Describe an event in the world that has affected you this year. How? Why?
A year later, and we’re still talking about the right to privacy and the implications of the Edward Snowden leaks. A year later, and we’re still discussing the nature of privacy and the fundamental right to not be spied upon without just cause.
I recently filed a petition with the UK government to determine if I had been spied upon (UK courts just ruled that Her Majesty’s Government must disclose any illegal surveillance performed against any who ask). Though it is unlikely that I was spied upon, it is a symbolic step toward freedom and away from the tyranny of Big Brother.
PREVIOUSLY: 10Q #4 (2014)
Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
Earlier this year, my sister gave birth my beautiful (and only) niece, her daughter, Charlene (pronounced with the “hard ch” sound, CHAR-leen). Though I have yet to meet her officially, I’ve seen lots of photos and video of her first few months, and I can’t wait to meet her in person! It still feels weird to talk about my siblings having kids, but I suppose that’s how life goes!
PREVIOUSLY: 10Q #3 (2014)
Is there something you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?
I wish that my last trip to visit Georgia was not as hectic and broken as it was. Interpersonal disputes between the people I am close to caused a lot of consternation trying to spend time with everyone. Trying to visit family members who aren’t on speaking terms with each other meant driving nearly 200 miles round trip in one night to turn around and drive another 120 miles round trip the next day! At least we rented a car that we filled with gasoline costing only half what it did in California!
The things we do for love. Next time, as much as it hurts me, I may have to insist people put aside their differences and meet on neutral ground. I’m already traveling 2100 miles to visit home, it isn’t fair to ask me to drive all over the state to visit everyone individually.
PREVIOUSLY: 10Q #2 (2014)
Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?
This year, I finally had a reason to apply for a passport as I made my first trip out of the United States since I was a child (when you didn’t need a passport to go to Mexico). I took a flight to Saskatchewan, Canada to meet with one of my major accounts and ride along with him for a few days and see how he runs his business. On the trip, I got to meet many wonderful people and see countryside that is very different from what I know, and I feel that it has made me somewhat more “worldly”. [Yes, I know that it’s just Canada, but it’s a lot more than “America’s hat”.] Despite the similarities, Canada is a different nation from the USA, and there are little quirks that remind one of that fact (besides the little red leafs on all the signs). The Canadians that I met were all very welcoming, securing the stereotype that they are probably the nicest, most polite people on the planet, and it was fun–for once–to be the foreigner. Naturally, my affinity for hockey probably earned a little respect with the sportier men and women that I met along the way, even if my team is a “sunbelt invader”.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to travel not only across this great USA, but to visit places most people never get to, like Saskatoon or Regina, SK. The conversation was great, the local beers were fantastic, the food was phenomenal, and the scenery was breathtaking! Thanks to this trip, I’m ready to collect as many visa stamps as possible!
PREVIOUSLY: 10Q #1 (2014)
It’s time again for ten days of reflection. Please feel free to play along at home!
For this year’s version of the Special Bonus Question, we have teamed up with SMITH Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs to give you the opportunity to answer the question as pithily as you like…You can be as local or as global as you like, so long as you keep it to six words.
Less debt. More fun. Keep truckin’.
When September 2015 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?
I think it will be interesting to go back and read these answers next year, if only for the novelty of it. As long as life continues to improve as it has, I will be glad to look back and measure how much things have changed.
What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?
Throughout my life, I have had a crippling fear of not doing the right thing, or simply “messing up”. This has kept me from really excelling at my “actual work” because I’m constantly seeking approval to make sure I’m “doing it right”. Overcoming this sort of attitude is not going to be easy because I’ve held onto it my entire life, but I have been in my current career position long enough that I am gaining a lot of confidence through my experience.
Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2015?
Taoism. Telecommunications policy. Conservationism.
How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?
I would like to significantly reduce my debt load by next year. I just need to keep plugging away at it, throwing as much extra scratch that way as I can.