an estate sale for a woman who was moving in with her children and bought a few estates from people who were moving and downsizing. Mostly though, I trafficked in the goods of the dead. It was not a year or much travel or adventure – but it was a good year.
Much of what I bought and sold was low dollar value this year – unremarkable furniture, general household stuff, low end art, watches and common jewelry, glassware, dishes, ‘collectibles’, junk, and decorative knick-knacks. I’ve learned that I hate that shit. If I ever own a thrift-store I will hire someone else to sit and deal with the people who shop in it. I get no pleasure from them for the most part. I feel like this low dollar selling is a big reason that I had to spend so much time working this year – it’s just not that profitable and it sucks up my valuable time. Yes, it paid my bills and allowed us to improve our businesses and life – but it was not enjoyable and took away from what is.
But back to my year end review – every year, I create goals for myself. These were my major goals for 2015:
1. Keep my family safe, happy and healthy – Yes! I accomplished this. At the end of 2015 we watch less TV, play more games, and eat better. We are alive, safe, and happy! Grade: A
2. Improve my health and fitness – My cholesterol and blood pressure improved but I gained a few pounds. I didn’t increase the amount of exercise I get or cut out sweets. I began having anxiety attacks but meditation has helped to curb them. Mentally and emotionally, I feel like I made a huge amount of progress. Grade: B-
3. Improve my business and finances. I fell about $45k short of my goal for this year, but I did improve revenue, start a small newspaper, and pave the way for making more money in the coming years. My credit rating improved.I didn’t purchase a home but I did get a car less than 10 years old. I earned a solid middle of the road grade in this category. Grade: C
4. Make Great Art – I painted a little, I did a bit of wood working, but overall – I didn’t make any great art to speak of. Grade: D
5. Sell more stuff – declutter my life. I sold so much stuff and let go of so much stuff this year it is pretty astounding. I did not realize my goal of doing 2 or more antique shows though – so I can’t give myself higher than a B- on this one. Grade: B-
6. Write More – Sell More Books. I wrote a little bit on this site, but not much more. I did not sell very many of my own books at all, though I have started to sell a lot of used books in my shop. Grade: C-
7. More Joyful Living. I taught my daughter to read and introduced her to the joys of camping and travel. I took walks where I felt fully aware and have tried to be more mindful. I have been meditating and feel like I’ve grown through much of my anger and resentment – things which have hindered me greatly in the past. Grade: B
8. Unplanned Accomplishments. I ran for office and got 35% of the vote with no campaigning. I rekindled several important friendships and hosted a mini-family reunion in my home. I traveled internationally with my wife and daughter and managed to do some kayaking. For all of this, I give myself a Grade: A+
So, how did I average in what I dubbed the Year of Business Success and Financial Freedom? Averaging my GPA from the above I get a 2.74 – or a B-. Not bad but not great. I’m shooting for a 4.0.
When I look at where I was a decade ago and where I thought I’d be today versus where I am – it’s humbling. I was so insecure, so egotistical (at the same time – they go together, I think), and I really thought I’d be a millionaire by now. Not even close. And yet – I have more than I ever thought possible. I am proud of what I’ve done and who I am in the process of becoming. I’m on the right path to the best possible version of me. I’m not anywhere near where I thought I would be. I’m not nearly as cool as I thought I was or would be and yet – I’m happy with me. I’m proud of who I am and what I do in this life. I look forward to getting to know the best possible me in the future because I am getting closer.
Now it’s time to work on my goals for next year. This shit works.