Another year passed, a new year ahead. Another time to sing Auld Lang Syne and celebrate the western world’s marking the start of a new year. All things considering, this is as good a day as any to take a few moments to reflect on the year passed, and what may lie ahead.
I think this has been a good year in the Charest household, Virginia edition. The big event this year belonged to Winnie; gaining her American citizenship. But we had other events significant and insignificant that are still worth remembering, and December was more of the same.
In November I was informed that the contract I had been working under for the past nearly two years would be ending this month and not renewed. I had been expecting this news, but it still came hard as I really enjoyed the work. I also didn’t know what I would be doing after the contract ended, even though I knew my firm would keep me “on the bench” until something else came along.
However, the first week of this month I landed a new contract assignment that may prove to be even more enjoyable than my previous one. I’ll still be around ships but these will be a bit smaller than the ones I was working on. I will be doing a lot of traveling, which I’m not particularly excited about given how abusive the TSA is becoming.
At least I did not travel this month, so I’ve had the rare opportunity to see what thirty days at home felt like.
I had another project come to a close this month. Back in October I started a certification program studying for my “Certified Supply Chain Professional” exam through The Association for Operations Professionals (APICS). This included four classes conducted eight hours per day for four consecutive Saturdays. I couldn’t help but notice that I was by far the oldest person in my class, even older than the instructor. Many of my classmates were nearly half my age. The classes ended in mid November and had three weeks to study on my own for the certification exam scheduled for December 11. I spent the final ten days prior to the exam cramming for my exam, and then I did pass.
Gaining this certification gives me the right to add “CSCP” after my name in all official correspondence, and bragging rights in my resume. This certification is industry-recognized and does mark a certain level of professional excellence that may help me gain future assignments. I also feel rather happy knowing this old dog can still learn a few new tricks.
Meanwhile, we decorated the house for Christmas with Winnie doing most of the actual work on account that I was busy studying. She really got into the Christmas decorating this year and did a wonderful job. This year was the first year we actually celebrated in this house. For the past three years we’ve gone up to my Mom’s house for Christmas. This year we managed to convince her that she really needed to come down here. Finally, she did agree. We had a quiet Christmas weekend together. Christmas eve we had a small dinner and opened our gifts. Christmas day we had dinner with friends at their house.
Mom came down December 23 and planned on leaving again Monday the 27th. She ended up staying an extra day on account that Snopocalypse struck the New York City area over Christmas weekend. On the day she was supposed to return home nothing was moving, not even a bus.
During this past week I had the wonderful opportunity to telecommute for work. One of the things that I think I will enjoy most about this new assignment is that I’ll have increased opportunities to work from home. Any day I don’t need to spend 3+ hours commuting is already a good day.
So here we are, New Year’s eve again. Winnie is working today until about 8:00PM so we’re just going to stay home tonight. Winnie doesn’t much get into the western New Year’s celebration anyway; she’s more interested in celebrating Chinese New Year which happens February 3 this time around.
However, this will be her first year celebrating New Year’s as a American citizen, so I’ve reminded her of the fine print on the bottom of her citizenship papers that says she has to stay up until midnight and watch the ball drop in Times Square. She doesn’t believe me that it’s there, right under the other fine print that requires her to eat turkey on Thanksgiving…
Looking back, 2010 has been a good year for us. Having had really bad years in the not-so-distant past, a good year like this past year is especially sweet. I know this hasn’t been the case with many people in my family, nor for many other people around the country. To my family, friends, readers, and everyone else, I’d just like to say that bad times cannot last forever. Eventually, things have to improve. They always have for me, and the Goddess willing times will stay good for Winnie and me for at least a little while longer.
Happy New Year everyone. May your coming year bring you good health, happiness, and prosperity.
Come Sail Away! : I take on yet another challenge and learn how to sail.
The Never-Ending War on Christmas : Another Christmas, another year in the trenches.
Christmas At Mom’s House : Spending a Christmas visiting Mom in New York.