Home > Archive: October, 2013

Archive for October, 2013

Annual Check-In

October 6th, 2013 at 09:39 pm

I see that it has been nearly a year since I last posted, and I'm glad to see many familiar "faces" still here.

So here are the high (and low) lights of the past year.

1. On the job/career front: Making progress, but I am still seeking the "Holy Grail" of the full-time salaried job with benefits. Back in April, around the one-year mark at my temp job, I was told that it would not become permanent. Job-hunting time in my field peaks in Sept-Nov, so I had not applied for any jobs last year at this time in the hopes that the temp job would become permanent. Of course, I was disappointed not to get the permanent position, but I'm fine with it now. After some soul-searching, I realized that the private-company job, while intellectually challenging, doesn't give me any client interaction. The only interaction I have is with other team members, and that is actually pretty limited--maybe one meeting a week and one group lunch a month, and often less than that. I want the opportunity not only for the increased social stimulation, but for the chance to make use of my psychology background.

So now I am job-hunting again, looking to get back to a smallish public accounting firm (2-6 partners). I had two interviews with one firm back in July & August, but lost out to someone with more experience. Now I have two interviews with two different firms coming up this week.

I have also completed the CPA requirements (curtesy of Pennsylvania's changing a law which eliminated the requirement for one particular type of experience (audit) that I just couldn't get because all my accounting experience is in tax. So I will be sending in my license application later this week.

I have also gotten a decent grasp of business taxes and have passed the two hardest (of three) Enrolled Agent exams, so I expect to add that certification later this year, too.

2. I hired a personal trainer for 5 sessions in September & October to help me get started on getting back into shape. I'll pay for more sessions once I land the "Holy Grail" job, but at least I'm going to the gym again now. The job I've been at disrupted my old regular exercise routine, and I'm hoping this fall both to find a new job and along with it, start a new routine that gets me out & exercising first thing in the morning. I bought one of those "sunrise" alarm clocks and that is helping get me out of bed earlier as our sunrises occur later and later. I've also meditated fairly regularly (the free "Insight Timer" kindle app has been a great help) and I've been pretty consistent with a vegetarian/vegan diet, but I haven't worked hard enough at it to lose any weight.

3. I've had a decent enough social life, mostly with my congregation and secondarily with the vegetarian pot luck club that I joined a year ago. A friend came to visit for a long weekend over the summer, and I had one day-trip ride with friends along the Delaware River on my birthday, but otherwise, my free time has been at home, where I have spent loads of time sitting in the backyard, reading and studying, with my cat, Teddy. Teddy was diagnosed nearly two years ago with chronic renal failure, and back in April 2012, he was put on a medication that greatly helped his condition. He developed antibodies to that medication in May and was taken off of it June 1st. At that point I kind of expected that he would go rapidly downhill again and that I would lose him over the summer, but it's been a much slower process than I thought, so he is still with me. We celebrated 10 years together just this week. I still don't know if he'll make it to the new year, but now I at least think that's within the scope of possibility. Spending most of my free time with him has meant, however, that I don't do any traveling. I've had the "new" car over a year now and the furthest I've driven it has been about 70 miles away.

4. For the rest of the year, other than getting a new job and getting settled with that, I am hoping to finally turn my attention to getting my house in some order. I am praying that I am able to take two weeks between finishing at my temp job and starting the new gig, whatever that turns out to be. During the past year, I had 4-day weekends for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, and 3 day weekends for Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, and that's IT for time off--except for 2 sick days and 2 home repair days (which was time off I didn't get paid for--no personal time off on a temp gig). Saturdays are eaten up with commitments--vet appointments for Teddy, a 4 hour Enrolled Agent review class, and my personal training appointments, and Sundays are when I get to do laundry, go grocery shopping, clean and cook and do any extra socializing. That's just not enough time for me to keep things as neat as I'd like. Once upon a time, I was really pretty organized, but during the past 4 years of frequent job changes and helping three beloved pets and my mother through their final months, my ability to keep on top of my home life just vanished. Simply not enough time. I'm hoping to be able to manage enough time off within the next two months to make my home feel a comfortable place that I would like to invite people over to again. At the moment, it's not. So that, along with getting a job and getting back in shape, is on the top of my agenda for the rest of the year.

If you look at my goals for the past 3 years over on the sidebar, you'll see that I've just been repeating the same themes (essentially since I left my old career in 2009). I'm hoping to move on to the next stage with some of these by 2014.